Anyone that uses a website for business purposes should have at least some basic knowledge of what SEO (search engine optimisation) is, how it works and how it can benefit you and your business. By using SEO to your advantage, you can outperform your competitors when it comes to search visibility and using your website to generate revenue.
What is SEO?
Simply put, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a process that you can use to ensure that your website will appear as close as possible to the top of search results for terms that describe something that your business does. For example, if your run a pet shop in North Brisbane, you would want your website to rank high in search results for terms such as “pet shop”, “pet shop near me”, “dog food” and so on.
There are a variety of techniques and methods that you can use to help make your website appear closer to top search results for your desired keywords.
Some businesses choose to do their SEO in house, meaning that the owner or an internal employee will perform tasks that help the business website be featured more prominently in search results. Others will employ an external firm or individual to do the work for them.
Why is SEO Important for Me?
The simple answer is: because it can help you make more money. A website that appears close to the top of search results will receive a lot more visitors than a site that is buried on the 10th page. More visitors means that more people will see what your business is offering and they may become your customers.
Also, remember that traffic that comes to your website from search engine results is free. Unlike other methods of advertising, such as buying pay-per-click ads or renting out banner ad space on other websites, SEO can help you bring more visitors to your site, for free.
Longevity is also a consideration when deciding where to invest your marketing dollar. Results gained through organic search (SEO) can be long-lasting. As opposed to paid traffic that stops the second you turn off your campaign.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use other ways to advertise your site online. In fact, many other online marketing methods such as social media, business directories and video marketing can work hand in hand with SEO.
On-Page vs Off-Page SEO: What is the Difference?
If you want to do SEO right, you need to be concerned with both on-page and off-page factors. On-page refers to elements on your own website that you can change to make it more appealing to search engines. This includes publishing fresh, unique, highly relevant and well written content, as well as improving the “mechanics” of your site by ensuring that it loads fast, is compatible with all web browsers and is mobile friendly.
On-Page Factors Include
- Keyword targeted quality content
- Unique title and meta description tags
- Keyword friendly URL
- Image alt text
- Page speed
- Mobile friendly
- Accessible by crawlers/bots
- Rich Snippets
The list may look daunting… but SEO is not rocket science and these tactics are easy to learn, decipher and implement throughout your website.
Off-page SEO primarily refers to ensuring that your website has many high quality and relevant links that point to it from other sites. Websites that are linked to many places on the Internet tend to receive a better position in search results. There are many ways to build links, such as submitting guest blog posts, opening social media accounts for your business, listing your business in industry directories, etc.
Off-Page Factors Include
- Backlinks including relevancy, quality, authority, dofollow vs nofollow, diversity of link types and link anchor text
- Social media effectiveness
Keeping Track of Your Progress
When it comes to SEO, you will want to know whether your work has paid off. For this reason, you should keep track of certain metrics, such as the position of your site in search results for specific keywords, the amount of clicks you get on different search engines for various keywords, how your overall number of search engine visitors has increased and more. This will allow you to see which of your efforts have been successful and what areas of SEO you would still need to improve upon.