What is SEO? Why do I need it?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and refers to the process of optimising your site for Search Engine rankings. The actions taken as part of an SEO process can help your business gain a larger audience and can target your local audience. So whether you are concentrating your efforts to improve your SEO in Liverpool, or your SEO in Wirral or Merseyside or even nationally a well thought out strategy can help.
How does it work?
SEO works by addressing many of the variables in a website’s design and development along with the content that is published on the website. Search Engines base their rankings on a number of criteria and SEO attempts to provide the optimal conditions to attain a high ranking.
What can we do to help our Search Engine Ranking?
Let’s take Google as our example of a search engine, the reasons for doing so are sound as Google dominates search with around 87% or more of all search for last year. How Google determines their ranking is not exactly known, it is after all their special sauce but we do know many of the factors that Google does take account of.
We provide search today so any time you type in a key word, we as Google have gone out an crawled and stored copies of billions of web pages in our index, and we take the keyword, and match it against the pages, and rank them based on over 200 signals: things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it.
– Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet (Google’s parent company)
Google takes these signals and uses them to rank each page based on what is being searched for and providing the link that best fits that search. So we know that we need to make our sites:
- Relevant to the people we want to attract and convert into customers or clients. We can do this by finding out what our customers are looking for, what questions they are asking, what problems they have and so on.
- We need to create content that fulfils the need the potential customers have.
- We need to create content often so we have a fresh supply of content.
- We need to have a quick website to serve that content as quickly as possible
- We need to build up some authority for our site to attract links from other sites, this lets Google know we have integrity and are an authority in this field.
- We need to make sure we have a secure website architecture so that Google knows we have the integrity to look after the security needs of our customers.
The blend of all these elements along with the practical methods of SEO are what helps a page move up the Search Engine rankings.
What are the Practical Methods of SEO?
The practical methods of SEO include:
- Customer research – to help determine what questions they might need answering and what problems they might have.
- Keyword research – to determine which keywords and phrases we wish to target in our content creation.
- Link building – to help build our authority in the eyes of Google, not all links are equal.
- Technical SEO – Speed optimisation, Secure site architecture etc.
- On-page SEO – Adding good titles and headings to site content along with good tags on images and adding structured data where appropriate.
Why is SEO worthwhile?
There are a number of reasons that SEO is worthwhile and they include:
- It is a reliable way to increase your traffic.
- Using these techniques and measuring the effects in Analytics provides an accurate result for the Return on Investment (ROI).
- You can increase awareness of your brand.
- You can build trust and rapport with your customers and potential customers.
- If you don’t you are likely to lose market share to those that are doing it.