What is SEO?
As I’ve written previously on our blog, SEO, in short is the process of optimising an online presence to speak more fluently with the search engines.
By doing so, we help the search engines understand more about our websites and therefore give them a nudge to let them know what we should appear for when people are searching for particular things.
SEO isn’t a button you press
Search engines are super-powerful marketing tools in the 21st century, which is why the major search bests, Google and Bing, invest so much into their systems. To make sure that they are always giving the searchers (your potential customers) the best experience by delivering them with exactly what they were looking for!
This means that their improved search systems are always looking for reliable ‘signals’ or indications to let them know that a website is a) relevant to what someone is searching, and b) an authority in the industry that is being searched about.
But what are those signals, and how do you send those signals to Google?
As I said above, SEO isn’t a button you press. Because the search engines are always developing what they’re looking for in a website, there is no quick fix, or one-time optimisation you can do to start getting hoards of traffic.
Effective SEO is an ongoing process of developing your online presence (not only your website) so that you too can benefit from the 40,000 searches happening every second of the day. Whether that be for your ecommerce store, or your local business.
So what actually needs optimising?
1. Your website
Of course, the first thing you think of when you hear about search engine optimisation is that you need to change parts of your website and ‘optimise’ them. And to a point, that’s right.
But within that there a number of things that need individual attention on your website for example:
- The navigation architecture of your site
- Content on each page
- Links between pages of content
- The use of multimedia
- Meta Information
However, your website is only the start of SEO.
Changes to the actual way your website reads and looks will benefit where it appears in the search results, but how do you make sure people are actually clicking on your website out of all the others.
If your site is regularly being passed over by searchers, then this tells Google that your site isn’t very good, and it will quickly drop you down the rankings. In effect’ your site will be poorly ‘optimised’.
Which is just one reason why SEO needs to be an ongoing process for your business.
Constantly monitoring your website performance, and making informed changes to your site and how it appears in the search engines is a must if you want to benefit for years to come.
2. Your Google products
As Google is the largest search engine of them all, this is the one we always focus on, as an SEO agency and as searchers ourselves (we’re real people over here).
As a business, Google has a number of tools to help you market yourself on their search engine. The most important one being the Google Business Listings.
As over 50% of all clicks on search engines go to the 3 businesses who appear in the map section below:
Google Business listings are a must have for any business. Although they are mostly important for businesses who serve clients in a local area, every business should now have a Google Business listing. If not, you’re leaving money on the table.
But since nearly every business does now have a GBL, it can be hard to compete if your listing is not also being optimised. Which is why SEO now includes your Google Business listing.
Optimising your Google Business listing includes different activities to optimising your website and overall online presence. However, by consistently optimising a listing it now only allows you more exposure by helping you appear in the top 3, it also serves to send the right kinds of signals that search engines are looking for.
Which in-turn means that by monitoring and optimising a GBL you will also gain more exposure for your website and business as whole.
But third and finally, SEO also goes a bit wider…
3. Optimise your online presence
In order to optimise your website and Google Business listing to unlock the maximum potential for your business you need to also be optimising something much bigger… you’re overall presence online.
This might sound alien at first, but let me explain. Earlier on I mentioned sending the right signals to the search engines to show them that you are an authority in your industry. Some of these signals do come from your website, and your other Google products.
But Google is looking for more than that. Just like offline business, people want to know that other people are using you, talking about you, or are referencing things you said/did, before seeing you as an authority.
Which is why optimising your business includes all of this, but online, where Google can see it. And this comes in the form of the following:
- Links back from other websites in your industry
- Mentions on industry blogs and resource sites
- Mentions across other places online
- Reviews on accredited sites
Is SEO really worth it?
Now this might all sound a bit heavy and like a lot of work, but as we move into an even more digitally dependent world where our dream customers are out there searching for our products and service, SEO is a necessity when it comes to growing your business with inbound leads.
A few facts you should know: