If you’ve read anything about websites, you’ve probably heard the term SEO floating about. So let’s start with the obvious, what does it stand for?
SEO = Search Engine Optimisation.
Why is SEO important?
It’s all about increasing organic (in other words, non-paid-for) traffic to your website. More traffic means more eyeballs on whatever it is you’re selling, and more money into your business. So yes, it’s pretty important.
Sure, people can come to you direct through social media links, seeing your website address on marketing materials, through paid-for advertising, through recommendations and so on, but the whole world is your oyster if you can capture visitors through search engines.
This includes Google, of course, but other search engines too such as Bing or Yahoo. Search engine users type in what they’re looking for and then click through to the most likely looking candidate – which will usually be something on the first page of results, and perhaps even the very first link that comes up.
Search engine optimisation simply means ‘optimising’ your website so that you do better in the search engine results – in other words so you get further up the page and get more visitors to your site.
You could have the best business in the world, but if your website isn’t optimised for search, no one might ever know.
What do search engines look for?
By and large, search engines want to be useful to their visitors (or they’d stop getting them too), so they want to link to relevant websites.
It’s all about content
People used to think the way a website was built – with keywords hidden in metadata in the html – was the way to Google’s heart. But over time this got abused, Google didn’t like that, and now good, quality content is king.
Content, which includes everything from home pages to product pages and blogs, is searchable and shareable. It’s what can set you apart from your competitors and it’s the easiest way to be relevant.
Don’t be daunted by the idea of writing. We know it’s not everyone’s speciality but don’t worry, there will be something invaluable that you can bring to your website. And when we say Google likes ‘good’ content, we don’t mean literary writing, but in terms of how useful it is to your readers.
You should know your customers inside and out. What sort of things might they want to read about? What would they go online to look for, if they wanted to find an expert like you? What do your customers love about you?
Perhaps it’s your product knowledge, your low prices, your easy way of explaining how to do something. It’s all about making the most of your talents and writing something – whether it’s a blog, a tutorial or a product description – that can be genuinely relevant for the reader. Yes, there’s that relevancy word again.
Don’t let your content get stale – over time it may get copied and once Google sees the same text cropping up all over the internet it starts to place less value on it. Plus ideally you want to grow your content over time. You don’t have to delete old pages or text (unless it has become irrelevant of course), because they should continue to generate traffic, but adding new content is always helpful.
Look at what’s worked for you before and see if you can put a new spin on it. If you wrote an article called ‘The five best dresses for 2015’ that did well, can you write a new one along the lines of ‘The five best dresses for 2016′?
Once you get into your customers’ heads and start thinking about what they want to read, making the right sort of content suddenly gets a lot easier. And once you’ve got some half-decent content, your site will start getting more hits through search, and you’re on your way!
The tip of the SEO iceberg
There’s a lot more to say about SEO. We need to talk about links – and how it’s better to grow them naturally than pay for artificial ones. There’s also lots to share about how you can research keywords and find out what web users are looking for.
Come back for part two of our SEO overview next week – and if you can’t wait, you can always drop us a line at 155 Creative in the meantime. To speak to us today regarding a free consultation or to find out how we can help your business, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992 275626. We look forward to hearing from you.