What is SEO and how does SEO work?

SEO (or search engine optimisation),  is the term applied to the various strategies implemented to improve search engine rankings.

In simple terms, it is the difference between your website being visible on page one of a Google search versus page fifty-six.

Search engines displays websites links according to how relevant it is to the keyword and whether it is authorititive.

Whether your website was established six years ago, has heavy traffic or you are starting out your new home business, traffic is of great importance to a website because every visitor is a chance of generating a sale. Or at the the worst, adding to your brand awareness: A chance for your products to be recognised.

SEO is an organic way of attracting visitors to your website. This is as opposed to paying for the click-through’s to it using Adwords or Facebook PPC (pay-per-click).

By making simple changes to your website, you increase the attractiveness of your page to a search engine, meaning that your ranking can rise and from there you get a traffic increase of visitors to your website.

SEO can be a win-win situation for both websites and search engines alike. Search engines want to offer the best websites giving the best information, thus increasing their own reliability while it provdes sites with much welcomed exposure. While it can get complex in regards to the criteria that it looks for, the concept is simple. In order to do this, search engines will scan different websites to ensure they have a solid understanding of what the site is offering which helps them to ensure that websites more accurately reflect certain keywords. They will scan through the websites to determine how easily accessible the website is, whether it is appealing to an audience and easy to navigate. In this instance, looking to avoid over-complication.

When did SEO start?

Interestingly enough, the development of SEO actually predates the worlds most popular search engine (Google), having first reared its head as early as 1991, however its ‘official’ start date is agreed to be around 1997. Having been in use for in excess of 20 years, this is not a new process and it is one that has only developed and improved in line with search engines themselves. Initially it was very much displayed in a directory style with essentially what was, in effect, the yellow pages of websites.

What is SEO looking for?

Essentially SEO is a series of techniques that are used to make your website stand out to those who are able to boost your ranking within search engines. In order to conduct search engine optimisation, search engines will assess your website using factors such as:

  • Level of research and analysis,
  • Speed and navigation,
  • Marketing and link building,
  • Onsite coding and implementation,
  • Keyword searching.

If the website exceeds expectations in all of these areas, then chances are they will be ranked higher within a search engine than a competitor, thus increasing their traffic.

Top 5 tips for improving your SEO rankings

1. Constantly provide fresh content
It may seem like the obvious choice and one in which you will look to do anyway to get the very best out of your website, but making sure that your content is fresh and relevant is key to improving your ranking. Keeping your visitors happy is of optimum importance. After all, it’s the reason you created the website in the first place: to get new people visiting it to hopefully have them become a customer.

Think about it: If you visit a site where the information is out of date, you will very quickly get bored and move on. So do your new prospective clients! And Google monitors this and reflects that negative action by dropping your site in the rankings.

So, a great way to ensure that your rankings improve is to keep on top of the content. Make sure it’s interesting, relevant and correct!

If you need help with content writing, we can assist from just £30 an article (500 words) so contact us today and let us help you!


2. Make sure your website is Mobile friendly

This is certainly a ‘modern day phenomenon’ but the importance of creating a website that is mobile friendly is paramount for boosting your chances in the rankings. Another name for a mobile friendly website is a responsive website.

We live in a world dominated by smartphone technology and it is far more common to see somebody walking down the street with an iPhone than a Nokia. With that in mind (and given the desire most have to be able to explore the world within seconds), mobile friendly sites are crucial. In a world where a simple Google search can give you the answers to almost anything, making sure that your website reflects this, is a sure fire way to win points on the SEO front.

Some search engines actually have mobile based indexes. This means that often mobile friendly sites will automatically be indexed higher than non-mobile friendly websites.

3. Optimising URL, titles and content

This one goes without saying. These are elements that have always had to be considered if you want to have any chance of ranking your website and continues to be of great importance.

Making sure that your website stands out goes without saying. Remember: Whatever you are writing about or trying to attract visitors about, the reality is that there are thousands of others websites pitching similar content.

So make sure titles are catchy, your URL is unique and your content remains fresh, exciting and appeals to an audience. Do not allow your content to get lost in the crowd.

4. Loading, Loading, Loading…

Nobody likes to wait. Whether it’ss queuing for food, at the tillpoint or waiting for a website to load. Waiting in general is a pain and websites are no exception to this.

In a world where WiFi continues to be upgraded with speeds ever increasing, it is vital that your website loads quickly to fit with the public’s expectations. Page speed is a ranking factor for SEO so you have to make sure you can access your content faster than your competitor’s content. After all, the information your customer is looking for can be found in many places online, so why would they wait if they don’t have to?

You can do this yourself through steps such as removing unnecessary content and avoiding using large images.

Google’s page speed tool enables you to check your website’s speed on both Desktop & mobile. So go ahead now and click the link above and check it for free. If you need help, come back here and contact us and we’ll see if we can help you. For WordPress site’s this process generally costs between £90-£120 once-off.

5. Register your site with webmaster tools

Search engines such as Google and Bing offer you a plethora of information, so utilising their webmaster tools this will really boost your chances of SEO. Webmaster tools is a way to guide you into making valid choices about improving your page rankings.

DIY SEO – Pros and Cons

Search engine optimisation is something that you, as a website owner, can do yourself in order to try to improve your rankings. We thought we’d list some of the pros and cons for you to help you decide whether you want to go the DIY route (or not).


  • You know your content best, so by doing it yourself, it remains uniquely your work
  • It’s cheaper to DIY – there is no doubt that SEO experts cost money so if you have the time, doing it yourself can still reap benefits without the cost
  • You have full control of your website, without any third party intervention


  • You are not a professional. SEO experts will move the process forward much more quickly enabling you to see the results (and ROI) much quicker.
  • It takes up a LOT of valuable time and effort. You will need to do a lot of research before implementing and tweaking. Wouldn’t your time be better spent on your business while the experts get the traffic coming through to you?
  • You are in control of any mistakes made, all of it ultimately falls upon you

Expert SEO – Pros and Cons

If you don’t feel confident to do your own SEO, you can of course hire someone to do this for you. Like us! 🙂

Through thousands of hours of research, implementation, testing & seeing what works best, we know what it takes to get your website up there in the rankings. But to be fair, let’s do the pro’s and con’s (just like we did for the DIY option above)


  • We are the experts – we know the best way to increase your ranking
  • It allows you to outsource so you can focus on your business (and the new customers your SEO will bring in via your website).


  • It costs money to get an expert on board so you have to be sure it is worth it – ask for case studies
  • Turnover of positive results can take time, it isn’t instant success and this can be frustrating

So there you have it! The answer to How does SEO work. We hope by now you know a bit more about what SEO is and how does SEO work. If you’d like to find out more or discuss your requirements, drop us an email or give us a call.