Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.
If you’re a business owner or responsible for increasing customer numbers, and you don’t know much about search engine optimisation (SEO), then you will love this article.
You’ll learn about the basics of SEO (without your eyes glazing over) and get the chance to turn that undertanding into extra enquiries and extra business for you.
The internet, and particularly internet search engines like Google, now dominate the way that people interact with businesses. Just think how often you use a search engine now when you’re researching online.
SEO invoves a number of activities to do with improving the rankings of a website so that it appears as close to the top of a search engine for particular ‘keywords’. In New Zealand (as in the rest of the world, Google and Yahoo are the most popular search engines used.
There has been so much written about SEO that the mind boggles. Since 2005 when we first started out in the SEO business things have changed so fast it’s incredible.
But what hasn’t changed are the basic rules and philosophy of Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. And that is, that the goal of search engines is to HELP searchers to find what they want, fast.
I’m summarising here, but according to search engines, sites with the highest quality content that can deliver the most value and be the most relevant…will generally be seen to be the most trusted. And being trusted wins when it comes to rankings or SERPS (Search Engine Ranking Positions).
My goal here is not to give you a run-down of everything that we’ve learned, experimented with and proven since 2005. That would be nuts as well as an awesome cure for insomnia. If you really want to learn the ins and outs then just Google “SEO” and knock yourself out.
For the bulk of you still reading, my goal here is simply to help you understand what SEO is and why it is becoming so important . Next, I want to give you a peek into what’s involved in transforming an ‘invisible’ website in SERPS (search engine ranking pages) into a google-leading, industry-dominating, traffic-magnet that turns clicks on your website… into dollars!
And when you do start to develop your understanding, not only will you be able to sound more ‘on to it’ at your next party, but you might actually start to get excited about how you can use SEO to help you reach your goals.
Search Engines: How Do They Work? [In Plain English]
Why is SEO Important?
When we want to find more information about something, hear about something interesting from our friends, see a compelling television commercial, or need a local mechanic, the chances are the first place we turn is the Google search box.
These days, your search strategy is your business strategy, whether you realise it or not. Why?, because search engines are how your potential customers are trying to find you.
Search is the new Yellow Pages, Finda, 0800 number, NZ Herald, Trade Me and cash register. No matter what kind of web site you have -whether it’s a media property like a blog, an ecommerce site, or the online arm of multinational corporation, you goal is to connect with as many of your potential audience as possible. Would you agree?
Organic search can make that happen.
And being ‘optimised’ to attract and help searchers looking for you (especially if they have never heard of your brand) is where businesses can win…assuming you engage right the knowledge and strategy.
Search Engine Friendly Websites: Some Basics
So, let’s assume that together (your company and ours) we set out to dominate your industry online for consumers shopping for what you sell. Our objective (after extensive market, customer and competior research) would be develop a strategy that ticked all the search engine boxes:
- A site that is highly relevant
- A site with high quality SEO copywriting content and;
- A site that delivers real value so that people naturally want to share it with others
Next, we would build from scratch or makeover your site so that it can be easily discovered by search engines so the pages can be added to the list the ‘web crawlers’ use to traverse the web. We make sure that the right keyphrases and keywords are represented on your site.
Then we use site architecture that doesn’t introduce obstacles that make the pages inaccessible to the crawlers. This allows all content to be presented in a way that’s extractable for search engines to index.
And finally (speaking of content), we organise and write content based on relevance in a way that allows the search engines to understand our sites theme. “Theming” a website is critical for achieving website relevance.
Of course there are a lot more mini-steps involved and we haven’t even started to talk about ‘online conversion’ yet!
What Are Your Business Goals?
What are your business goals? Are any of the items below relevant to you?
- Get more clients?
- Beat your competitors?
- Start other businesses or projects?
- Sell more stuff online or get more leads?
- Expand nationally or internationally?
- Get on to the NBR rich list (or back on it)?
- Set your business up so you can spend more time doing cool things with the people you love?
- End the war in the Middle East (ok, I made that on up)?
Seriously, if you have a business that provides products or services that add true value to consumers, and you want to serve as many of them as you can, then we would like to show you how we can use SEO as part of the solution to achieve this.