SEO may be a term you’ve seen around the web but what is it and why do you need it?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making your website easier to find for the people you want to target within search engine results.
Search engines are essentially recommendation tools. They will recommend a list of suitable and relevant sites in response to what you search for.
Search engines are complicated beings but will generally favour websites that have:
– A healthy amount of traffic
– Engagement e.g. blog comments
– Back links from other websites e.g. guest posts
– Lots of fresh content e.g. well maintained blog
– Are geared towards relevant keywords
There are billions of websites out there, competing for attention so you can’t expect enough people to stumble across your website by accident.
You have to make your site easier to find and share with others. Being easy to find improves traffic which improves sales.
SEO works by associating particular keywords that people search for with relevant websites. This means that your website should include some of these search terms so that search engines can pick your website to feature in their results.
However, it’s not as simple as stuffing these keywords into every corner of your website. These keywords work best when they’re organically placed and reader friendly.
If you write all your content just for the search engines, those who actually read it won’t be getting a lot out of it. They probably won’t share it with their own networks because the content isn’t written for them it’s written for Google. Like with any marketing approach, keep your audience in mind first.
With any marketing strategy you want a good return on your investment. A lot of people make the mistake of throwing a ton of money at adverts hoping something will stick, but if they’re not targeting the right people, it’s not automatically going to boost your sales.
SEO targets the market that will typically buy from a company like you instead and is generally cheaper, improving your ROI.
Your big competitors use SEO
Some believe that SEO is just something you do in the beginning to get your business into the big leagues.
However, even the biggest businesses with seemingly endless budgets for adverting use SEO. The simple reason for this is that it works for businesses at all levels when handled by an effective SEO team.
Boost your local search efforts
For smaller businesses, local search has become a huge part of their SEO success. Local SEO means targeting your website to a specific location, so that those most likely to buy from you can find you more easily. SEO can help you get your name where it needs to be.
It’s a long term strategy
SEO is concerned with long term success and when handled by a good team can help you to ride out changes and trends in the industry for years to come. Paid-for advertising can lead to spikes in traffic and sales when applied, but SEO is usually a cheaper, long term solution.
Methods to improve SEO
So what can you do to improve your SEO and boost your website sales? Here are a few simple steps to start taking:
Start a blog
The best way to keep your website updated with fresh content is to start a blog. Unsure what to write about? Write about your industry including news, features, tips and tricks articles, company updates. Try to imagine what your target market would like to see posts on and tailor it to them.
If you do start a blog, make sure you can commit and keep it updated regularly. Who’s going to come back to a blog that hasn’t been updated in 4 month?
Having links from another website to yours makes your website look more legitimate and trustworthy in the eyes of Google. You can do this by going out to blogs and asking to contribute to relevant topics.
Get on social media
Social media is an invaluable tool for businesses that can help pull in traffic to your website. Post links to blog posts you think your audience might like to read and position yourself as an authority in the industry.
Hire an SEO expert
SEO is not something you do once and leave. It requires constant work and monitoring. A SEO expert can help your website ride out the latest Google algorithms changes which can cause websites to fluctuate in their rankings. This could be bad news if no one’s keeping an eye on it and adapting the website properly.
SEO is an essential part of marketing strategy in an age where everyone’s online. Adopting a SEO strategy will boost your marketing efforts and keep your website rising to the top of the rankings so that it’s found by very people who need to find it.
If you found this useful you may also like our ‘Why you need to build your online brand‘ resource.