With over 5.4 billion searches on Google every day, how can you make sure your website is being seen? Maybe you’ve heard of a little thing called SEO. No matter whether you know a little bit or nothing at all, we’re going to break it all down for you. So, let’s find out what SEO is, why it’s important and how you can leverage it for your business.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of making your website more visible to people searching online via a browser such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. Improving your visibility with SEO will increase your website traffic, conversion and engagement.
How does SEO work?
Search engines such as Google use online bots that analyse web pages and gather information to create an information index. This index is like an online library that links searches to relevant information to present the user with what they are looking for.
However, when it comes to the decision process behind which order the websites are ranked, complex algorithms analyse the index and rank them based on several factors. The main job of the algorithms is to provide the user with the best answer to their search, which enhances the user experience. Some of the top-ranking factors include the use of keyword research, the quality of the content and the loading speed of the website.
The benefits of SEO
SEO is free
Unlike other marketing strategies, such as PPC (pay-per-click), SEO doesn’t have any associated costs. You will need to pay for industry tools if you want to measure success, but the campaigns themselves won’t cost you a penny. One of the best ways of increasing SEO performance is through content. So, make sure you’re providing keyword-rich content across your whole site.
Provides a competitive advantage
Competitors will likely be investing lots of time into SEO and statistically, with the first Google search result generating 90% of search traffic, it is worth the effort. Competitor market research is important here, as you will be able to highlight weaknesses in their content and utilise that to your advantage.
Marketing campaigns tend to focus on audiences in set stages of the buying funnel. SEO, however, targets all consumers, no matter their buying positioning. The same goes for keywords. By using highly relevant keywords, you will appear in search results of consumers directly looking for your product and or service.
Appearing in the first position of search results means your website is credible and high-quality. To get there, you’ll need top-quality content, strong backlinks and an ‘always on’ mindset to SEO.
Boosts user engagement rates
An optimised website enhances user experience which in turn improves the quality of traffic to your website. If your site contains lots of information that is relevant to the consumer, they will spend more time on the website which could lead to a higher conversion rate. Plus, if consumers have a good experience on the website, they will be more likely to return, which is ideal for building brand loyalty.
Favours content marketing
Producing content with original text, imagery, useful information and even videos, will help your SEO rankings. Ensuring that the content is up to date, high-quality and keyword-rich, will improve your SEO performance.
Strengthens site usability
Spending time improving the look, feel and speed of your website can hugely help with search engine performance. While a lot of SEO can seem like fluffy content, having a technically sound site that performs well from a Core Web Vital perspective is the difference between a good and a bad site.
How to improve your SEO:
If that all sounds a little complicated, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are three simple things you can do to improve your SEO:
Produce high quality, informative content
Take the time to conduct competitor analysis and assess what types of content they are producing. Highlight gaps in their content and aim to produce content that fills those topic areas. Similarly, look at what keyword’s competitors rank for. Create a keyword list and update it weekly by using platforms such as SEMrush. This way, you can monitor how you are performing for relevant search terms and make plans for improvements.
1a. Keyword placement
Placement of keywords is crucial within the content. By placing the main keyword within the URL, title and throughout the body of the text, you will improve your SEO ranking. However, it must come across as natural. Back in the early days of SEO, the algorithms weren’t clever enough to spot when written content was spamming keywords. People used to write keywords in the same colour text as the website background, so they were invisible. It didn’t take long for the algorithms to catch up and you can nowadays be penalised for keyword stuffing. To avoid this, use keywords when relevant, a few times throughout a piece is plenty.
Update your content
Regularly updating your content will improve the credibility and reliability of your site. For example, if you’ve written a blog about some company or industry news, make sure to revisit it and update it where necessary. Information can become out of date pretty quickly online and if you don’t update it, you could risk slipping down the search results for more recent, accurate content.
Make your site link-worthy
Ensuring that your website is content-rich, has a healthy number of relevant keywords and is informative, will attract backlinks from other websites. A backlinksem is basically when another website links to yours. Search engines love backlinks as they prove that your content is trustworthy and, most importantly, a good read. This has a direct impact on your website’s ranking positions, so, don’t forget to keep an eye on this metric over time with tools like Ahrefs.
If you have any questions or need help improving your SEO, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our highly trained industry professionals at firstname.lastname@example.org