If you’ve ever heard anything about online marketing, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard the phrase SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. It feels like the term, and the online practice associated with it has been around for soooo long. It is certainly no secret that in the fast-paced world of internet, websites and online marketing; technology, consumer interaction and really everything in the online space is constantly evolving at astronomical speeds. With that in mind, you’d be forgiven for expecting that the well-trodden strategy of search engine optimisation is perhaps well and truly redundant. Replaced by something much more hip and savvy perhaps. But that is definitely not the case.
SEO is not what it used to be
SEO remains the single most important online strategy that every website owner should be 100% committed to and engaged in. Granted, the level of expertise and technical execution required in order to effectively administer a successful SEO strategy has definitely moved forward at a rapid pace in line with the rest of the online community. So it certainly doesn’t look or act the same as it did many years ago, but it is as crucial as ever to get the most out of your primary online presence, your website.
What exactly is SEO anyway?
Search Engine Optimisation is essentially a collection of online tools and best practices that when implemented, and regularly maintained and updated, improve a website’s ranking, or listing priority, on a search engine results page (SERP).
Why is SEO important for my website?
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate the importance of SEO for any website is to use a real-world example that every business owner can relate to. Imagine that you started a brand new business. The business can be anything at all, product or service. What you are selling is not important, but for this purpose, let’s say that the business is selling t-shirts. You find the perfect location, you buy some stock and you set it all up. And then you just wait for the customers to come flooding in, right? You don’t need to draw attention to yourself at all. You don’t need any signage or to let anyone know that you are there. Anyone who needs a t-shirt will just magically appear at your door, won’t they? If only it were that easy! It turns out that you’ll need to do some marketing.
SEO drives potential customers to your website
In a world where more and more business is done online, and not so much in physical stores, does it make sense to spend a great deal of time and effort creating an amazing website, only to have no-one know that it even exists? Just like you need to let potential customers know where your bricks and mortar store or office is; an online marketing strategy is the best way to draw attention to your business’ online presence. And SEO should form an essential component of any well-rounded online marketing strategy.
How does SEO work?
Not only is it important to drive traffic to your website but you want to make sure that the traffic you are getting is genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Unlike online advertising such as Google Ads (PPC) or social media advertising which can be targeted to an extent, SEO is concerned with maximising your website’s or specific webpage’s chances of ranking highly in a search engine results page without paying a direct advertising cost to a third party.
In order for a search engine to give your website a favourable ranking, there is a distinct “criteria” or “algorithm” that the site should attempt to adhere to as closely as possible. The better that your site matches the criteria, the better ranking it will get and the more qualified traffic you will get to your site. Woohoo!
How does the search engine check or measure my website against the algorithm?
The search engine has a “bot”, also known as a “spider” that “crawls the web”. The spider is constantly visiting websites and webpages and measuring them against the algorithm. Pages and websites that are deemed to be optimised, are added to the search engine’s index and cataloged accordingly. When a search engine user enters their search phrase, the search engine runs a check of all the indexed pages and returns a results page for the pages that have been determined as the most relevant for that particular search term or phrase.
What is the magic SEO algorithm?
Well isn’t that the million dollar question?! Once upon a time, SEO was almost as simple as strategically adding a few keywords to your website and that was about it. Of course, as consumer online behavior has changed and the online infrastructure and the way that we interact with it has become more complex, so too has the way that search engines analyse and rank websites.
Each search engine has its own algorithm but the premise of them all is relatively similar. This is where things start to get pretty technical and can become quite complex. The types of things that search engines are analysing with their algorithms include:
- Site security and accessibility
- Page speed
- Optimised for mobile
- Domain properties such as site name/URL, age and authority
- Relevant and quality page content
- Technical SEO practices – keyword phrases in page titles, headers, meta descriptions etc
- User experience and activity
- Links – inbound, outbound and internal
- Social media activity and interaction
- Real Business Information
What do I need to do?
You can see how, without a solid SEO approach, it becomes very difficult to get your website in front of your many (or any) potential customers. If you want to be a successful business in today’s world of search engines and websites, you simply cannot afford not to do this. As a business owner, it is important to have an understanding of SEO but you are not expected to know how to jump right in and optimise your site all by yourself. This is an area of increasing technical expertise and so you should definitely leave this one to the experts. What you need to do is contact them to get the ball rolling.
Make sure to be thorough with your SEO supplier selection. As with any industry, there are some good guys and some not so good guys out there. Engaging an SEO company that is not at the top of their game can cause more problems than it solves. Once you have found yourself a good one, then let them do their thing and you get ready to handle the new business that it’s going to generate!
At Clarity Marketing and Communication we can help you navigate the sometimes tricky, but very essential, task of implementing and maintaining search engine optimisation for your website. Contact us today to start a conversation.