Do you have a website that is struggling to get traffic? Have you moved your business online, only to find you rarely get any sales from your online store? Then it’s time you learn about SEO.
The short answer is that SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s a set of technical tactics focused on improving a site’s rankings and visibility in the results of search engines like Google.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short covers quite an array of what is known as Digital Marketing. Search engines like Google take many factors into consideration as they rank pages.
With the right SEO strategy, you will be able to improve your website rankings in the Google search results for the keywords you are trying to target and the ones that relate to your business the most. This, in turn, will attract genuine and qualified traffic to your website, which in turn will convert into customers and sales.
When people jump online and want to find goods, services, and general information, they open up a Google search page and search for specific words and phrases related to the information they want to find. In SEO these are called keywords, or key words. Now, when you own a business, your business will be related to many keywords and your goal is to try and appear at the top of the Google organic search results when people search for these keywords. With 3.5 billion searches per day around the world, you would be silly to ignore the online business potential SEO provides.
Although you can hire SEO experts all around the world, always try to find a local SEO expert, as this will allow you to discuss problems and processes involved with your SEO campaign in your local time zone. For example, if you live in Brisbane, Australia it is always best to look for experts, rather than hire someone in Perth with a 3-hour time zone difference.
These are the pages that Google’s algorithm determines to be the best matches for a search term or phrase that a user has entered into a Google search. Websites earn their spot on the search results page based on relevance, quality, and many other factors that we’ll get into further down.
1. Attract Qualified Traffic – Basically meaning you are going to attracts the people that are searching for your business services and product. They will be based on your websites keywords matching the keywords of the people using Google searches.
2. Earn a high return on investment – Once you have put in the time, effort and money involved in getting one of your pages ranking well in the Google results, it is generally going to stay there. Meaning repeated coming up in the search results each time someone search for your keywords is not going to cost you more time or money. This is a big advantage over Pay Per Click ads, which cost you money every time someone clicks on one of your Ad’s and visits your website.
3. Achieve a high click-through rate – When your site is ranking well in the organic search results, you will find you start ranking for a ton of keywords. Ones you didn’t necessarily choose to be at the top of your targeted keyword list. This, in turn, will drive more people to your site without costing you more money. You will find sales and inquiries increasing ever more, as people purchase your good or services by accidentally come across your website while looking for other things. Without strong organic rankings, you could miss out a ton of traffic for your most important keywords.
SEO includes both the elements on each page, as well as how other sites reference and link to them. Essentially, marketing your business online, and can generally be broken down into two main components:
On-page SEO is having the internal structure and setup of your website set up in the best possible for Google to be able to read and understand what your business and website are all about. Google bots or crawlers are constantly going through Petabytes of pages and data, reading websites and indexing them according to the content within the site.
But as you may have guessed, or already tried yourself, SEO is not quite as easy as purchasing some advertising space. Optimizing a website requires a clear and well-planned marketing strategy and regular maintenance. It’s an ongoing process, and often a complex one. Please re-read that last sentence, it's important. Yes, it is an ongoing process, and not a one-off task.
An SEO expert will be able to help you optimize your website for areas like meta titles and descriptions.
Off-Page SEO involves getting other websites to create links back to your website. These are known as backlinks. When another website links to your website, Google uses this as a ranking factor. Your goal is to get quality over quantity when it comes to backlinks. One backlink from a high-ranking powerful website is worth 100 or more backlinks from a low-ranking poor website.
So how do you get a backlink from other websites you don’t know or business relationships with? This is the difficult part when it comes to SEO. The golden rule is you don’t buy them! Google does not like people buying backlinks. You will find there are sites out there that will promise to sell and create hundreds of backlinks for just a few dollars. If you find these sites or get approached by them in spam emails, run the other way.
This is where the many, many hours go when you pay for professional SEO experts to perform your SEO and digital marketing. They may have established relationships with some sites, and for the ones they don’t, they spend hours trying to set up relationships with webmasters on your behalf. The key is to try and get backlinks from similar websites in your business niche. For example, if you are a plumber you want to get backlinks from plumbing related websites, not from something like a sports website.
There are some easy options like adding your website to business directories and service sites, but as mentioned earlier, these are not going to make any dramatic effects on your organic rankings because anybody and everybody can easily access and add their sites to these same directory services.
As customers and consumers spend an increasing amount of time online, having a strong online business presence is a must in the current business climate in order to succeed. This makes SEO an essential part of any successful business strategy.
There’s a vast amount of information available online about virtually everything your target audience wants to know. The only way to make sure that your potential customers find your site to answer their questions is good SEO.