Now, perhaps more than ever, SEO is one of the most important marketing channels businesses can harness to drive traffic, and growth. Do you know how to make it work for you?
There’s a lot to know about SEO, and this blog is a great place to start. Read on as we tackle your most pressing questions. What is SEO? Why is SEO important? How does it work? And crucially, we’ll teach you how to get your business on Google, with insights from our Setup for Lifetime Value podcast episode ‘Why is SEO important’. We’ve got you covered.
What is SEO?
Let’s start with the very basics. So, what is SEO? SEO is ‘search engine optimisation’, which is the process of enhancing a website to boost its online visibility on search engines like Google.
SEO is like a fight for attention with other businesses within your niche. If you win that fight, your company will appear above your competitors when people search for something related to your business.
The ultimate goal of SEO is to get your business appearing at the top of the first page of Google for your selected search terms, like “online flower delivery” or “London design agency”. To do this, an SEO specialist or SEO agency will optimise your site in a way that caters to the search engine’s algorithm.
Why is SEO important?
If you’re new to the world of SEO, you might be wondering what the point of it all is, and why is SEO important anyway?
SEO is important because without it, most people won’t know you exist. SEO puts your website - your business - in front of customers that are searching for the products and services that you offer. It drives relevant traffic to your site, and as your online traffic increases, so do your opportunities to convert visitors into customers.
You can think of SEO as a type of digital PR. Having good SEO builds long-term equity on search engines which helps to elevate your brand’s profile.
How does SEO work?
SEO can be a complicated beast, so asking how it works is a really big question. Essentially, the process of SEO works by optimising various elements of a website to deliver trust and authority to search engine crawlers, and to customers. There are a lot of different things involved in this process. A simple way to demonstrate them is through an example.
Let’s say there’s two websites that sell a very similar product. One provides a bad user experience. It’s slow to load, it doesn’t have much content on it, its pages are unstructured and its navigation is difficult to use. The other site loads quickly, is filled with interesting content that is rich in relevant keywords, and is structured in a way that’s easy to understand. Which site do you think is going to do better?
The job of search engine crawlers is to find websites that are relevant to a user’s search and provide a great user experience. SEO works by optimising websites so those crawlers will find them and rank them highly on search engines.
What is the algorithm in SEO?
If you’re delving into the exciting yet complicated world of SEO, you might have already come across the ‘algorithm’. But what is the ‘algorithm’ in SEO? The simple answer: in SEO, it’s everything.
The algorithm is what dictates the work SEO specialists do. It’s a very complex internal process that search engines use to decide which content to present in the SERP (search engine results page).
The algorithm is based on numerous ranking factors, such as the density of relevant keywords on the site page, bounce rates, page load speeds and much more. These factors allow Google and other search engines to find, rank and display the most relevant pages for a search query.
The algorithm is constantly changing. In 2020, Google changed their algorithm approximately 4500 times, which works out as about 12 changes per day. Most of those changes are minor, but it’s an SEO’s job to keep on top of them to ensure the website’s they manage are able to maintain their top spot in the SERP.
How to get your business on Google
So, you’ve got an understanding of what SEO is all about, and why SEO is important. Next, you’re probably going to want to know how to put it all into practice and how to get your business on Google. What steps do you need to take? Where do you start?
We could write pages and pages on exactly how to get your business on Google, but let’s start with the basics. The first thing to consider when getting started is remembering to EAT.
In SEO, EAT stands for the 3 essential things you should be projecting across your website in order to rank on search engines: expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Demonstrating good EAT will make search engine crawlers more likely to rank your site and deliver more relevant traffic to your site.
And now for some steps for SEO success, as informed by our SEO specialist Peter Lee.
1. Work smarter, not harder
Be stringent when it comes to your keyword research and content strategy. Keyword research can be overwhelming, so don’t be too broad with it. Exclude keywords that aren’t directly relevant to your business, and identify low hanging fruit - keywords with high traffic but low competition. Create useful and unique content around these topics to drive relevant traffic to your site.
2. Keep an eye on your competitors
Take a look at your competitors - the ones who are at the top of the results page. Identify what they’re doing well, what they’re not doing well, and where gaps in the market might be. This could include finding keywords relevant to your business that aren’t being targeted by your competitors. These are the keywords that can be leveraged to send you shooting to the top of Google.
3. Create value
For Pete, this is the absolute most important advice to follow when you’re learning how to get your business on Google. Creating valuable, interesting and relevant content is what helps ensure you are somebody’s last click, meaning they’re not visiting your site in search of answers but having to go elsewhere to find them.
To achieve SEO success, you want to be an authority. Putting your focus on being the ‘last click’ will help you get there.
4. Link between areas of relevance in your site
Adding links from one blog post to another, or from one service page to another, helps crawl bots and users find other relevant content. Ideally, you’ll want to link internally to your own content, but don’t be afraid to link out to other websites if you believe it will provide value to the visitor.
5. Fix your page speed
Page speed has been a significant ranking factor on Google since 2020. It’s all about user experience. If your site isn’t easy to use, people are less likely to use it, meaning your rankings will suffer. Speed up your side to avoid this.
This blog post features insights from “Why is SEO important?”, an episode from our Setup for Lifetime Value podcast series featuring SEO Specialist at Underwaterpistol, Peter Lee. You can watch the full episode here.
Everything you need to know about SEO
There are so many different things you can do to increase your chances of getting found on Google. These tips are just the beginning.
To find out more, download our free SEO ebook. Whether you’ve already delved into the world of SEO, or if you’re totally new to it, our comprehensive ebook will arm you with the tools you need to adopt and implement an SEO strategy that will get you noticed.