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What is SEO?
If you are new to digital marketing, you could be forgiven for believing that the world of Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is a mysterious and confusing place, writes Chris Harrison, Content Marketing Executive at Bespoke 4 Business.
Google rankings, keywords, alt tags, backlinking, meta titles and descriptions - even this short list of words and phrases will probably mean less and less to you the more you read it. While it is true that there are a lot of rules regarding the best practice methods for SEO, many of which may seem strangely hidden and unclear to the untrained eye, understanding the basic principles of SEO is not as complicated as it would appear.
Learn these skills and you can begin to increase not just the amount of traffic entering your website, but the quality of it too - professional and continual SEO serves up a steady stream of customers that are interested in your specific products and are ready to spend their money.
So what does SEO actually mean?
Search Engine Optimisation works almost exactly as it sounds - it is the process of optimising a website and its content to ensure it appears as high as possible on search engine results pages or SERPs. In doing this, your site content becomes easier for search engines like Google and Bing to ‘index’ - this means they can understand the key products and services you are offering and therefore serve them up to the appropriate users who are searching for that information.
Think of it as website housekeeping if you will - in hoovering the floor, keeping things clean and tidying clutter away, you offer up a more welcoming environment for Google to enter into. A site optimised by SEO will almost always move ahead of a disorganised competitor and ultimately attract more traffic.
Why should a business invest in SEO?
When a business has a website that is structured, organised and optimised thanks to SEO, potential customers will be more likely to find it when they tap their search into Google. The search engines will recognise your hard work and push your website further up the SERPs, potentially ahead of your nearest rivals and towards the higher reaches of Google’s results.
Not only that, Search Engine Optimisation increases brand awareness and establishes credibility - something that few other marketing techniques can provide. This makes investment in SEO a wise choice when compared to short term fixes like PPC - something that can be incredibly appealing at first, but usually end up being very expensive and offering little ROI. Given time, you will reap the rewards of investing in SEO as your rankings improve and more customers locate you through Google searches.
It’s important to remember that SEO takes time to have an effect, as Google doesn’t have the capacity to index every website every minute of every day - it can be weeks or even months before positive results can be seen. Despite this, SEO should be considered an excellent investment opportunity for any business that wants to attract more quality customers and ultimately grow their online presence.
In reality, there are thousands of businesses in the UK that do not participate in SEO and are therefore failing to manage their website effectively in the eyes of the search engines. The bottom line is that these businesses will be losing traffic and sales as time goes on, most likely to their direct competitors who are investing in SEO.
If you are serious about your business succeeding online, SEO should be considered a key cornerstone of any marketing strategy you undertake.
It is never too late to start optimising a site, but every minute counts. If you would like more information regarding search engine optimisation, please contact Chris for an informal discussion on 01202 684400 or email him here
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