What is SEO and how can it help your business?

Published: 30/12/2019

Search engines have become man’s best friend and something most people rely on day in, day out. While there are loads to choose from though, the main ones, of course, are Yahoo, Bing, and Google - aka the giant. 

The stats show Google is used to search a staggering 63,000 times per second, equating to over 2 trillion searches per year. Wow. 

Here’s another stat for you...

It’s estimated 75% of all search engine traffic (this jumps to 90% on mobile devices) is directed to Google, but that’s not to say the other 25% of searches aren’t important. Ultimately, you want your business to be found when consumers are looking for a service you can offer. But how?

What’s SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and in a nutshell, it’s how you make sure your business is top of the list in search engine results. 

The process involves optimising the content on your website - keywords, images and copy - in order to improve its ranking in search results. Done well it can increase the volume of traffic to your website. Don’t do it at all and you’ll be missing out to competitors who are.  

Before we carry on, let’s take a look at a couple of relevant keywords relating to SEO.

Crawling

Crawling is the method used by search engines to acquire data about your website. They use ‘crawlers’, ‘spiders’ or ‘bots’ to scan your website and gather information about each page including images, text, titles, keywords, linked pages and more. 

Indexing

This is the next process carried out by crawlers and is the most important element of getting your website ranked on a search engine - in fact, you can’t be ranked without being indexed. Once the information on your site has been gathered via crawling, it’s then put into a search engine’s index. 

The content within these indexes is then ranked by the search engine and this is how they decide who is listed first, second, third etc. 

Why is it important?

If you haven’t optimised your website’s content for SEO purposes you’ll ultimately miss out on customers searching organically. According to Forbes, as much as 90% of search traffic stays on the first page of Google results, dropping to a measly 6% on page two.

Your positioning on page one matters too, with over two-thirds of clicks landing on the top five ranked pages and the remaining five only getting 3.73% of the action. 

How does it help your business?

The benefits of SEO are big and can be broken down into two main categories. 

Happy customers

One of the things most businesses don’t realise is that to implement SEO successfully, the user experience you offer plays a significant role.

Customers know what they want and if they can’t find it there’s a good chance they’ll lose interest and move on. Google has learned how to identify a positive and negative user experience on websites and if yours is unfavourable, it’ll impact on your site’s success. 

In its absolute simplest form, the goal of SEO is to create a clean, effective and user-friendly website. This will leave consumers feeling engaged and satisfied and remember:

Happy consumers = good for business

Healthy bank account 

Implementing SEO successfully means you’ll be easier to find and more likely to get a click-through from search engine results - increasing the amount of traffic to your website.

When consumers enter your site they’ll be greeted with the great user-experience you’ve put into place and this should lead to a higher conversion rate. 

What’s a conversion rate? It’s the percentage of site visitors who complete a transaction so by achieving a higher conversion rate, you’ll be boosting your profits. 

Fun fact: research shows SEO leads have a 14.7% conversion rate compared to outbound marketing tactics (emails, flyers etc.) which only achieve 1.7%.

Hints & tips

Local SEO

If the nature of your business means you want to attract customers from local areas (hairdressing, highstreet shop, etc.) then local SEO is something you want to take advantage of - it’s about optimising your website so it ranks higher for local audiences. 

Again, to do this the focus will be on content, particularly relating to the town, city or region you’re in. It’s also a good idea to create an account with ‘Google my business’ and promote your businesses social feeds (pinned to your location) too. 

Keep your finger on the pulse

Taking steps to implement SEO today is great, but it needs to be a long-term effort to be truly rewarding. 

The search world is constantly shifting and Google alone makes thousands of algorithm changes a year, so, to make sure you don’t fall behind, you need to keep up-to-date with it and constantly keep an eye out for updates.

Want more info on the ‘how’? Check back soon, we’ve got a blog dedicated to getting your website to rank on Google in the diary.

Need help taking payments when customers make it to your website? With our pay by link and payment gateway options, you’ll be well on your way in no time. Get in touch with our experts today on 0808 274 2017 to see how we can help.

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