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January 18, 2018

SEO – What is it and why do you need it for your website?

In a nutshell

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is effectively a way of improving your site's visibility within Google (or any search engine for that matter), increasing the number of visitors your site receives.

Sound simple? In fact, it is and has always been a very difficult process for businesses to achieve (not only on account of Google updating their algorithm between 500 – 600 times a year). Before we go any further, you’ll notice that I regularly refer to Google as opposed to other search engines out there, this is because more than 63% of searches are performed within Google (1a), making it by far, the most dominant and popular search engine of today.

Let’s look at an example - I typed in “free website and marketing review” in Google, these are the results that appeared:

These listings are what we refer to as organic search results (so they are not paid ads):

“Ranking highly for organic search results is crucial; between 70% and 80% of users completely ignore paid advertisements”. (2a)

Clearly, organic search results are still an essential part of your website being visible to potential clients searching for the services you offer. You may have a visually stunning website, but this alone does not generate leads – the website needs to be found by users first. Around 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, highlighting the need to rank as high as possible. (3a)

So, how do you go about improving your sites visibility within Google? There are many factors that go into this, I’ve highlighted just some of the key areas below:

  • Keyword optimisation – Identifying keywords potential clients would be typing into Google when looking for the services you offer. (For example, clients looking for our services may type in “web design Eastbourne”). Including these keywords, along with synonyms of the keywords, within your content, meta titles, descriptions and URL is a ranking factor.
  • Website usability – Ensuring your website is user friendly and easy to navigate.
  • Mobile friendly – A large number of searches are completed on mobiles – so much so that Google is introducing a mobile first index. So, it is essential your site is optimised for mobile and tablet devices.
  • Content – Great and unique content encourages links to your site and shows Google and other search engines your pages are interesting and authoritative.   
  • Page load speed – The faster your page loads the better – users will not wait, and Google knows this.
  • Link building – Linking to, and getting others to link back to your site is essential. Links to your site from ‘authoritative’ sites is proven to enhance your rankings within Google.
  • Technical factors and security – There are many technical factors that play a role in your site rankings. Make sure your website is using HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure), this is the secure version of HTTP (the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to). Google will favour HTTPS websites.

The list goes on, making it clear the level of detail that can go into optimising your website. Ultimately, SEO is a way of promoting your business online, generating new leads, increasing revenue and providing exposure of your business and the services you offer. It is a detailed process but if done right the rewards are incredible.

Take a look at the SEO services we offer HERE

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