Looking to get your business found in the online space? You’ll probably want to look into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
We recognize that SEO is a crucial part of gaining traction and building brand interest and credibility nowadays, as many people learn about new products and services from the information they view online. By using SEO, your business’ web pages can rank higher on search results pages, which can make your website more visible to potential customers.
In this article, we’ll share some more information about what exactly SEO is and how it works. We’ll also give you some of our best tips from experience on how to start using SEO to grow your business and gain new customers.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of improving your website in different ways to make it more visible on search engines like Google.
SEO strategies may involve using specific keywords, links, and page structure to make it more relevant to user search queries. Making your content more relevant and user-friendly appeals to search engines, increasing your likelihood of ranking high on the search engine results pages (SERP) for certain searches.
Some common SEO tactics include:
- Keyword research – when you find and analyze terms that people use to search for info related to a particular topic or product. With the use of the right professional tools, it is possible to find keywords, aka search terms, that a lot of people click on that also have relatively low competition. These are keywords that you should focus on, as they’re likely to bring the most returns.
- Technical SEO – making sure your website is fast, reliable, and secure for all its users. This may also involve adding features and code snippets that help highlight certain parts of your page according to Google guidelines.
- Internal SEO – providing the best possible content on individual pages that are optimized to rank higher and get more traffic from search engine clicks. This content can consist of copywriting, images, videos, and tools that best address visitors’ needs and search intent.
- External SEO – the practice of acquiring backlinks from other websites to your own. A crucial aspect of external SEO, aka off-page optimization, as search engines use links to determine the popularity, credibility, and authority of a website.
As a paramount aspect of digital marketing, SEO helps businesses attract more visitors to their websites, which in turn generates leads and increases sales.
Let’s say that an outdoor clothing company wants to increase visitors to their site. The majority of their customers are outdoor enthusiasts, such as hikers and campers, searching for clothing related to outdoor activities.
To make their site more SEO-friendly, they work with an SEO agency to incorporate more keywords into their content that their potential customers may use. One of these keywords may be “best hiking shoes,” and they can incorporate this by writing an article with this title. This is an example of internal SEO.
They can also reach out to other similar websites, such as camping blogs, to see if they would be interested in linking back to content on their website. This will give them more rank authority, and is an example of external SEO.
How SEO Works and How Search Engines Rank Sites
Search engines use complex algorithms to rank every website on the internet based on a variety of factors. While the exact ranking factors used by each search engine are not stated publicly, there are some key factors that are generally believed to impact search engine rankings:
- Relevance – how well a website’s content matches up with the user’s search query.
- Intent – the purpose of a user’s online search, and how well the content lines up with that intent.
- Authority – determined by the number and quality of external links pointing to the site, as well as other information Google knows about the site’s author.
- User experience – how easy it is for each user to interact with a website.
- On-page optimization – the organization, structure, and keywords on a web page.
- Page load speed – how quickly a web page loads, as this impacts user experience.
- Social signals – how much a website is shared or mentioned on social media platforms.
Search engines use a combination of these factors and related signals on a website to rank it accordingly in their search results.
For example, that outdoor clothing website will need to use keywords that are relevant to the search intent of their potential customers. If they want the “best running shorts” they will need to incorporate this into their copy.
Once a potential customer is on the site, they will also want to research and purchase this item efficiently. Pages that load extremely slowly may cause frustration or raise red flags for users, hurting their chances of finalising a sale.
If they have a good user experience, they may then share the website on their social media, further boosting the clothing website in the eyes of search engine algorithms.
Benefits of SEO
There are many reasons why your business should use SEO strategies to gain new customers.
Increases Organic Traffic
For one, your business’ website will start to see more organic traffic. Greater visibility through search results can increase the number of users (aka, your potential customers) who see and click on your site.
Every click is just one more opportunity for your business to earn a new customer and make a sale!
Establishes Online Trust and Credibility
SEO also helps your business establish online trust and credibility in the eyes of both Google and users by improving user experience on your website.
Users are more likely to trust sites ranking at the top of the SERP than those several pages down. If your site ranks high, users will assume it’s high for a reason – you’re trustworthy.
Rather than only focusing on keywords, SEO focuses on user experience and ensuring users will find your site useful. The more genuine and helpful your site is, the more credibility you’ll earn in the eyes of both Google and your potential customers.
Makes Your Site User-Friendly
SEO isn’t just about finding and using the right keywords in your web copy – SEO also involves making websites faster and more mobile and user-friendly.
You’ve probably visited websites on your phone that didn’t work well through your mobile browser. Odds are, you probably didn’t stay on that site very long.
Websites that are easy to navigate and read often find that visitors will browse them longer, which increases your chances of making a sale.
Cost-Effective Compared to Other Marketing
The final reason why SEO is so great is that it’s cost-effective compared to many other paid marketing strategies. Marketing campaigns like paid advertisements, can cost lots of money and quickly eat into your budget.
SEO requires a higher up-front financial investment, but earns greater results in the long-term. Even after you stop paying for SEO services, your already-optimised content will continue to help give your business visibility online.
Unlike short-term advertising or SEM campaigns, you don’t have to worry about a complete stop in customer inquiries when you pause your advertising spend.
Between long-term affordability and effectiveness, we see SEO as one of the most foundational approaches to marketing your business.
Why SEO is Important for Businesses
As mentioned previously, SEO helps search engines understand how relevant, trustworthy, and user-friendly a website is. If users like these points on your website more than the competition, that can earn you some more enquiries.
Websites that aren’t optimised for search engines aren’t easily found by potential customers using search engines. This low traffic can hinder your business and result in less growth than a business that uses SEO tactics to get more online visibility.
The more people that are able to see your website and products, the better chances you have of growing your business!
Take that outdoor clothing company for example. Without SEO, their website likely wouldn’t come up very easily when potential customers search terms like “rain coats” or “best boots for hunting.”
Any competition that does use these terms, and then optimises their site on top of that, will reach these customers first before the clothing company even has a chance to be seen.
Plus, learning more about your customers through SEO can help you optimise your other business strategies, including new products. If that clothing company or their SEO agency discover that lots of users are searching for “rain boots,” they may be inspired to come out with their own pair to attract customers and make sales.
However, you should also keep in mind that SEO is continual, not just a one-time solution. As search engines update their algorithms, businesses need to adjust their SEO strategies to maintain their ranking and stay ahead of their competitors.
By continuing to use SEO to rank above your competitors, you continue to get first dibs on customers looking for products like yours.
Start with an SEO Audit
Start off with an SEO audit to figure out where you’re at currently.
An SEO audit will take a full assessment of your website and all its web pages to determine its current performance online. It will take a look at many of the search engine algorithm factors above, such as site structure, backlinks, user experience, and on-page optimization to see how well your website is doing.
While it can be daunting to receive news that your website isn’t performing well, an audit can help identify why that is, so you can more effectively find a solution.
There are likely many optimization opportunities that you may have previously overlooked that can greatly improve your website’s visibility once you implement them. Whether you need more targeted keyword research or internal linking, an SEO audit can help you figure out what you can do next to improve your site and gain new customers.
SEO strategies can be extremely complex, but they can make a great difference to a growing business. After all, SEO determines whether people will be able to find your amazing products and services after searching online! Understanding how SEO works and implementing some of the best practices will undoubtedly benefit your business.
If you’re looking for an SEO expert to help you out, we encourage you to find a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO to take a look at your business needs. With just a few strategies, you’ll be able to start bringing in new customers like never before. If you’d like to hear more or would like to engage us, Big Wall Consultancy, to help you with your SEO, please contact us.