What Is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the collection of actions taken in order to place specific websites at the top of the results displayed in search engines like Google. Google, and the other search engines, have complicated algorithms that determine the most relevant websites to display for each and every search term, in order to provide the best value for their users. These algorithms use small computer programs, called bots, to gather information about websites by ‘crawling’ over them. All of this data is then analyzed to decide the most important websites to display in the search results. Using SEO you can help Google understand the importance of your website and the products or services it has to offer.
Why Are SEO Services Essential For Your Business?
In the digital age that we live in, people no longer look in the yellow pages to find a service or look in a library to find information. Search engines have become an integral part of our day to day lives. All the knowledge in the world is literally at our fingertips. Whether it’s to find out how to make a cheese cake, who can fix the roof, or the location of the nearest dry cleaners, our first port of call is to ask Google. There is a steady stream of searches every day looking for the products or services your business can provide. If your business can’t be found easily online you are losing customers all the time, and what’s more, your competitors are reaping the benefit of all that traffic. The three elements to every successful business are a good product or service, traffic and a high conversion rate. You can have a great product and a convincing sales pitch but if nobody can find you, your business will fail.
What if you could tap into that stream of traffic? Imagine automatically generating leads every day just because your site is ranking high in Google. Being able to focus all of your company’s efforts on communicating with customers and improving your products or services will allow your business to grow.
Why Are Organic Rankings A Better Investment Than Paid Ads?
Paying an SEO consultant instead of buying paid ads, which put your website at the top instantly, may seem like a bad idea to some. However, people put a lot more trust in the websites that Google has ranked on page 1 than the websites that have simply bought an advert on page 1. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that paid ads only receive 15% of the traffic between all of them, whereas 40% of the traffic goes straight to the first organically ranked website. Paid ads get a lower click through rate and every visitor that they do get, they have to pay for, even if the visitor bought nothing. Hiring an SEO company to work on your site is expensive and it’s likely to take at least six months to rank your website but it is a vital investment for the long term success of your company and will dramatically increase the sales of your business.
How Does It Work?
In order to rank higher than your competitors for a specific search term, Google needs to see the search term in the right places on your website. Intelligent keyword placement is an important factor of search engine optimisation and it’s more important where they are put rather than how many times they appear. You can’t any longer just overload your site with the same keyword and expect to rank. In fact, if you do that now, Google is likely to view your site as ‘spammy’ and actually lower your site’s ranking.
Another important factor is what links are pointing to your site. These links are like signposts directing people to your store. Again it’s all about quality over quantity. You can have thousands of signposts all over the desert that would do nothing compared to a few well placed signposts in the city center. Getting links from powerful sites that have a huge amount of traffic is best but they also need to be relevant to your website. Putting a signpost in Tokyo for your store in Montreal is not going to help you attract more customers.
One final element that can rank your website higher is the sheer volume of traffic it receives. Google concludes that your site is providing great value if it’s generating a huge amount of traffic. So the more visitors that visit your site, the more authority and credibility your website will have in your niche, and the higher Google will rank your website due to the apparent importance of your site. Sometimes websites rank highly only because they have so many visitors.
Why Is It So Important To Work With An SEO Expert?
A lot of internet marketing or web design companies include ‘SEO’ in their packages with hardly any concrete knowledge on how to do it safely or effectively. Some view it almost like a plugin that can just be installed that will improve the ranking of your site automatically. This is far from the truth. Successful search engine optimization takes constant attention, requiring a depth of knowledge and careful consideration of all the factors involved in ranking a website. A garden, in order to achieve beauty, needs careful and patient cultivation over time by someone with the right knowledge. This is no different to your website. If you have someone, who does not specialize is SEO, try and rank your website, you risk very slow progress or even losing your website’s rankings.
An SEO specialist will research keywords and advise you on the keyword choices that will be the most beneficial to your business. Sometimes the more popular search terms will not bring you as much actual income as other terms, which are searched for less but have a higher conversion rate. This specialist will also analyze your competition, by delving deep into their websites, to see why they are ranking where they are and, therefore, how to easily rank your website higher than theirs. Keyword research and website analysis require many online tools and programs, some of which are not available to the general public. Most importantly, an expert stays informed of the upcoming changes to Google’s algorithms, ensuring that you stay ahead of the competition and in the prime position to scale your business.