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Back to Basics – Search, SEO and What they Mean

Back to Basics – Search, SEO and What they Mean

It’s a frighteningly confusing subject for people first setting out in building a successful online businesses. The industry is very jargon heavy and sometimes it may be as easy to talk in Latin.

So we’ll cover some basics to help.

SEO large letters

Search Engine Optimisation.  This is what is referred to as ‘SEO’.

It means we are trying to get the best ranking on results pages for our website when certain relevant queries are made by potential visitors on line.  These searches don’t cost you anything and are called ‘organic search‘, to confuse things a bit further.

Improving rankings in ‘organic search’ results is what SEO is all about.  We’re essentially meaning “Google optimisation”, because most searches are by far made through Google.

There are two ways we normally try to get a site at the top of these page results. The first is through the ‘Organic Search’ (SEO) as described above.

But there is two kinds of results that Google shows, and the other is ‘Paid’.  Paid adverts now appear with a little box and the word “Ad” in it on the corner, though they used to show as results in a slightly pink box to show they are not the ‘organic’ results. These adverts will show in certain positions on the page.

Because Google normally has two types of search results, normally sites are developed first for the ‘organic’ results, and then secondly you can opt to run ‘paid’ campaigns where you can bid to put results in the spaces Google reserves for adverts.

These adverts contain a link to a relevant page on your site. To get an advert there you have to bid on related search terms.

The following image shows a mixture of paid adverts and ‘organic’ results. Sometimes there are no paid adverts, this is because there isn’t anyone bidding for the search terms like the ones you have put to Google to retrieve results for. This shows for “LED light”;

SERP results page Paid and Organic

The paid results are not known as ‘SEO’. It is known usually as ‘Paid Search‘.

The results page you get from Google when you type in a query, is known as a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) – see the above image – this is a SERP.  If hardly anybody is bidding on the search term you type in, more or all of the page will be Organic results only. These wont cost anything when people click on these.

Now I’ve described the two main areas to focus on if you want to be visible on Google results pages (SERP’s). But I withheld for simplicity that there is also a third one, which you will sometimes see in a results page. For example, if you search for “5W LED” (see image below) you will get different ads also appear, which have photos.

These are another category which are also a type of paid advert but go through a service called the Google Shopping Network.

The difference between normal adverts and these Shopping Network adverts is that one is in text format, links to a page on your site, such as a landing page to help aid a ‘conversion’, the other one is a special listing you create with Google for an individual product. This also will link to the relevant product page on your site.

The following image shows what happens when you search for specific products and many people are bidding on related search terms, which triggers Google to create a SERP with these additional product adverts;

SERP results page with products

If you look closely, you’ll see most of the page is in this case paid adverts, and the top ones with the images are Google Shopping Network ads (these used to be known as Product Listing Ads). Also, all of the products with images are for 5W Led lights, and that is because companies have put the highest bids on showing these adverts when people search for “5W LED”. Google also looks for the relevance of these adverts to make sure they are most useful for the person making the query.

If you got this far and understand these basics, well done, you’ve got past the first milestone already!  Digital marketers will use these terms all the time.

How do we go about optimising your site for these two main ways of showing up on Google?  That’s what we will focus on in this series of blog articles. Next, how search engines work and the importance of site structure and organisation (publishing on Wednesday).

If you need any help with optimising or building your website, then please get in contact with us here at Network Intellect.

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