What exactly is it? SEO is simply the process of setting up and optimising your site so that it’s easily found (and favored) by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Most people, today, aren’t going to pick up a phone book when they need something. Instead, they’ll go online to search for it. If your business isn’t showing up in search results, you’re almost certainly losing valuable business to your competitors that do. Furthermore, people that find your website via organic search tend to be highly targeted, making them more likely to convert to customers.
Most businesses understand they should have a website, but simply having a website is only the first step. Building an effective website that will provide a strong, consistent flow of leads or sales requires marketing. For the purpose of online marketing, the phrase “if you build it, they will come” does not apply. Building a website without marketing it is akin to building a brick-and-mortar store in the middle of the Sahara desert. There are no roads that lead to it, no traffic driving by and seeing it. Even people who need your products or services can’t buy from you because they’ll never know about you.
That’s where SEO comes in. SEO is like transplanting your brick-and-mortar store from the Sahara desert to Lincoln high street!
SEO makes your website visible to potential customers so that you can make sales.
Take a moment to think about what someone might search for when looking for your business. If you’re a bed shop that specialises in waterbeds, possibilities could include:
• bed shop
• bed shop with waterbeds
• Lincoln bed shop that specialises in waterbeds
Now, search Google for those terms. Does your business show up? If not, SEO is how you get there. Think about it… if you have a website and it’s not showing up in search results, it’s just the same as having customers drive right by your business while looking for what you offer, and not even know you’re there.
Just as building a beautiful store front isn’t the only factor that will result in sales, online marketing isn’t as simple as building a beautiful website. Sure, having a well-designed site is important. If visitors to your website don’t feel comfortable and get frustrated trying to find what they need (due to a poor navigation structure) or any number of other factors that drive visitors away, then you probably won’t make the sale. Let’s explore the other factors that affect your search engine rankings: on-site and off-site SEO.
In order for your website to be effective from an SEO perspective, both on-site and off-site SEO factors have to be included in your strategy.
SEO has changed dramatically over the last few months let alone years.
We will explore in more detail other elements which can influence site traffic and SEO in future blogs over the next few weeks.