What is SEO and Why Should Your Business Care?

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What is SEO?:

Have you ever wondered “what is SEO?” or thought that SEO isn’t right for your business? In this article, we discuss what SEO is and why your business should care.

Most business owners know that a website is a vital part of their marketing and can attract new customers, but knowing how they get people to their website is less common. Sadly, it’s no longer enough to put the website out into the digital ether and watch as people come flocking to it. With over 1.9 billion websites in the world (as of September 2018), it’s a crowded marketplace, and you need to ensure that your business stands out. This is where SEO can prove invaluable. Understanding SEO and creating an SEO strategy that works for your business type will increase traffic to your website, and more traffic can mean more sales.

What does SEO mean?

SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. The phrase refers to techniques that you can use to get your website ranking better with a search engine’s algorithms. Most people when looking for a product or service will use an online search through a search engine such as Google or Bing.

Why is SEO helpful to a business?

According to smart insights, there are 3.5 billion daily searches on Google. Though not all of these are related to business, the impact search engines are having on business is outstanding. 82% of smartphone users are using their mobile phones to search before making a purchase in-store, and 45% are reading reviews online before making a purchase.

As a business owner, you want to maximise your chances of being found in search results. SEO ensures that your site is more search engine friendly, and is found and ranked by the search engines more efficiently. The easier it is for the search engines to find you, the easier it will be for people to find and buy from you. SEO techniques help search engine’s get a clear understanding of what your website is about and how it can benefit people searching for the subject. When done well SEO encourages search engines to rank your site high in their results.

SEO is a cost-effective way to reach people searching for your product or service and to raise your brand awareness to people who may want your product or services in the future. It effectively works as a 24/7 advertisement of your brand that is available when people are looking. There are a lot of SEO techniques that you can use to ensure that your website is working smarter for you in its organic reach.

SEO techniques can all be divided into three areas:

All of these areas combined, enhance your site’s domain authority and ranking.

What is Domain Authority?

Domain authority describes the search engine’s opinion on the reliability of your site. It’s a score the search engine’s give your website. They want to know if your site is respected and seen as a good source of information or services.

To rank a site well, they want to find a lot of people linking to your site, regular visitors, and extended visits. These three factors tell the search engines that people are finding your site useful. This is your site’s “Authority”. Is it a good site for the search engine to send their users to? Will it give them the experience the search engines expect to be able to deliver? The search engines rely on being helpful to people; therefore their algorithms are geared to ensure that they point to sites with content that’s helpful to people’s searches.

What do we mean by ‘Ranking’?

‘Ranking’ refers to how you are ranked in importance by the search engines. The higher your rank, the sooner you show up in the list. The lower you are in the ranking, the less likely you are to show in the searches of potential customers.

Grabbing people’s attention

The average searcher using Google visits the sites on the first page of results. When was the last time you waded through to the tenth page of results to find a website? Most people, in fact, don’t go much further down the list than the first few results. People are impatient and want fast results that are easy to access.

In the newspaper industry, there’s a term “Above the fold”. It literally means the headlines printed above the middle of the newspaper where it’s folded in half on a newsstand. This term has now been reused for web searches and websites. It’s these headlines that grab people’s attention to make them want to buy the paper. On a website, it’s the top part of the web page that people see first when they arrive at your site. That part of the site is the key to getting people to stay on the site. On a search engine list of results, the first few results are above the fold. The further away from this part of the list, you are the less chance you have of being found.

How a Search Engine views your site

How is your site ranked?

Search engines read your site and decide, using algorithms, how well your site matches the search terms that were used. They want to ensure that their users have a good experience using their website. To do this, they rank a site well if a user gets content of value from the pages relating to what they are looking for.

So, why Should Your Business Care about SEO?

Your business should care about SEO because it helps your website to work smarter and harder for you. The more that you develop your site with SEO in mind the more you increase the chances of showing for the subjects that you want to. It ensures that your site is developed with both humans and search engines in mind. Many of the effective SEO practices are designed to improve a visitor’s experience of your website, as much as to rank you with search engines.

It’s important to remember that SEO is an ongoing process. It will evolve as your business and website do. The search engines are continuously adapting and refining their algorithms. This means that a proactive approach to SEO can save you valuable time and money in the long run. Think of it like housekeeping; it’s a lot easier to complete a few hours of cleaning each week to stay over the housework than it is if you didn’t do any cleaning for a whole year and then tried to get on top of it all.

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