An introduction to SEO.
Updated: Mar 22
Search marketing has changed a lot in recent years so we have created a simplified guide to SEO to get you thinking about your online content in a strategic way.
If your SEO strategy still revolves around keywords, you could be in trouble. While keywords play an important role in your search engine optimisation strategy, they do not hold the key to success like they once did.
The main reason for this is that search engines like Google have become far more clever as they have adapted to the needs of their users. It's worth remembering that Google, like you, wants to serve the best results for its 'customers' - the people using it to search for information.
Search engines like Google have evolved in line with the way users have changed. For example, users now want instant access to the best results based on their search query. Users don't want to be scrolling through pages looking for answers. Research shows that 95% of clicks are on the first page of search results, leaving just 5% for other pages.
In addition, the way users enter queries has changed. 10 years ago, when keywords were far more critical, users might have searched for "restaurants in Mayfair", whereas users of today are far more comfortable entering much more complex queries like "best restaurants near me promotional offers". Users still expect accurate results instantly.
There are plenty of other ways search marketing has changed, but to keep it simple, here are some useful definitional to get us started.
Useful SEO definitions for this article.
A core topic is something you want your business to rank for in search engines - what you want to be known for online.
A sub-topic is a piece of content that relates to your core topic.
The links from your sub-topic content (blogs, video, product pages etc) to a piece of related content.
A pillar page contains all of the content related to your core topic on a single page.
“Organising your content around core topics is vital in SEO today, but creating consistent high-quality content which helps your audience is the primary focus.”
What does all this mean?
Your core topic is the thing you want your business to rank for. The subtopics/topic cluster will help improve your business’ ranking for the core topic.
Search engine algorithms understand how ideas relate. They use clever AI and ML to serve the most relevant results.
By structuring your content around core topics and linking all related sub-topic content together using hyperlinks, you are making it easy for search engine bots to discover (crawl) your website, understand its relevance to search queries (index it) and determine your business' authority on the topic (rank it).
Want to read simplified blogs about SEO? Choose from one of our posts below:
Building relevance and authority in SEO
How to rank #1 in Google using blogging
Got 10 minutes? Here’s a video from HubSpot. If you have time for a coffee, kick back and delve a bit deeper in topics and pillar pages to understand how they can help you boost your organic traffic.