What is SEO?

SEO is often seen as a ‘black art’, and one which most people don’t seem to understand.  But it’s hugely important for any business hoping to get seen online, and it’s really not that difficult to get to grips with the basics.

Short for Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is, as the name suggests, the process by which a website is optimised for search engines, with the aim of rising up the rankings.

Historically

Historically, SEO used to be seen as a nefarious way of cheating your way to the top of the rankings, since it was so regularly abused. Someone would search for a subject on Google, only to receive loads of completely inappropriate listings, the majority of which had absolutely nothing at all to do with the search query.  Not surprisingly, Google soon took steps to tighten up the process, and the ongoing battle between Google and SEO now shows clear signs that Google is finally winning

Your guide to SEO success

Google rewards high-quality content by listing it higher on its results pages.  And the higher your website rises in the rankings, the greater the number of web visitors that will be directed to it, leading to a corresponding increase in sales and conversions.

Your website is set up with pre-defined search terms, which involves researching the keywords that people are actually using to search for your products and services. These search terms are added to your page, but not to excess – usually two or three per page is sufficient.

Over time, Google notices your page and ranks it.  But it continues to monitor the page, examining the ways in which web visitors interact with it.  If the visitor has entered a search term, and landed on your site, only to bounce straight off the page, Google will consider your site to be inappropriate and mark it down.  But if visitors remain on the page for a while, click to another page on your website, or send the page link to their friends, Google rates your page as successful and informative, pushing it higher up the rankings.

The key to success with SEO is to find the right search terms to promote.  Which are the most competitive search terms for your products or services?  Ideally, you want some high-volume search terms that people are actively searching for.  But since these search terms figure so highly with other businesses in your industry you also need some lower-level search terms too.

It may seem counter-intuitive to include low-level search terms, but it’s actually well worth doing.  These types of keywords and phrases aren’t asked so frequently, so they increase your chances of making a sale.  They’re much cheaper than high-volume search terms too, so you can include more of them, helping to stretch your budget further.  And when people search for those keywords, there isn’t the same volume of results, so your site will rise up the Google rankings much faster.

You can always switch to higher-volume keywords once you’ve risen to the top and earned Google’s trust. Start out with the high-volume keywords from the outset however, and you’re unlikely to see such positive results.

Adding extra content, such as blog posts – also containing keywords – and Google will continue to reward you with better rankings.  And as a result, you’ll see a corresponding increase in sales, conversions and enquiries.  Over time, this will lead to your site inching up the results pages, but unlike Adwords, for example, you won’t need to spend anything to get there.

SEO is a big subject, so this is just a brief introduction.  But if you have any questions, or you’d like some advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Brookstone.