Search engines such as Google and, well… mainly Google, dominate the internet. There is no escaping their prowess and virtually all of us use them every single day. Without Google, many of today’s most successful businesses would not exist. Google is more than just a search engine – it is an important business tool and you need to understand and use it properly.
Because of the role search engines like Google play in our lives, websites need to be created and filled with content in a way which makes them easier to be discovered by search engines. This is known as search engine optimisation (SEO) and it is something you cannot escape on today’s Web!
Optimising your website for search engines is something which you should (and can!) do –it is important because it enables your target market to find you easier, increasing your site traffic and conversions. With a good amount of research and some hard work, there is no reason why your website cannot be appearing at the top of search results. If you don’t optimise your site, then you will not be found by your customers… it’s that simple! There are some things which you can do straight away to optimise your site, but obtaining real results takes time and effort.
If you are not yet using the best SEO practices available, you will struggle to get your website found by new search engine traffic and thus have a lower conversion rate and sales volume.
If you have a new website, haven’t focussed on SEO or are looking to take your website to the next level, read on to find out how you can get your website noticed by the people who matter.
SEO is a process acknowledged as the only way to get your website to the top of search engine results and seen by your customers.
Getting to the Top
“Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors…”
SEO is a process acknowledged as the only way to get your website to the top of search engine results and seen by your customers.
It is important for you to know that you won’t get to the top overnight, though, and, as we are going to explore, it takes a good few months to start seeing real results from any SEO endeavours, however, with a good SEO strategy and quality content, you will start to see organic results a lot quicker.
If you are ready to put in the work to learn and understand just how important SEO is on the Web, you will appreciate why you should invest in a good SEO strategy and begin to pull in measurable results for your business.
How I Can Help
If you have had a new website made, done some SEO or are looking to improve your current SEO strategy, my team and I are here to help you with it. Whether you are just looking for a little guidance or want to outsource your SEO entirely, I am here to help you achieve the very best results.
I have put together lots of resources and guides which can teach you how to best optimise your website for search engines and drive up organic traffic. By reading my guides and looking at some of my other resources you will achieve the best results possible.
My name is Murray Dare. I have been working professionally in digital marketing for over a decade, and throughout this time I have helped thousands of people get their websites noticed and dramatically increase their organic traffic levels through smart and scalable search engine optimisation.
I have also worked with a number of businesses to help them design their websites, put together marketing campaigns and managed various other projects for major clients.
This page is an introduction to search engine optimisation and should serve to help you get your website off of the ground. I hope that it will help you build a successful SEO strategy and get you to the very top of search engine results.
If whilst reading this you would like a little help, guidance or have something clarified, feel free to reach out to me via email. I am here to help you achieve only the very best results from your SEO strategy and will reply to you as soon as I can.
For now, though, let’s go further into SEO.
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
SEO is a branch of marketing which focuses on growing organic visibility through optimising your website to appear highly in search engine rankings. SEO covers lots of different technical and creative aspects which all help to drive up site traffic.
People dedicate their careers to SEO and most companies now have a SEO department because SEO is so important to their business.
With that being said, anybody can start optimising their website for search engines.
The simpler aspects of SEO – such as your website’s written content – is something you can start focusing on right away, whereas more complex aspects such as technical SEO and backlinking require more knowledge.
Although SEO is very focussed around making your website better for search engines to read and use, it is also about making your website better for your visitors.
In the simplest possible terms, SEO is about increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website organically. Let’s look at each of these three elements in turn –
- Quality of traffic means the right people visiting your site. Having tons of traffic is useless if a very small proportion are interested in your product or service;
- Quantity of traffic means increasing the number of visitors to your site from search engine results pages; and
- Organically means traffic which has come through genuine search queries and not from paid advertising.
How Search Engines Work
The basic function of a search engine is to display relevant websites in response to a user-submitted search query. If somebody in Newcastle is looking for an electrician to do some work on their home, that person may type “Newcastle electricians” into Google. Google will then collate results and rank them in order of relevance.
What determines relevance? A website’s overall design, SEO and quality of content! Electricians in Newcastle who have the best quality websites with the best SEO strategy and the best content will rank higher than those who do not.
Search engines work in two ways: crawling & indexing; and providing a ranked list of results.
