Intro To SEO

Introduction To SEO
Everything You Need to Know About Search Engine Optimisation: An In-Depth Guide
SEO is becoming more and more popular and important in the digital marketing sphere, but there are still many business owners that do not know the first thing about SEO.
As SEO experts, the team at Altitude Digital have created this in-depth SEO guide to cover some of the most important aspects of search engine optimisation. This guide is designed for new employees and SEO beginners to get a good overall understanding of SEO, but even those that already have some SEO knowledge and already work within the SEO field should gain immense value from the information that we’ll be sharing here.
As the best SEO agency in Sydney we provide from the basic concepts all the way through to more advanced SEO elements, we hope that this guide will give you the knowledge needed to gain confidence in understanding and dealing with SEO.
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Table of Contents

PART 1

SEO Basics:
What is SEO?

PART 2

Why Does Your Business Need SEO?

PART 3

Understanding
Search Engines

PART 4

How to Get
Your Rankings Up

PART 5

Unsound SEO Practices that Should be Avoided

PART 6

The Changes
SEO Has Experienced

PART 7

The Future of
SEO

PART 8

Our Approach to Search Engine Optimisation

PART 1

What is "SEO"?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a wide variety of processes, strategies, and tactics that are used to enhance and optimise your website so that your site appears further up the page on search engine results.
Let’s look at an example so that you can gain a better understanding. If you are a business that offers tree trimming services in New South Wales, if potential customers type ‘tree trimming NSW’ into a search engine, SEO helps get your website to the very top of the search results. We all know that no one really looks beyond the first page of search results, and most potential customers will click on what pops up at the top of the results, and this is why SEO is so important.
While SEO plays an integral role in ensuring your site gets you to the top of search results, it should be noted that it is not the only way to rank. Most popular search engines also offer ‘Pay per click’ advertising which helps you get your page to the top by paying for each click that you receive on the link to your site through search results related to your relevant keywords.
Pay per click links will show up with the tag ‘ad’, and this is often off-putting to potential customers. Many potential customers scroll past these ads to the organic search results that are listed below them. However, pay-per-click ads can be very valuable and are indeed a great marketing tactic for those businesses that have the budget to invest in them.
SEO
SEO Advantages
SEO Disadvantages
PPC
SEO Advantages
PPC Disadvantages
Because of the above pros and cons, it is often recommended that you use a mixture of SEO and PPC, as well as should get social media & google advertising services to increase traffic to your site.
PART 2

Why Does Your Business Need SEO?

If you are looking to increase traffic to your site and ultimately generate more interest in your brand, and make more sales, SEO is truly one of the best and most effective ways to do so. Unlike outbound advertising, such as online and traditional advertising, SEO causes no disruption to your target market but rather provides a ready and willing solution to those who are already searching for your products and services online.
SEO marketing helps you generate organic leads and customers that are interested in what your brand has to offer. The truth of the matter is that competitor brands are most likely making use of SEO strategies this very minute, and if you don’t keep up, your website could possibly end up very far down on search results. Thus you’ll be losing out on many potential sales and basically handing them over to the competition that ranks higher than you in terms of search results.
We live in a digital era where more and more people are turning towards the internet to help them find the products and services they are searching for. In addition, people socialise, shop, and research online. For this reason, it is important that your website has an impactful presence when it comes to search results online.
At Altitude Digital, we have helped our clients enjoy some truly remarkable results with increases in traffic and sales thanks to our organic SEO strategies. We truly stand by what SEO has to offer businesses, both big and small.
Many website owners are under the impression or influence that SEO is not for them and their particular industry. But SEO affects all websites, no matter what type of business you’re in, and should be taken seriously if you do not want to get left behind in the dust of your competitors.
PART 3

Understanding Search Engines

In order to understand how search engine optimisation works, you need to have a basic understanding of how search engines work. The most popular search engine in the world is Google, which most people are very familiar with, and this is the search engine for which optimisation should be focused as it is what the majority of web users use to browse the web.
Google, as a company, has two goals that you need to be aware of, and those are:
Google has an algorithm in place to ensure that the very best and most quality results pop up whenever you search for something, and this is what really sets it apart from search engines like Yahoo and Bing etc. So how exactly does Google rank websites to ensure that you find what you’re looking for and to make certain that only the very best sites appear at the top of Google search results? Google does this by making use of three main strategies, namely:
The Google algorithm makes use of over 200 signals to rank their pages, and the Google algorithm receives updates every few months. For example, the Google algorithm currently favours the user experience, but this is a relatively new aspect of favouring. This is why SEO experts need to stay up to date with changes in the Google algorithm if they want the sites that they are responsible for to rank higher.
The algorithm also scans websites for any unwholesome activity such as plagiarism, dodgy and broken backlinks etc. In certain cases, sites could be blacklisted, and if your site is not up to scratch or not optimised for the algorithm, you could battle to find it in search results.
SEO2
PART 4

