What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the manner of tweaking a website’s visibility so that it ranks higher in a search engine’s results.
Why Should A Website Rank Higher Than Other Sites?
A query, when entered in a search engine, will provide a list of results containing the response to the said query. Users on the other hand will tend to click the first few results – those at the top of the list – as they think these results are the most relevant to their search. Research shows that the number one result in Google will get on average over 30% of the clicks to that page.
So in reality, the first site you see isn’t necessarily the one that will have the best response to what you’re looking for – it’s just its the site that’s optimized well.
SEO helps you place your website strategically – the site will be located in the most critical areas; it will be placed in areas where it’s mostly needed. It also aims to make your website easy to use by both the users and the system – search engines don’t easily understand certain web pages, hence it relies on SEO to figure out what each site is about.
Best Practices For SEO
Want your website to rank well and stand out in the results list? Take note of these components – using them in your strategies will help you get the best results for SEO.
Keywords are those words or phrases that you use throughout your content that enables the searchers to locate your site in search engines. Having the right keyword research is one of the most important tasks – if not the most – for your campaign, for search engine optimization.
It’s extremely vital to understand which keywords you will use to make your website rank higher. The keywords will be the key in driving traffic to your sites, and can make or break your ranking in search engine results.
Once the keywords are chosen, ensure that the users will see information about these topics. If keywords are too competitive, use long-tail keywords instead (i.e. those with two to five words) so it’ll be easier to rank. Longer keywords mean less competition for those phrases in search engines.
A common question I get asked is how can I rank for X. Now X may be the most competitive keyword in your market so it will be highly competitive and will take serious investment of both time and money to get your website to feature in the results and make the ROI work. If you look at this in a different way you will still get the same results but without the major expense.
Lets look at the following example to see how you can still get results without fighting battles with the big guys.
Keyword X has 10,000 searches a month Globally, its a very competitive market and has some of the biggest companies featuring in the results. These companies may spend hundreds of thousands of Euro’s on SEO to get these results because they know the value it brings to their business if they are number one. To go after this keyword phrase will take time and potentially a lot of money.
Now lets look at an alternative. Keywords X1,X2,X3,X4,X5 each net about 2000 searches a month globally and are far less competitive. There are some very small niche style websites in the results and we know straight away that we can get you ranking with only a percentage of the work required compared to the 10,000 a month keywords.
The end result is you still get the same amount of traffic to your website from people all looking for the same thing – they are just looking for it in a different way. This example alone is why keyword research is so important to your business. Far more than you might ever think. Without the right keyword strategy you are going to fail.
With years of Data and Analytics knowledge backing our team we can find these high value low competition keywords for you. By building a web content strategy around these keywords you are going to get your information in front of the right people every time.
You’ve always heard that ‘content is king’. This is also critical to the success of any SEO strategy. Search engines somehow understand when your site has great and reputable content. Keywords scattered all over won’t help if your content isn’t good. What you need to do instead is create content that’s not too complicated, brief, appealing and valuable.
Having good quality content on your webpages won’t only help you rank higher but also create positive experiences for your readers. Content comes in different shapes and forms; ensure that your content helps educate your customers. By doing so, you’ll become an authority which in turn will lead to more traffic coming to your site.
Another thing to consider is this. If you provide relevant and valuable content to your readers they are more inclined to come back to your website again, share your content via one of the Social Media channels which will result in more visitors to your website or because you have provided value you have a much greater chance of converting them into a customer where you have the ability to generate long term and repeatable sales.
BLOGGING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is present in SEO as well. Most content websites today are community-oriented, hence it’s best to create a well-known presence in social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Consistent blogging on the other hand is a good way to produce optimized content. Producing fresh content from time to time will make you relevant in Google’s eyes. You can share your posts to social networking sites, and being active in social media will send signals to search engines that such sites have both influence and authority.
You should not underestimate the power that Social Media can have on your business. 80% of buying decisions today start with a web search, a customer getting a referral from a friend on social media for a product or service does most of the work for you. The customer in this instance is getting validation from a friend that you product or service is good and therefore will be more inclined to avail of your services in the future. Free marketing at its best.
Backlinks are hyperlinks that connect a web page to your own site. Google will come up with your page rank in relation to the quantity and quality of these backlinks. But of course, quality still favours quantity.
Create the best possible site, so that people will talk about it, and will share your content as well as put links that lead to your site. Have newsworthy content and graphics that influence bloggers. By doing so, more backlinks will be produced.
A word of warning about backlinks though – do not under any circumstances go out and buy them for your website and make sure whatever SEO you decide to use does not participate in this practice either. A recent update almost annihilated a lot of online businesses because they were using this strategy to rank their websites. More on this later…
MOBILE, METATAGS AND IMAGES
Other minor components also play a part in SEO.