We are going to look at these two core functions independently and pick them apart –
Crawling & Indexing
Search engines use “crawlers” – robots using algorithms – to find links which lead to webpages. When the crawlers find a webpage, they scan the page’s code and store bits of it in databases which is retrieved later to display results for a search query.
Because this is a huge task which involves billions of pieces of data and thousands of pieces of information being processed every second, search engines demand that results from webpages are displayed straight away so as to satisfy the end-user.
This is why even a one or two second delay caused by your website can cause it to display far down the search results.
Providing a Ranked List of Results
In a matter of seconds, search engines return a list of results which are relevant to the search query and are ranked according to website popularity.
A relevant search result is one which a search engine’s algorithm deems to be popular and of a high-quality. Hundreds of individual factors and variables influence these algorithms, and this is what has turned SEO into a vastly complex and intricate tool. Once upon a time, search engines would just scan for keywords, however, these days have long since passed.
Why Does My Website Need SEO?
The majority of any website’s traffic comes through search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing, and they are the primary method for navigating the internet. It does not matter which industry you operate in, what service you provide or what product you sell, most potential clients or customers will be turning to these search engines to find what they need.
This is where you can easily lose out to your competitors who rank higher up in search engine results because they have got their SEO nailed down.
Search engines are very clever and direct targeted traffic – people looking for a specific product or service – to the most relevant sites based on their quality and content. If a search engine cannot easily find your site or does not deem it to be relevant, you will place much lower down the search results, or not appear at all.
This translates to you missing out on a lot of traffic and many potential customers. Given that basic-level SEO is very simple, there is absolutely no excuse for this and you can easily make some minor adjustments which will deliver real, measurable results.
Without SEO, search engines cannot find your website or its content and cannot index your pages as a result. Although search engines are pretty intelligent, they still need a little help, and this is where SEO practices come in.
It is for these reasons why you need to be looking into SEO and including it on your website. The right SEO strategy can dramatically increase your site’s traffic – we are talking thousands of new visitors – whereas not using SEO or doing it incorrectly can bury your website far, far down search engine results pages.
Benefits of SEO
The benefits associated with optimising your website for search engines are endless, but here are five ones which stand out above the rest –
Increased Organic Traffic
This is the overriding reason for carrying out SEO and it is the biggest benefit associated with it. Websites at the top of search engine results receive the lion’s share of web traffic, so ranking within the top five-or-so results on Google, Bing or any other search engine can result in a massive increase in organic traffic for your site.
Users tend to trust the websites which appear towards the top of search engine results – “if it’s good enough for Google, it’s good enough for me!” – whereas most people executing a search query will not venture past the second or third page.
Higher Return on Investment
SEO provides you with results which are trackable in real-time and can be quantified for further use in your business operations. SEO professionals and agencies have lots of clever tools which can track virtually every aspect of an SEO strategy – from keywords to backlinking – and be used to comprehensively analyse your SEO and whether it’s working.
Using results and metrics from SEO analytics, you can drill right down to the core of your SEO strategy and see the finer details of the traffic coming to your website (i.e. individual demographics and search queries used). Using this information, you can manipulate your business operations to better serve your target market and increase your profits, meaning SEO has the potential to massively return on your initial investment.
Better User Experience
You may remember that I mentioned how SEO is designed to make your site more appealing to both search engines and the end-user.
The goal of SEO is to improve your website by adding quality content, making it easy to navigate and work across all devices. These go hand-in-hand with the overall user experience which makes it much easier for traffic coming to your site to learn more about your product or service.
A huge part of SEO is re-structuring your website and tinkering with its architecture to make its individual pages easier to find, navigate and use. This does not only make it easier for search engines to find, but it also improves the overall user experience for traffic which comes across your site; a website with a better user experience is much more likely to convert leads.
SEO is by far the most cost-effective marketing method out there. Why? Because SEO targets people who are already looking for a product or service similar to or the same as yours; you do not have to spend time carefully creating engaging content to persuade potential customers and convert leads. The traffic coming from SEO is already engaged and results in money being saved.
As a result of this, leads generated by SEO can cost in upwards of 50% less than other leads such as social media marketing, email marketing or cold-calling. When you finally get to the front page of search engine results, your market access will have increased massively for a fraction of the cost of other marketing methods.
