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What is SEO and Why is it Important?

Nicole from NovosNicole in SEO

30th October, 2023

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is the process of improving a website’s visibility and increasing its position in a search engine. The higher your website ranks in the search engines for relevant keywords, the more likely a potential customer will find your website and click through to it.


Here, we’ll explain why SEO is so important for an eCommerce website,  how it works and the different types of SEO. 


Why is SEO important?


SEO is one of the key marketing channels for any business. With over 274 million people in the USA using Google, it’s no surprise that search engines are one of the biggest traffic sources for a website, and ranking high in the search results will help you capture more of that traffic.


There is a correlation between the higher a site ranks and CTR (click-through rate). It is reported that ranking in position 1 will have a CTR of 39.8%. This is nearly double the CTR for position 2, which is 18.7%.  


This is where SEO comes in. SEO aims to improve your website rankings so potential customers can find you and increase traffic to your site and brand awareness.  Another key reason why SEO is so important is that it is a sustainable source of traffic. If you cut the budget or end a paid campaign, so does your traffic. 


What is the difference between SEO and PPC? 


A common question we get asked is, “What is the difference between PPC and SEO?” The main difference is that one is a paid result, and the other is organic. PPC stands for pay-per-click and is where the advertiser pays a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Whereas for SEO, you don’t need to pay for any rankings or clicks to your site.


Just like SEO, PPC is a key part of a marketing strategy but plays a different role. It is important to know that any good SEO and PPC strategy will work together rather than compete with each other. 


How does SEO work?

SEO can be done on any search engine, for example, Bing, but as Google has 83% of the global search market, SEO tends to prioritise Google and is what is normally referred to when we talk about search engines. 


The goal of SEO is to have your site rank in first position for your target and relevant keywords. To understand how you get your website showing in Google, we need to understand how a search engine works. 


  • Crawling: Search engines use crawls to discover pages on the web. They do this by following links and sitemaps. 
  • Rendering: The search engines will then use HTML, CSS and Javascript to generate the page. 
  • Indexing: Search engines will review the content on the page and add it to their database. It’s worth noting that it is not guaranteed that every page on your website will be indexed. 
  • Ranking: Google’s algorithms look at different signals to determine which position your page should be ranked in the search results. 

Types of SEO

When we talk about SEO, we usually split it into three different types of SEO. A good and most effective SEO strategy will incorporate all three aspects. 


  • Technical SEO – This looks at all technical aspects of your site and ensures that search engines can index and crawl your site correctly.
  • On-site SEO – This looks at optimising content and HTML elements of your site to target keywords. This involves creating and editing content for search engines and users, improving internal linking and optimising metadata, to name a few things.
  • Off-site SEO – This refers to tactics done outside of a website to help improve rankings. These normally include link-building tactics, such as guest posts, product placements and larger campaigns. 


You can find out more about these tactics on our SEO services page. 


SEO and Google Algorithm Updates

As mentioned above, Google will use an algorithm to rank your website. Google doesn’t give us much information about their algorithms and how they work, but when reviewing your site, Google will look at these areas: 


  • Intent: what is the intent behind someone’s search, and does your content match it? 
  • Relevancy: How relevant is your content to the search query? 
  • Usability of the site: is your site easy for users to navigate and find what they are looking for? This also involves site speed and mobile usability.
  • Quality of content: Google will use E-E-A-T  (Expertise, experience, Authoritativeness and trustworthiness) to assess the quality of content. 


As search engines are always updating and improving their algorithms, SEO needs to be ongoing so your website does not fall behind competitors in the search results. A key thing to know about SEO is that it is a long-term strategy. Compared to other channels, like PPC, it may take longer to see results. However, investing in SEO, whether in-house or through an agency, is critical if you want to grow your website visibility and reach your customers online. 

If you have any questions about SEO or need help with your SEO strategy, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation today.

Nicole from Novos
Article by Nicole
Nicole is NOVOS' senior SEO strategist. A Shopify SEO expert, Nicole often gives talks on the subject, and is also a member of 'Women in Tech SEO'. Her tech stack includes site migrations, site speed testing, advanced Google analytics among other aspects of eCommerce SEO. 

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