Search visibility is nowadays an essential prerequisite to online business success. What makes certain websites appear on the top of the page of search results when using specific keywords online?
It’s the search engine optimisation efforts, creating relevance and matching businesses to the words and phrases customers use to look for their products and services. To make search engines drive traffic your way, you need to focus on clean, high-quality SEO.
SEO will grow your business fast
If you’ve been looking for shortcuts, this can be it. SEO is the online marketing technique that makes your site visible to Internet users. Businesses have understood that their position in search results is crucial to marketing their brand effectively. It is because of consumer behaviour – how prospects look for the good and services they need. If you’re not there, among the first search results, or at least on the first page, you basically don’t matter, because most don’t even bother to look beyond that. Therefore, SEO is the sure way to become visible and important. This can lead to very fast business growth.
How does SEO really work?
The process is a rather simple one. What is complicated though is the search engine algorithm. This keeps on changing, which is why experts constantly need to stay updated and tweak their strategies. Also, each algorithm relies on multiple factors – even up to 200, in the case of Google. Experts thus have to identify as many of these factors as possible and make the needed changes to improve a website’s ranking. However, mindless optimisation is never a good strategy. One must rely on the right set of keywords to optimise for. The SEO specialist’s and marketer’s greatest concern is to have the website rank high for its most representative keywords.
How keywords should be chosen
Selecting keywords is a job that takes time, effort and a solid understanding of the market, as well as of the appropriate tools for selection. There are two big options. One refers to choosing the most frequently targeted keywords – for example, “digital agency”. These get a lot of traffic, so you think there’s a high chance to find customers there. The second options are represented by the keywords used less often, yet having a high conversion rate (the rate at which traffic is turned into customers). One such keyword, or better said hey phrase, would be “best digital agency in London”. The expert needs to find all the viable options and decide which ones are the most balanced concerning traffic amount and conversions.
Can I do the SEO myself?
This is a frequent question many website owners ask themselves. Many have never come in contact with the concept, or are only aware of its outdated stages. It is no longer as simple as stuffing a text with keywords (in fact, this tactic is harmful nowadays). Anyone can learn SEO, but it takes a lot of time to understand and to implement, which is why companies prefer to leave this to a trusted specialist. Is SEO necessary for your business? If it’s got a website, it is. The way it operates does not matter; all that counts is that users can find its name and description online with as little effort as possible.
Can you handle competition without SEO?
You may be investing a lot in various forms of advertising and promotional campaigns. Therefore you ask yourself if SEO is all that necessary. While other marketing tactics may bring you clients, you also need to take your competitors into consideration. What helps them stay on top? What are they doing to maintain their position? It’s not enough to have your website displayed online, here and there. You need to deepen your understanding and figure out how to make it more competitive so that it climbs the ladder and fights the biggest opponents in your industry or niche. SEO is the secret to achieving that. Without it, outperforming competitors is simply not possible.
The tactics grouped under the term of SEO
First of all, it’s creating good content. Here, ‘good’ refers to a whole series of attributes. Your written content needs to be unique and relevant to your business; it has to be useful and informative. It needs to read well. In addition, content must include a few carefully curated keywords. On top of that, it has to be of an optimal length for search engines and users to deem it worthy. Through content, you create your brand and website authority. Content is required to create and to convey value; therefore, it cannot be thin, keyword-packed, boring or irrelevant.
On-page SEO is all about your website and each of its pages and elements. Code and sitemaps are found here, among other features that require optimising – features you may not even be aware of. The bigger the website, the more work is needed. Also, if your site is constantly expanding, you will have to spend time catering to on-page optimisations for every newly added page.
Off-page optimisation calls for even more work. You can create backlinks by posting quality content on high authority sites and generate social media signals by having your content shared online by followers. It takes time and skill to get to engage an audience, but in the end, it totally works in your favour. Nowadays, you cannot afford social media when it comes to marketing. Off-page SEO tends to revolve around popularity and links.
What SEO is not
Knowing what SEO isn’t is of extreme importance because it will help you dodge the fake ‘specialists’ and identify the best ones to hire. First and foremost, SEO is not keyword stuffing and cannot make you rank first in Google overnight. It can improve your ranking considerably and get you close to the top, even make you the first one on the page when the competition isn’t fierce. Whoever makes an outrageous promise that sounds just too good to be true is lying to you.
Also, good SEO does not just work for a while, only to fail later and bring your website down. Only harmful black-hat SEO tactics do that. If a so-called expert tells you that a sudden rise and fall are natural or they happened because of your competitors, don’t believe them – it’s a strategy to hide their mistakes. Instead, choose professionals who can guarantee you constant growth within a decent amount of time.
Done all the work required? Now it’s time to monitor your website to see how well it performs. Some changes may work wonders, while others may not yield much. This allows you to understand the weak spots and tweak your next efforts to suit your goal better. Google Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics can help you track the progress. Seems like a too laborious task already? As mentioned above, SEO takes much time and attention. If you wish to stay focused on your business instead of learning this new science, hire a digital agency to do the work for you – it will ensure adequate ongoing monitoring as well.
As you can see, investing in SEO offers you the possibility to track and see its results – something that traditional paid advertising (for example newspapers or radio ads) is unable to measure. It is, therefore, a wise investment, especially if you’re the kind who values every penny and cannot afford any waste.