How to Get Your Rankings Up

The end goal is to get your site to the very top of search engine results, right? But how exactly do you do that? The first step is understanding which factors influence your rankings and then work on them accordingly.
Some of the factors that are very important when it comes to your overall ranking include:
Google wants to provide value to their users, and that is why they will rank their most valuable sites at the top. While the above-ranking factors may seem difficult to implement, a professional team for Search Engine Optimisation in Sydney would be able to fully optimise your site so that you have a better chance of ranking higher. The team at Altitude Digital has seen incredible results with businesses from a wide range of different industries.
PART 5

Unsound SEO Practices that Should be Avoided

There are no shortcuts when it comes to SEO, no matter how much you want there to be. Be extremely wary of SEO agencies that offer you guaranteed results and overnight success, as these are likely to be lies.
Many SEO agencies and SEO novices use unsound SEO practices in an effort to try to improve their rankings. But some of these unsound practices can have truly detrimental results and even get your website blacklisted, which can take months if not years to come back from.
Some of the unsound SEO practices that you should take care in avoiding include:

Overuse of Keywords

While stuffing a whole lot of keywords into your site may have once improved your SEO rankings, that is no longer the case. Now keyword stuffing looks inorganic and spammy and does not read naturally. What is even worse is when hidden text is used by background and text matching to get in as many keywords as possible without even having potential clients read the hidden text. Google is able to pick up on this and does not like it one bit.

Mirror Websites

Mirror websites are basically identical websites that are only separated by different keywords in an effort to come up at the top of all their relevant searches. This sort of strategy is just the sort of thing that is likely to get you banned or blacklisted by all search engines, not just Google.

Dodgy Links

Google is very particular about what types of links you use. Any links to and from dodgy or spam sites will act as red flags to the Google algorithm. Ensure that you do not take part in any phishing, link farms, backlinking schemes, or scraper sites. Only link to and from authoritative sources. It is better to have no links on your site than to have dodgy ones!

Plagiarism

If plagiarism sounds like a massive no-no to you, then great! But unfortunately, it still happens a lot in the world of copywriting and content creation! Running all of your content through programs like Copyscape should help cut down any ‘unintentional’ plagiarism and ensure that your content is 100% original. Google does not appreciate plagiarism in the slightest, and you will pay for it if it’s found on your site.

The best way you can avoid these unsound practices is by educating yourself on SEO and ensuring that you use a reliable and trustworthy agency that has received positive reviews from previous clients. Be very wary of internet scam artists out there whose offerings sound too good to be true.
PART 6

The Changes SEO Has Experienced

The Google algorithm is exceptionally advanced and is forever evolving, and that is what has determined many of the SEO trends and changes that we have experienced over the past decade. As we have been in the game for a while now, we have seen the many changes that SEO has undergone.
Back in the day, it was fairly easy to rank as all you had to do was identify your keywords and plug them into your site, URLs, and meta descriptions…make sure you have some backlinks (quality or not)…and you’d be able to rank in just a couple of days!
But the Google algorithm has changed significantly, and these days a lot more work and finesse needs to go into your SEO strategies if you want to achieve desirable results. There are no more shortcuts and months of professional SEO work needs to be strategically executed while keeping up with the changes in the algorithm.
Some of the major SEO algorithm updates of the past have included:
And the above are only a few of the most iconic updates! There are many more where those came from. As you can see, SEO has undergone some major changes over the past few years. While updates used to be yearly, we are now experiencing them even more frequently, which means that SEO experts really need to be on their toes and ahead of the curve.
We can conclude that Google hates spammy sites and that you won’t ever have to compete with spam sites if your business is legitimate and you take care when it comes to your website construction and SEO strategies.
PART 7

The Future of SEO

So now that you have a basic background on SEO’s history, it’s time to talk about its future. With all the technological innovation and progression that we’ve experienced in recent years, it is safe to say that Google will continue to make use of the latest technology to crawl, index, and rank its trillions of sites and keep up to date with the hundreds of new sites that are added each and every day.
There are a few ranking factors that we don’t see going anywhere anytime soon, and these include:
Quality links
Content
Technical Aspects
Quality links
Content
Technical Aspects
Quality links
Quality links affirm the authority of your site and will continue to be a clear indicator to Google as to whether your site is trustworthy or not.
Content
While content trends may come and go, original quality content will always be a hallmark of Google rankings.
Technical Aspects

We don’t see technical aspects such as loading speed and good website design going anywhere!

