What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is a website marketing technology focussed on improving a websites’ visibility in un-paid (commonly known as organic) search engine results. SEO covers both the technical and artistic elements needed to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness of your website within the various search engines. There are many ways that SEO works in relation to your website - from the words on the page, images on the site and even to the number and variety of inbound and outbound links related to your site.
Simply put it can be just a matter of ensuring that a website is structured correctly and contains all the necessary attributes (think point scoring ) that the search engines use in the complex algorithms they use to rank websites.
It is certainly a complex beast — from using the terms and phrases (keywords) that generate traffic, to making your site friendly to search engines, to building links and marketing your site. If you are confused about this stuff, you are not alone. Many people consider this to be a black art and all smoke and mirrors, but others swear by the results. In any case there are frequent changes in the formulas used by the search engines and SEO can sometimes be like painting the Forth Bridge.
Why does your website need SEO?
Most of the internet search queries are handled by the major commercial search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Google has an 85% market share! Although social media and other types of traffic can generate hits for your website, search engines are the primary method for internet users to navigate their way around the web,
Search engines are unique in that they provide targeted traffic—people looking for what you offer. Search engines are the things that make this happen. If search engines can’t find your site, or add your content to their databases, you can miss out.
Search terms—the words that users type into the search box — carry extraordinary value. Experience has shown that search engine traffic can make (or break) an organisation's success. Targeted traffic to a website can provide publicity, revenue, and exposure better, faster and cheaper than any other form of marketing. Investing in SEO can have a great rate of return if done correctly.
Why can't the search engines find my site without SEO?
Search engines are clever, but we need to leave some data to collect and breadcrumbs for them follow. The major engines are always working to improve their technology to crawl the web more intensively and return better search results. Get it right and you can get good exposure - get it wrong and you could be left lost in the shadows or down on page 35 of the search results (does anyone go down as far as page 35?)
In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO also helps boost rankings so that content will be placed where searchers will more readily find it. The Internet is becoming increasingly competitive, and those companies who perform SEO will show a better return on investment from increased site visitors and customers.
Can you do SEO on your own website?
The world of SEO is complex, but most people can easily understand the basics. Even a small amount of knowledge can make a big difference. Free SEO tutorials are widely available on the web. Combine this with a little practice and you could well be on your way to becoming a guru. But have you got the time to do this when you are running your business all day?
If you don’t have the time, or willingness to learn, you may decide you need an expert to handle things for you. That’s where I come in of course - I can do it for you!