What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), SEO Basics Pt1

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SEO basics, what is SEO?

We talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Keywords all the time with our clients. I thought it might be helpful to go right back to the beginning and answer the key question, what is SEO?

What is SEO and why do I need it?

Why do I need SEO? Answer: you need SEO for online visibility.

The reason to have a website is so your business can be found by potential clients. It is very easy to build a website and get it up on the internet. More challenging is to get it seen by the people you want to see it. SEO is the process of getting your website visible online. Search Engine Optimisation is a series of techniques to help search engines better understand your website content and give your website a higher ranking in the unpaid or “organic” search results
Ideally, a good SEO process works towards getting your website to turn up number one on page one in search engine results on Google, Bing or other search engines. Because, the higher up your website appears in the search results, the more people will visit your website, giving you the opportunity to convert them into clients or buyers.

The concept of SEO

I found this great (if somewhat American) video which explains the concept of SEO quite simply. It gives you an idea of what is important and why. (It came from http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo)

YouTube video

Some important things to remember about Search Engine Optimisation

  1. SEO is just one strand of your overall content strategy for your website. Don’t ignore good calls to action, landing pages and social media.
  2. SEO is not a “switch” you can just turn on. You will need to make a plan, do some research and then impliment and analyse the results. Rinse and repeat until you are seeing the results you’d like.
  3. SEO is just a means to an end. You can have great SEO, good amounts of traffic and a low performing website. Having a high ranking site that doesn’t hit the right target market or a site without clear calls to action still won’t get you the results that you are looking for. Be holistic with your website improvements and you’ll get better results.

Where do I start with SEO?

Start with a plan. Before getting down to the nitty-gritty of SEO there are a few things you need to know so you can make a solid plan to start improving your SEO.

1. Know your audience

SEO isn’t just about building search engine-friendly websites. It’s about making your site better for people too.
It is important to think about your potential clients so you build a website that will entice and encourage these clients to buy your products or services by providing quality information in a way that they can relate to.
It is important to know who makes the decisions when buying your product or service? Teenagers will generally not be making decisions about mobility scooters; Grandparents will be one of the groups of buyers for babies clothes online, but so will parents.

2. Tell your story

People love stories. If you are in a small business then you are probably passionate about what you do or can offer to others, so share that when you write for your website. If you feel you can’t do that get a copywriter to do it for you.

3. Get the flow

Navigating around your website so that people can easily find the information they need is very important. Make it easy for them to find all the information you want them to find.

4. Tell them what you want them to do

Tell you web visitors what it is you want them to do using CTAs (Calls to Action). You might want them to “Email us today”, “Get the Latest News” or “Talk to Us”.
There will be more posts on the nitty-gritty things you can do. You might like to read this post on SEO for some ideas to begin with.

5. Do some reading and upskill

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish… it’s an old proverb but it’s especially true in the case of SEO. In most cases new content for your blog or site is best coming from within your organisation, a good foundation in the basics of SEO will help you optimise that content right from the beginning. The Beginners guide to SEO from Moz.com is a good place to start.

Brendyn Montgomery

Brendyn is the manager of Avoca Web Design, a keen trail runner and an accomplished and award winning musician.

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