Now we come to what new ranking factors we are already seeing and what we may continue to see in the future of SEO!
1: Machine Learning
Very similar to, but not to be confused with, AI, machine learning will help the Google algorithm to become even more intelligent than it already is. Machine learning will help the algorithm to produce the very best results for the individual based on their location, data, and previous searches.
The spam and low-quality sites will have absolutely no place on the first (or even second) page of search results.
2: Organicness and Creativity
Let’s face it, how are smaller brands ever going to compete with some of the biggest names in the business? While it may seem impossible for your underwear business to compete with Victoria secret, Jockey, and the likes, Google actually provides many opportunities for small businesses to gain SEO success, and we believe that they will continue to head down this path.
One way you can do this is by ensuring that you fulfil a niche market and have a very clearly defined target audience. By using strategic keywords, you’ll be able to connect with your ideal customer.
You’ll also need to build organic links and channels to lead potential customers to your sites, such as online directories, Youtube, social media, and platforms such as Clutch.
3: Brand Searches
It is a very well known fact that Google loves brands, and if you can build up your brand identity and get your brand’s name out there, you’ll definitely be able to gain more traffic by people typing your brand’s name into the Google search bar instead of just the products that you offer. Ensure that you have a memorable brand name and identity so that people will remember it after having seen it in social media advertising, offline advertising (TV, radio etc.), PR etc. or heard about it through word of mouth.
Your brand name is likely to be far less competitive in terms of keywords than your products or services may be.
4: Quality Quality Quality
We expect to see Google become more and more strict when it comes to quality. And this means quality content and quality sites. With the trillions of websites out there, and the emphasis on user experience, mediocre links and content are just not going to cut it anymore. When building content, it is better to have no content up than half-arsed content with poor quality links.
The future of SEO will separate the good enough from the great.
5: Social Media
Social media has truly taken the internet by storm over the past decade, and its popularity seems to be growing at an exponential rate. Google has already taken note of this phenomenon, but it is likely that social media presence will play an even greater role in your site’s over SEO in the future, so best get started on optimising your social media pages! At Altitude Digital, we also specialise in social media management and marketing and have seen the incredible results that this service has to offer our clients.
While it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly where SEO will be in 10 years from now (we never know what the Google team has up their sleeves), we do know that SEO won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, so the sooner that you start investing in it, the better!
PART 8

Our Approach to Search Engine Optimisation

At Altitude Digital, we take SEO very seriously and ensure that our SEO experts are up to date with the latest algorithms and trends in SEO. We have helped dozens of small businesses, both large and small and across many different industries, reach their SEO goals. From this, we have realised that not all companies are the same, and while we always use tried and tested approaches, we combine these traditional strategies with custom tactics that are specifically designed for each individual client and project demand. We get really creative in coming up with SEO strategies that are perfectly designed for you and your needs.
In addition, we also offer relevant services such as website design, social media marketing, and live chat management, which aim to enhance your brand’s impact online and help you connect with your ideal customers.
Our Process

Phase 1

Discovery

In the discovery period of our process, we truly get to know you and your business, what your business stands for, your target market, and your brand identity. We also want to know if you have made any SEO attempts in the past and if you gained any success. We’ll ask a lot of questions and answer any questions that you may have about our services.

Phase 2

SEO Audit

We perform a comprehensive SEO audit to understand exactly what we are working with. We’ll thoroughly review your website and fix any obvious issues that we see, such as spelling errors, slow loading speeds etc. It is important that any problems get fixed as fast as possible so that Google will no longer pick up issues with your site.

Phase 3

Competitor Analysis

Understanding what your competitors are up to plays a very important role in knowing how to outrank them and outperform them. We do a complete analysis on your stiffest competition to find ways of getting ahead of them in terms of SEO.

Phase 4

SEO Strategy Implementation

After having a look at your site and assessing your past SEO efforts, we will design a customised strategy for your brand that aims to get you to the top of relevant search results, fully optimise your website, and ensure that there is nothing on your site that will act as a hindrance to your SEO efforts. We make use of traditional methods that are tried and tested as well as customised strategies designed specifically to help your brand outrank the competition.

Phase 5

Evaluation

We keep a constant eye on how your SEO strategies are doing and send you regular updates on your progress. If additional tweaks and changes need to be made, we’ll inform you of them.
1: Discovery
In the discovery period of our process, we truly get to know you and your business, what your business stands for, your target market, and your brand identity. We also want to know if you have made any SEO attempts in the past and if you gained any success. We’ll ask a lot of questions and answer any questions that you may have about our services.
2: SEO Audit

We perform a comprehensive SEO audit to understand exactly what we are working with. We’ll thoroughly review your website and fix any obvious issues that we see, such as spelling errors, slow loading speeds etc. It is important that any problems get fixed as fast as possible so that Google will no longer pick up issues with your site.

3: Competitor Analysis

Understanding what your competitors are up to plays a very important role in knowing how to outrank them and outperform them. We do a complete analysis on your stiffest competition to find ways of getting ahead of them in terms of SEO.

4: SEO Strategy Implementation
After having a look at your site and assessing your past SEO efforts, we will design a customised strategy for your brand that aims to get you to the top of relevant search results, fully optimise your website, and ensure that there is nothing on your site that will act as a hindrance to your SEO efforts. We make use of traditional methods that are tried and tested as well as customised strategies designed specifically to help your brand outrank the competition.
5: Evaluation
We keep a constant eye on how your SEO strategies are doing and send you regular updates on your progress. If additional tweaks and changes need to be made, we’ll inform you of them.
Dealing with us is a straightforward process, as we aim to make everything as convenient for our clients as possible so that they can focus on running your businesses!
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Are you looking for an agency to handle your SEO needs? At Altitude Digital, we offer cutting edge SEO services, website design, social media marketing services, and managed live chat. Our professional offerings have helped elevate dozens of businesses and assisted them with creating an impactful presence online.