What is SEO and why is it important?

April 30, 2018

How can SEO help my business?

Using SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimisation, enables your website and content to show up on online search engines. SEO gives you the power to reach those who are actively searching for information relating to the services and products your business provides through online search engines.

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So why is SEO so important?

SEO is fantastic for business visibility and branding. You obviously want your business’ website to appear as high up in search engine results as possible when people search for the products and services your business provides. SEO also provides your business with credibility; people who use search engines are mentally taking notes of the search engine rankings displayed. Results appearing high up on the page are more likely to be trusted as this provides a vote of confidence. Research shows that 60% of traffic from Google searches goes to websites that appear in the first three search results. Searchers are likely to think ‘Well, Google says this business is relevant to my search as it appears so high up, so this must be the case!’

SEO allows you to market to people when they are searching for the services and products your business provides. You don’t have to convince searchers they need your services and products; you just have to convince them you are the right business for them.

The bottom line is, if you don’t optimise your business’ website for search engines, you risk losing potential customers to your competitors as they will appear higher in search engine results.

How do search engines determine where your business ranks?

Search engines use algorithms to help people find what they are looking for. Google for example uses a trademarked algorithm called ‘PageRank’, which assigns each web page a relevancy score. To ensure your website appears on page 1 instead of page 101, you must focus on building authority on key topics related to your business. The authority of your website is determined through onsite and offsite factors:

Onsite; higher rankings are given to websites that regularly publish fresh content.

Offsite; when other websites link to your content or your content is shared through social media, you have a higher chance of being prominently listed in search engine results.

Sounds great! So how can I get started with SEO?

Publish relevant content; identify a keyword or phrase for each page on your website. Have a think about how your reader may search for this specific page and repeat this phrase several times throughout the page. However you must ensure you do not sacrifice good writing for SEO. Always focus on the user.

Regularly update your content; this is considered on of the best indicators of the relevancy of a website so ensure you keep this fresh whenever possible.

Metadata; this is simply data about data- data sounds like an insufferably dry topic but it is critical in driving SEO. Without metadata you lower the opportunity and ability to drive users from search engines to your website. Metadata is usually invisible to your website’s users. It lives and works behind the scenes in the HTML of your web pages. Metadata is a series of micro-communications between your website and search engines and the metadata used for SEO purposes speaks to search engines directly from your website to communicate important information from the search engine.

Improve the user experience and usability of your website; getting users to stay on your website and interact with the content can boost your website’s ranking. Once you have written some content for your website, begin establishing authority by promoting this through your social media channels and email newsletter.

Link Building; links from high ranking or websites with high authority are great ways to increase your page ranking. You can do this by speaking with respected blogs, articles and directories to get your on their website. Be wary of spamming your link as this could blacklist your website.

Keywords; these are a way of showing Google that your websites is relevant for particular services or products. Finding the right keyword and using it within your headers, body copy and alt text is a good way of ranking for a keyword. Finding your keyword can be done for free by going to Keyword Planner or using the free Moz tools.

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