Metatags play an important role in optimizing search engines. Entering a keyword in a search engine will provide results and indicate how the keyword is reflected on the page. Search engines such as Google will look at the title and see its relevance on the said keyword.
If you think images aren’t too useful, then think again. Some consumers look not only in the site’s content, but also in the images inside them. Quality images that contain relevant keywords will also help your site rank well in the results’ page. Just look at the success of any of the newer style news websites. Its all about images supported by some text. By using images you are giving your users that ability to share interesting stories with their friends on Facebook or associates and business colleagues on LinkedIn or Twitter. Sometimes it only takes one picture to get a website noticed because it has gone viral. I have experienced this in the past on another website where a single post attracted over 20,000 hits in a single day. Image if this was your website…
Mobile optimization is also a big factor, as Google states certain sites might be penalised if it’s not too mobile friendly, hence will have lower page rank.
WHY USE SEO?
It’s undeniable that SEO is one of the most best marketing strategies available to you today. If you’re not too convinced, then here are some reasons why SEO is the best path for you:
Increased Traffic. Once SEO efforts are initiated, you’ll see a significant increase in traffic. The more clicks you get, the more exposure you have, and the higher potential you have to convert visitors into sales.
MORE BRAND AWARENESS.
How can you be the best if nobody’s heard of you yet? You might be well known to some in your direct vertical , but you still have to work hard in getting your name out into the market to those outside of this vertical or direct market regardless, even if you are not immediately going to convert these new prospects into customers. Using SEO as a tool to expand your horizons and play in different markets will benefit you in the long run as you build yourself up keep increasing brand awareness
BETTER RETURN ON INVESTMENT.
No other marketing strategy can match the conversion rate that SEO can bring. What search engines like Google do is match people with a specific need – based on their search engine request – up with the websites of those companies that provide a service or product that closely matches the customer request. Once you see this in action you will realise that there is a whole other market out there that you need to focus on. Think about this, you are getting people directly to your business website based on a request for help or information on a product or service that you provide. All you have to do is capture this user information and then convert it into a lead and finally to a sale.
YOU’LL STAND OUT FROM THE REST.
By doing SEO, you’ll stand out. You’ll be noticed immediately. Amongst the millions of sites on the Internet, you’ll be the one clicked first. By gaining that most coveted top spot in the results page, you’ll have a real advantage.
There are a lot of perks in doing search engine optimization. It might feel like a strange new world at first, but rest assured that with SEO, the rewards will be worth the risk you take. It has been proven effective, so take that first step and enjoy the benefits that SEO can bring.
At yourweb we provide world class SEO services to companies all over the globe. Using only proven, safe and reliable techniques we help customers such as you get their business in front of the right people when it counts so they in turn can convert these new prospects into paying and long term customers.
HOW LONG DOES SEO TAKE TO WORK.
This is a common question and one with no single answer. The Search Engine algorithms are very complex and at this stage understand enough about any particular website to know whether it should feature in the results or not. How you go about getting your website to feature is based on all of the points we have covered earlier in this post.
QUICK RESULTS WITH SEO
It is not uncommon to get some quick wins when you roll out a functional and quality SEO strategy. You may be selling a product or service that is bespoke in your area and therefore will be filling a void in the search results so may rank quickly for these terms. One of our SEO’s ranked a legal firm on the first page of Google after two weeks for their primary service they offer out to clients.
This obviously resulted in a happy client and one very happy SEO guy. We found a gap in the search results and targeted it with some very specific content and that was it.
LONG TERM SEO STRATEGY
If you are in a very competitive market then SEO can take considerably longer to give you the results you need to get your business ranked well in the search results. This is where a lot of companies back away from the conversation. They have all seen the emails, websites and promises to get your site ranking at number one guaranteed. Thats the thing there is no guarantees – ever. You are playing against the might of Google and the rest of the search engines and its their rules we have to abide by.
Yes you can rank a website in the first position but we will only use proven and safe methods of doing so. Just a few weeks ago there was an update in the algorithms that knocked out thousands of websites across the globe. These sites were part of a series of Private Blog Networks that some SEO’s were using to rank customer websites. The knock on effect was that it also impacted customer websites when it went down.
Some websites have been de-indexed altogether – not something you want for your business.
To get the benefits of SEO for your business you need to invest in the right strategy. This strategy, depending on the competition may take some time to show you a return on investment, but done properly will deliver consistent results over a much longer period of time. Also because the ranking factors of the search engines change so frequently you will need to factor in updates and tweaking to keep ahead of the competition.
A sound SEO strategy is a long term investment so make sure you invest wisely. At yourweb we only use proven SEO strategies to help you business get more exposure in the search results that will stand the test of time and perform as expected