THE BASICS OF SEARCH ENGINES
All major search engines have primary search results, this is where web pages and online content is shown that has been evaluated by the search engines and then ranked based on what’s most relevant to the user.
None of the primary results has been paid to be there, however, there is another side to search engines entirely which is known as PPC (Pay Per Click) where users pay search engines to place their web pages and content in front of potential customers.
WHY DOES YOUR WEBSITE NEED SEO?
The majority of all web traffic is driven by the three main search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo!. Although social media and other channels such as email marketing can play an important role in generating visits to your website, search engines are the primary channel for most internet users.
The USP of search engines is that they can provide your website with targeted traffic which can, in turn, lead to a high conversion rate. Search engines are the path that can bring your website in front of potential customers.
If search engines can’t find your site or add your web pages content to their databases then you could be potentially missing out on amazing opportunities for driving highly relevant traffic through search queries to your website.
SEO can have an exceptional return on investment when compared to other forms of marketing and advertising.
WHY CAN’T SEARCH ENGINES JUST WORK OUT WHAT MY SITE IS ABOUT WITHOUT SEO?
Search engines are very clever, however, they still need assistance in understanding what your website and business is about. The algorithm which search engines use to determine the most relevant content can’t pick up on everything.
Correctly implemented SEO, also known as white hat, can provide you with thousands of visitors and increased visibility on the internet, however if you start to implement “black hat” SEO and your website starts to look low quality then the polar opposite can occur and your website could be buried deep within organic search results where almost no one will be able to find your website.
In addition to making your content available to search engines, SEO also helps improve your organic rankings so that content will be more visible to searchers.
As more businesses turn to the internet as a primary source of customers we can see the competition increase dramatically which in turn makes companies who use SEO have a noticeable advantage in customer acquisition.
CAN I DO SEO FOR MYSELF?
The world of SEO and online marketing is complex and becomes even more so as every day goes by and as more businesses take up SEO, however, most people can quite quickly understand the basics of how everything works.
Even a small amount of knowledge can make the difference between two sites. There are a wide variety of resources available for you to use.
The primary deciding factors, like many practices, is how much time are you prepared to dedicate to a new profession and how willing are you to learn?
In any case, it’s always good for you to have some knowledge of SEO even if you decide to use a company like DSM Design to carry it out for you.
HOW DOES SEO WORK?
This is a complex question to answer and to understand this we must first look at a search engine and how that works before we start to gain an understanding of SEO.
The basics are quite simple to understand, a search engine is simply a database that holds content from websites and then displays it to users based on what their search query is.
Where your site ranks for a particular keyword depends on hundreds of different factors that will be evaluated when a search engine crawler visits your website.
WHAT ARE THE MOST CRUCIAL RANKING FACTORS?
Whilst there are hundreds of different factors that make up the Google ranking algorithm, it’s widely accepted in the SEO community that the majority of the algorithm can be influenced with unique and engaging content tagged along with inbound links that hold a lot of authority.
The general rule of thumb with any content written for ranking purposes is to not write it for ranking purposes, confused?
Google doesn’t want the web to be full of overly optimised content that is just there purely to rank high for certain search terms. They would much rather have content that has been created with the intent of providing clear and concise information that the user finds informative.
HOW DO I ACQUIRE INBOUND LINKS?
Inbound links are arguably one of the most important ranking factors of any given web page; they are an important factor in determining the authority your site holds.
The most important rule with inbound links is to never confuse quantity with quality, this is no longer 2008 and Google would much rather see fewer high-quality inbound links pointing to your domain opposed to thousands of low-quality directory links.
A great way to view inbound link acquisition is to read through your content and truly ask yourself, is this a piece of content that you would personally link to because you found it so important.
Like most professions, SEO comes down to doing your homework and understanding what kind of content potential customers would like to see. Simply create a great site, create clear and concise content and make it easily shareable. Do this and your website traffic will increase.