2C Logo

SEO SOS – Help Me!

So, you’re a digital marketing rookie. You’ve got as far as deciding to implement search engine marketing (SEM) but you don’t really know what that means. As for SEO, you can just about remember which order to say the letters in, but you don’t know what they stand for. You certainly don’t know what to optimise or how. So, what do you do?

You try to educate yourself. Off you trot to Google, because it knows everything, right? Perhaps it does, but search engine optimisation still confuses the hell out of you. Every online guide, forum and blog post has something different to say. How do you decide what advice to take and what to ditch? Is it even worth the effort?

Aaaaaand breathe. Grab yourself a coffee and get ready to understand the essentials of SEO. We hear new clients battling with the concept every day, so here at 2C Digital we have written this simple article to introduce you to search engine optimisation, and help you two to become friends.

So, what do those three letters stand for?

Ok grasshopper. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the position of your website on “organic” (free) search engine result pages such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! and AOL. Organic search listings appear below pay-per-click (PPC) ads, as shown in the image below:

That’s the definition nailed. Now how do you go about SEO?

Types of SEO

There are three ways to go about optimising your search engine position.

1) Technical optimisation

This is for the HTML geeks and involves keeping your website running smoothly from the back-end. Your website will climb up the SERPs if it is easy for users to navigate, well-coded and free of errors.

2) On-page optimisation

You can build the following things into each web page to improve its search engine optimisation:

  • Relevant keywords and key phrases — words and phrases that people use to search for services/products relating to that web page.
  • Building keywords into:
    • Meta descriptions — the short description of your page that features in the search listing (see below image).
    • Image alt tags — the name labels that you give to images on your website.
    • Title & header tags — the coded tiles and subheadings on a web page.
  • Content — high quality blog articles that include keywords and key phrases, videos and images.
  • Internal links — linking to other pages within your website.

3) Off-page optimisation

  • Inbound links and backlinks — featuring your website and specific web page links on other relevant and reputable websites via blog articles, social media posts, directories etc.
  • Map listings — listing your business location and website on Google Maps etc.
  • Google Plus — having and actively using a Google Plus page that links to your website.

What’s good about SEO?

  1. Well, first up — it’s free. You don’t get charged for clicks on your organic search listing, unlike pay-per-click (PPC) ones which appear above SEO results. Some users also prefer the look of an organic listing over a paid ad.
  2. It can form part of a blended approach to increasing website conversions. SEO can be used in unison with PPC to help secure a dominant position on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  3. It can help to increase brand awareness and reputation. Building quality links is a form of SEO that gives you positive exposure.
  4. It gives your website visitors a better user experience. Technical and on-page search engine optimisation ensures that you have a well-functioning and easy to navigate site that contains high quality content. Your users will no doubt thank you for this.

What’s not so good about SEO?

  1. It’s not a quick fix. It can take a long time before you see the impact of your SEO efforts and once you start, you can’t stop. Search engine optimisation is a long-term strategy that ceases to work when you cease to feed it. Which brings us on to…
  2. It’s time consuming. SEO requires careful analysis and a clear, dynamic strategy. Implementing this takes time, week after week.
  3. It’s difficult to measure. Unlike PPC, the results aren’t tangible because search engines don’t collect specific results about the SEO techniques that you implement. Instead, marketers tend to use multiple third-party platforms in an effort to collate results.

How to monitor SEO

You can monitor your website’s SEO performance by using the below third party tools. Unsurprisingly, these market leaders tend to come with a price tag but without them, it is almost impossible to measure the success of your search engine optimisation.

On-page and off-page tools:

Moz semrush similarweb

These tools provide performance metrics and recommendations on your website’s keywords, backlinks and positioning, meaning that you can determine where to focus your SEO efforts and how to maintain and improve its search score. They also provide useful competitor insights.

hootsuite buffer buzzsumo

These tools provide social media performance metrics such as likes, followers, shares, mentions etc. They also generate post ideas, create the posts themsleves, recommend the best times to post, highlight missed engagement opportunities i.e unanswered messages, and give useful competitor insights.

Technical optimisation tools:

These tools provide insights into the back-end of your website, such as duplicate content, meta descriptions, title tags, image alt text, pages crawled and indexed etc.

SEO v PPC – which one should I choose?

In a world of perfection and fairies, you’d use both SEO and PPC to bag a dominant share of search engine results pages (SERPs). Perfection comes with a sizeable price tag however. If your budget is tight, we’d recommend starting with PPC as it yields quick results. You can then determine whether search engine marketing is right for you and accumulate a budget to spend on SEO.

If search engine optimisation is now starting to make sense for your business, we’d love to help you get your show on the road. Contact us today and speak to a member of our expert team!

Blogs you might be interested in…

Content Creation

Creating Captivating Digital Content: How to Avoid the Spam-&-Scroll Trap!

In this digital age, where we're bombarded with information, it can feel like a herculean task to create content that doesn't get tossed into the...
2C News


First off, a massive shout-out to all our amazing 2C readers – welcome back, dear friends! It's been a wild ride these past few years,...
Digital Marketing

Self-Care in a World of Social Distancing & Self-Isolation

It was no surprise last week when the UK followed suit of many European countries entering a period of lockdown in the face of the...

Want marketing insights delivered direct to your inbox?

Sign-up to our newsletter