Understanding search engine optimisation (SEO) can be confusing, but it’s actually not as complicated as many believe it to be. As a successful method to drive customers to your website, SEO is one of the most effective ways to increase your online presence, so embracing it is vitally important for all businesses.
SEO is basically a way to ensure your website is easily found in search engines. It’s the study of website content and website intelligence such as Google Analytics to look at your website’s usage, which pages are performing, and which ones are not.
All this information is then brought together to determine improvements that can be made to the website to increase its search-engine rankings.
“The benefit of effective SEO is increased visibility on search engines like Google that improves traffic to your website,” says Cairns SEO Shop Owner Adam Guerin. “The goal of all SEO is to get more conversions out of a website.”
Website content is still very much king, and today’s content includes words, videos, images and social media profiles. While having key search words included in your content can help, the best way to attract customers is to base your content around questions customers and potential clients may be asking or advice they might be seeking.
“Google had a major update in June, and what you’ll now notice is when you type a question into Google, you see what we call a featured snippet, like an answer box, and below that is a list of frequently asked questions,” says Adam. “The answers to those questions lead people to a website, so you really need to have answers to questions that people are typing into Google.”
Using technology to track the results of your SEO helps to identify how your customers find you. Products like Google Analytics can determine whether leads are coming through organic searches, answers to questions or if a customer clicks on the phone call button on your website. If a business has e-commerce, it can track from when a customer first searched until they purchased a product from you.
“Using technology is very transparent, which is what we like,” Adam says. “If you have a billboard, for example, you really have no idea how many people who see it phone your business, but with technology we can fill in all the gaps.”
Every business wants to be on the first page of a search engine, especially Google, but business owners have to keep up with how search engines operate.
“Google is constantly changing,” Adam says. “If you notice the way Google works now, it’s very dynamic and very specific to the user. If you and I were to type the same search into Google, we’d get totally different results, and that’s because Google knows a lot of different information about us.
“If you have an Android device (Android is owned by Google), it knows everywhere you’ve been, where you’re most likely to visit or least likely to visit, and it will change the advertisements and the organic results will be based on that.”
While business owners can do their own SEO, have an in-house staff member do it or call in the SEO experts, it is important to keep on top of your website content. Having FAQs as well as including a series of blogs that are well written and will show up in the Google feature snippets are a good idea. So, too, is making sure your website looks good on mobile phones and has the latest security software.
“The investment in SEO is definitely ongoing whether a business owner is paying a SEO expert or a staff member,” says Adam, whose SEO shop offers short, medium and long-term strategy as well SEO training. “It’s just like servicing your car. You can’t stop servicing it – you have to keep doing it to make sure it’s running smoothly and effectively.”