If you are new to the world of e-commerce, are a first time website owner or have found yourself in the position of managing a website without feeling fully qualified to do so then the idea of implementing and maintaining a Search Engine Optimisation strategy might seem a little daunting. In reality you have nothing to fear. You don’t need to be a qualified web developer to understand how SEO works. Once you have the basics you can decide whether it is a task you are willing to take on yourself or whether outsourcing your SEO is a better option.
There is so much information on the web about SEO that it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. There are endless tips, articles and videos available on DIY SEO. But before delving into the nuts and bolts of SEO it is important to understand the absolute basics. If you are an SEO newbie you may need to see the wood before you can even think about the trees!
If this is you then read on, because this SEO article is about the woods! Quite simply we have put together the 5 most frequent questions that people ask us when they first encounter Search Engine Optimisation.
1. Why is Search Engine Optimisation Important?
The answer to this question might seem pretty obvious, but it is important to distinguish SEO from other online marketing strategies.
Your business website is your greatest marketing asset. Think of it as the Mother Ship around which all your other digital marketing activities revolve. You want to drive as many new and existing customers to your website as possible to buy your products, book your service, sign up to your newsletter or simply find out more about you.
Search Engine Optimisation is all about increasing your website’s visibility in Search Engine Results. In a nutshell, this means ranking high on the Google results page when potential customers search for keywords relating to your products or services. These people are already qualified sales leads because they are searching for what you offer, so it is crucial that your business website is what they find! Effective SEO can help you beat out your competitors, heighten brand awareness and, most important of all, increase your revenue.
Sounds good right? Good Search Engine Optimisation really can make the difference between the success or failure of a business online. So the next question you are going to want to ask is……
2. How Does SEO Work?
There are a number of effective SEO techniques and SEO best practices required to boost your website’s position in Google Searches. The good news is that Google and other Search Engines like Bing and Yahoo give tips on how to perform better in their rankings. If you stick to this advice and avoid (like the plague) bad SEO strategies or ‘black hat SEO’ then you are going in the right direction.
The key to good SEO is keywords. These are the words and phrases that your potential customers type into a search engine when looking for the product or service you offer. You need to know and understand the patterns of keywords that your target market are using. You then want to optimise your website to contain these keywords so that the search engine finds your website when these terms are searched for. The words you think your customers use may not be the ones they actually input into Google so Keyword research is absolutely crucial!
There are lots of ways that the content of your website can be optimised to reflect the keywords being used by your customers. SEO Content Optimisation includes everything from the text that appears on your website to page titles and URLs, Images, meta descriptions and snippets.
It is important to be mindful of balance, however. It might seem like a good idea to jam your website with the top keywords your customers search for, but in reality Search Engines are super intelligent and should not be underestimated. Keyword stuffing is frowned on by Search Engines and can result in black marks against your website.
Aside from detection from Search Engines your customers will not appreciate unnatural content that is clearly written to optimise keywords and not to provide them with quality information. Content relevance and quality therefore needs to be balanced with Keyword SEO. There can be quite a knack to getting this right!
3. What is Link-Building?
Another effective SEO strategy for improving your quality rank on Google is link-building. Your website will appear more important to search engines if they see other QUALITY and established websites linking to you and you to them. This is the web or network effect – but it is crucial you only connect with quality websites.
4. How long does it take for SEO to work?
It is important to understand that SEO techniques are not one-time solutions. Search Engine Optimisation is an ongoing, organic process that needs regular monitoring and updating to respond to the evolving needs and behaviours of your potential customers.
Fresh content is a plus with Search Engines so developing a content strategy to stream new material such as a blog is really important.
The benefits of SEO do not happen overnight. It is contingent on organic growth and developing strong roots within the search engine. This needs to be built up overtime. For that reason SEO should not be your only online marketing strategy! If you need to make an immediate impact then consider Search Engine Marketing / Pay-Per-Click Advertising for short term web traffic solutions.
5. How much does SEO cost?
The good news is that Search Engine Optimisation costs nothing to implement other than time. There are free tools to help you research and monitor your website’s performance such as Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Analytics. If you have SEO know-how and are able to edit your business website in-house, then SEO actions can be implemented free of charge. The only real price you have to pay is Time.
And of course therein lies the catch, because time is money. Search Engine Optimisation takes hours to manage and requires experience and expertise to get right. If these resources aren’t available to you then consider outsourcing your Search Engine Optimisation to a professional SEO agency like CONKER.
If you value your time and want to get on with what your business is good at, then let CONKER get on with your SEO. It’s what we’re good at!
We hope you enjoyed this post and that it was useful to you. If you have any questions you would like to see answered here then drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .We are always happy to help and looking for ways to improve our content 🙂