SEO can be difficult to understand and to achieve. The term Search Engine Optimisation basically means reaching high search rankings via search engines. It’s your visibility online; when a potential customer searches (‘Googles’) a term relating to your business do they find you?
Before you begin the digital marketing process involved with optimising your website you need to be clear on two important pieces of information; what are you selling and who are you selling it to? These sound like very easy questions to answer but the second of the two can be the most difficult, ideally you want to sell to everyone! The answer to who is your target audience will become a key part of all marketing strategies and is particularly relevant to SEO.
‘Your website is your business card’ -Your website is most definitely NOT just a business card! Whether you have spent thousands of pounds or thousands of hours building the website then you are doing it and yourself an injustice by not utilising it properly. If your website does not have SEO capability then save yourself the time and money – spend it on very fancy business cards! Most reputable developers will design an SEO-compatible website but this is just a small piece of the puzzle and unless they’ve agreed to set up some of the SEO behind the website then there’s still much to do.
It can take some time to rank high in search terms but stay clear of those emails that promise to do this in a matter of days or weeks. A true organic high ranking can take months and, depending on the number of search terms (keywords), may take longer. There are also paid business ad tools (google adwords etc) but as a consumer would you trust a business that has paid to get to the top or one that has gotten there through reputation and high website traffic? There is nothing wrong with using adwords (or similar) but it works best along side the organic methods. It’s worth noting that Google is still the number one used search engine in the world with 1.2 billion users.
There are many organic methods you should be using to help achieve high rankings, a surprising one to many is: Social Media. Many of the platforms rank high in search terms depending on your activity and algorithms (whole new blog!). For example, Google owns YouTube so it’s no coincidence that if you use the video platform as part of your business or on your website then it will help with your rankings. However, this doesn’t mean that if you create an account for your business on YouTube then all your SEO dreams come true. if YouTube is not relevant to your business or you won’t have time to post regularly then that is not the platform for you.
Is SEO important? Yes, very. All paths of digital marketing should ultimately be leading to SEO. As stated earlier they are all pieces of the puzzle; social media, blogs, keywords, websites etc. All of these combined with a strong strategic marketing plan will in return give you higher rankings on search engines. First page ranking is the main aim but to get to the top 3.. even better.