SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the term used to describe a number techniques you can use to increase the visibility of your company online. SEO may involve some time invested, but it is worthwhile to increase traffic and enquiries through your website.
Why is SEO so important?
The internet is now the first port of call for most people when they are looking for a local business so having prominence in search results is vital. Plus, you are far more likely to get visitors to your website if you are at the top of the results. How many times have you scrolled through to page 2 to choose a result?
How does it work and what do search engines do?
When you type a search query into the search bar in your web browser, you are effectively sending ‘Search Engine Bots’ out into the world wide web looking for results that best match your request.
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo and others all want to deliver the most relevant or popular content possible for visitors using their services. Using algorithms, they rank websites based on a number of factors, such as how often the website is updated, whether other pages link to it, or how well it is written. The better you perform against these factors, the more likely you will be on the search engine result page (SERP).
How to improve your ranking
There are over 200 factors that can affect how your website ranks but some matter more than others. Spend some time improving these and you will optimise your website for search.
- Performance: Your website needs to be able to load properly and at high speed. Make sure your website is built to be mobile responsive.
- Quality: Ensure your website copy is well written and up to date. Tip 1: Quality is better than quantity – posting engaging blogs and updates will encourage visits and drive awareness. Tip 2: Interesting and unique content will perform better. What makes you different to your competitors?
- Popularity: The amount of organic traffic your site experiences, along with your authority rating, is important. Authority is determined by factors such as links to other highly authoritative websites. Reach out to industry organisations to link to you and ask customers for testimonials that you can share.
- Relevance: Your website pages should deliver on the promise of their page titles and descriptions, so that your visitors can find what they are looking for.
- Other factors: Ease of navigation is part of your ranking. Anything that helps your visitors navigate the site is going to improve your SEO. Bounce rates are also taken into account. This is the number of visitors who leave a page immediately after selecting it. Give them a reason to stay and it’s win-win.
Creating a ‘Virtuous Circle’ with SEO.
By improving your website you will get more traffic which has a positive effect on your ranking by search engines. And yes, as your ranking goes up so do your visitor numbers!
The more you do to improve your site and keep your content current, the more likely people will visit it, and other sites will link to you. Your website should be seen as a trusted source of information (just as you are to your customers).
SEO is the long distance run not the 100m sprint, but constant improvement to your site is well worth the effort.