SEO Provides 24/7 Exposure
Search engine results remain there 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. SEO is not affected by variables such as time, day, interests or search history like other methods of marketing – when somebody performs a search query which relates to your business, product or service, you will show up right there and then.
There are virtually no alternative marketing methods which can provide such a consistent and high level of exposure to potential customers who are already engaged and actively searching for something you offer.
Types of SEO and What I Can Do for You
As I have previously mentioned, SEO is a hugely varied and dynamic area of marketing which has many different branches. Because it is such a vast topic, I cannot possibly go into detail about all the different types of SEO here.
Instead, I am going to briefly explain six key types of SEO and if you want to learn more about them, you can either send me an email with your questions or click through to another page on my site which explains them in greater detail.
On-Page Assessment and Recommendations
Me and my team can measure the various components which make up your website and identify improvements which can be made in relation to your SEO.
By making sure that your website features relevant keywords, we can optimise your website so that the search engines identify it as a strong source for information being searched for. Search engine bots and algorithms constantly crawl websites and scan them for information, keywords being a major piece of this information.
On-Page SEO Optimisation
On-Page SEO has a big impact on your individual pages’ rankings. Some on-page factors include not just the page’s content but its URL, titles, subtitles and relevant image alt tags, among other things. For Google to find your page and rank it highly, your content has to be as easy as possible to find and on-page SEO is what influences this.
If your business or brand is of a nature which has a highly niche audience within a local area, I can help you target these people specifically whilst raising the profile of your business within your surrounding area.
Off-page assessment is an SEO tactic which involves figuring out what is working outside of your website, who is linking back to you etc. – it is all about external actions which are impacting your rankings in search engine results.
Social Media Account Optimisation
Social media is a crucial component of any modern company’s marketing strategy. Me and my team can identify which social media platform(s) will create the best results for your business and help you optimise your social media account(s) to build a following and generate traffic to your site through social media marketing.
Can I Do My Own SEO?
SEO has various elements, some of which are complex, but most people can learn and apply the basics of SEO to their website. Even the smallest amount of SEO which has been properly applied can make a huge difference!
There is no reason why you can’t
It all comes down to you – if you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn about SEO and apply it to your website, there is no reason why you cannot have your website appearing on the front pages of search engines.
When Should I Consult an SEO Professional?
The right time to consult an SEO professional like myself is down to your needs, and there is never a bad time to outsource your SEO strategy.
When deciding whether to outsource, you should be thinking about the time you have to dedicate to SEO. Doing SEO right takes a lot of time and effort, effort that could better spent elsewhere.
As a business owner, you are much better off focussing your time on other areas where you are more skilled.
Not only can an SEO professional or agency come up with a comprehensive SEO strategy and put it in place, but they generally have years of experience and specialist SEO knowledge, and are completely in-the-know when it comes to the latest developments.
An SEO agency will ensure that your website is in the best shape possible to achieve results.
If you would like to get in contact for an obligation-free chat, then feel free to reach out to me and we can discuss how we can achieve the results you want.
Wrapping Things Up
Search engine optimisation is a hugely important and beneficial marketing tool and is something which all business operators need to be including on their websites.
We have covered what SEO is, how it works, why it is important and how search engines use optimised content to display relevant and ranked search results to your customers.
SEO is not something which anybody can ignore; in-order to succeed on today’s Web and get ranked highly in search engine results, you need to have a strong SEO strategy in place.
When it comes to implementing one, you can either do it yourself or consult an SEO expert or agency to handle it for you. Although it is very possible to carry out SEO for your website yourself, it takes a lot of time and effort in both researching and applying SEO practices.
If you are willing to put in the effort and learn about SEO, there is no reason why you cannot put some effort in to implement a strong SEO strategy for your website.
If you do not have the time, however, or would like an SEO professional to do all the SEO work for you and keep your content fresh and in-line with the latest SEO developments, consulting a professional such as myself is the right option for you.
No matter what you decide to do, you can always reach out to me and my team with your questions or for any advice. It does not matter whether you just want a little guidance or help getting started with making an SEO strategy, we are here to help you get your website to the front pages of search engines and converting more leads.