insights

SEO: What it is, why does it matter, and how to improve it

12 July 202210min read

You’ve probably heard of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Perhaps it was mentioned casually in a meeting, or in an article shared around the office, or even through a targeted LinkedIn inbox ad (we get them too). It can be a scary term for some, and can be difficult to summarise for others. When we talk about SEO and search engine algorithms at Thirst Creative, we like to think of it as a passionate tango between two partners. In this piece, we trace the steps of that tango.

The rules of the dance: what is SEO?

In its simplest form, the goal of SEO is to boost the relevance of your search results ranking. That’s important because, in most cases, the majority of visitors to your site won’t have prior knowledge of your brand. Your goal is to get the right content in front of the right person at the right time. Higher search result rankings over your competitors means more clicks. More clicks, of course, means more leads, more conversions and a bigger audience. The more you can improve the quality of your audience and provide them with the answers to their questions, the better the results will be.

However, SEO is about more than just clicks. It’s about showcasing your site and why you are a leader in your field. SEO allows you to define and reinforce your credibility, your authority and your trustworthiness to guide users to want to click your results and want to take that next step with you.

The Passionate Tango that is SEO

If SEO is a tango, Google is the lead partner. As website owners, designers and developers, we follow their lead. We pay close attention to what they are doing, their movements and changes in direction, and we adapt to follow their steps.

The tune we dance to is Google’s search algorithm. This algorithm is updated frequently and these changes can affect how your site appears in search results. As a result, SEO shouldn’t be treated as a 'set and forget' or having a 'quick fix' solution. It's an ongoing commitment between two dance partners, and changes made to improve your website’s SEO performance will not have an immediate effect.

SEO is an ongoing investment that benefits you and your users

Improving your SEO has huge potential benefits for you and your audience, including:

  • Boosting your search results rankings
  • Increasing your website visits
  • Improving your ability to be found for specific keywords / content
  • Introduction to larger audiences / new audiences to remarket towards
  • Improved audience quality and lead quality
  • Better user experience and navigation on site
  • More opportunities to convert users
  • Improved online brand perception and awareness
  • Higher brand credibility, trustworthiness and authority in your field
  • Better digital marketing SEM campaigns results

Dancing lessons: improving your SEO results

No one’s a great dancer right away. But there’s lots of good advice out there. Bill Gates said it best: 'Content is King'. It’s very simple: people who search for a specific question can’t find your site if the content doesn’t exist. The saying has evolved a bit further in recent times: while content may be King, context is the Queen.

Context plays a big part in any SEO strategy. Have you ever been on a website which has so many keywords stuffed into it that it’s completely unreadable and useless? You probably found it confusing and couldn’t wait to leave. That’s an example of a bad SEO strategy. They got you to the page but it was for the wrong reasons and you had no desire to stay.

When it comes to SEO, your focus should always be on quality content. Quality content builds trust and credibility. Quality content is easy to consume and easy to navigate. Quality content does a great job of answering the questions your users have gone to your website for.
Content isn’t just articles, either. There are many touch points on your site when we discuss content, from the page titles and descriptions users see in search results through to on-page headings, service descriptions, blog posts, case studies, organisational mission, staff bios and beyond. It all impacts your SEO results and each piece is an opportunity. Think of them like individual dance lessons. The more attention you pay to each one, the better your overall performance.

Content is the single most important factor that will impact your SEO performance. But the weight of SEO does not fall on its shoulders alone. In the same way it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a broad strategy to improve your SEO.

In addition to on-page content, there are two key other areas that need to be closely reviewed and optimised. If content is like all of the lessons you need to become a great dancer, think of these two like the outfit and the shoes. They’re an important part of the overall package.

  • Technical review: you should conduct a technical review of your site to check for any issues that may prevent content from appearing on search engines. There is no point investing in content if it can’t be found because it’s on a broken page, one that can’t be easily found or not being indexed by Google.

  • Business listings and backlinks: your off-site social profiles, business listings and backlinks should be carefully reviewed for opportunities to reinforce your credibility and trustworthiness. Look to boost your presence, push your content and drive traffic from credible, high-traffic sources.

Check out the result

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Every site is unique and everyone will have different goals.

Right now, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. You might feel like you have two left feet.

The good news is, we’re experienced dance instructors.

It doesn't matter if your website is built on WordPress, Webflow or Craft CMS. Thirst can help you identify and implement SEO updates to capitalise on these incredible opportunities to improve your SEO rankings. With our experienced in-house team of web developers, web designers, UX specialists and copywriters, we can scale strategies for small to large websites.

Together, we will help you connect with your users to generate more of everything that matters to you: more clicks, more leads, more conversions, more sales, more impact.

Interested in finding out more? Get in touch today.