Why SEO Works And Why It Still Matters
When you start looking online for ways to improve your website traffic you'll very quickly notice that the term 'Search Engine Optimisation', or SEO, is mentioned everywhere and by everyone. It comes across as the perfect solution, the cheat-code to website success, the Holy Grail that will boost your numbers, the answer to all your website misfortune. That's because it really is that important!
However, it's important to understand that SEO is designed to be a part of your larger, overall marketing strategy. It's crucial to the success of your campaigns, yet SEO won't work alone.
Let's take a look at what SEO actually is...
What Is SEO And What Does It Do?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to the way in which your website is built. More specifically, whether it is built with the intention of being found by search engines or not. When a website has SEO, it has been designed to keep search engines happy.
Google, Bing and Yahoo all look for certain indicators of what they believe makes a good website. Unsurprisingly, these indicators are fully focused on the user experience. Search Engines don't care about you getting visitors to your site, they care about getting visitors to their site, the Search Engine. And for them to do that they need to make sure users trust the results that they'll be shown. To make sure this happens, they will ensure they show the most relevant, trustworthy and responsive websites first.
The Search Engine is constantly sending 'spiders' to crawl throughout every site, looking for those websites with the best SEO. Google 'spiders' are very complex pieces of code that crawl through every website on the internet, checking to see if it's got good SEO and ranking it accordingly.
Let's look at what 'Spiders' are actually searching for.
What Affects SEO And How Can You Improve It?
SEO affects every aspect of your website. It looks at everything that could possibly improve or diminish the user experience.
The main areas that you can focus on are:
- Mobile Optimisation – Today, more and more people are using their mobile phones to make searches. Whether you're out in town and looking for a nice restaurant or you're washing up and need to make use of the voice search. Mobile searches have risen dramatically and continue to climb. In order to ensure these mobile users get a great result from the search engine, websites that are mobile responsive are much more likely to get a good ranking.
- Fresh Content – When you're looking for information or statistics it's crucial that the information is up to date. There's nothing more annoying than finding some great information only to realise its 7 years old and probably very outdated. Google keeps this to a minimum by ranking websites higher if they regularly update their website with fresh content.
- Relevant & Engaging Content – Even more frustrating than old content is clicking on a search result only to find out it has nothing to do with what you searched or finding good information that is written terribly and makes you want to leave the site immediately. To make sure it's users are only finding honest, grammatically correct content 'spiders' will check to see how reliable your content is and look for spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Keywords – Having distinct and relevant keywords will be something a Search Engine rewards you for. The 'spiders' will look throughout your website trying to find keywords within the following areas.
- Blogs/Websites - Text, titles, H1/H2 tags, image file names, URL, links, tags, meta tags
- Video - Title, comments, description, URL, subtitles, links, tags
- Social Networks - Image file names, personal bio, status updates (dependent on privacy settings)
- Backlinks – Having links from trusted, authoritative websites to yours will dramatically improve your ranking. The 'spiders' will look at all the websites that link to yours and use them to determine whether your site is associated with positive or negative businesses and websites. This system means that you can't just spam links from everywhere as some links could do more harm than good.
- Accessibility – A big part of being user-friendly is being user-friendly to everyone. A website that is accessible and allows for easy navigation by the disabled or those with weak machines will rank highly compared to those that do not account for these individuals.
- Social Media – Being active on your respective social media accounts will help to improve your website ranking. The 'spiders' will crawl through your social media and look to see if people respond positively to you, how often you post, whether the spelling and grammar are good, and whether your social media is linked to your website. It'll take all this into consideration when ranking your website.
This may seem like a lot of details that you need to monitor in order to have a fighting chance at the Google top spots but it is absolutely necessary if you plan on beating your competitors Google listings. If you don't have time to manage this yourself, there are many businesses that can run SEO campaigns for you. Here at the JDR Group, we manage the SEO for lots of clients and successfully get them from page 4 to the Google no.1 position.
Why Do You Even Want SEO?
I've explained what SEO is and how to improve it but why should you care? Well having good SEO is how you get found on Search Engines. As I explained, Search Engines want to give their users the best experience possible and they do this by producing the best results. SEO is how you become one of those websites that Google wants to use to keep their user happy. If they search for one of your keywords, being the website with the best content, responsiveness and relevance will mean that's the one that is shown to the user. And if you didn't want people visiting your website why would you even have it?
Why SEO Will Always Be Important
Hopefully, you now understand why SEO is constantly talked about by marketing companies and website experts. When used in conjuncture with other marketing strategies your website can achieve amazing results. Applying SEO to your content marketing plan will mean your content is more likely to be found, applying it to your social media campaign will mean your posts will be shared further. The secondary advantage of using SEO is it naturally makes your website more user-friendly, which in turn makes your visitors happy. A happy website visitor is much more likely to convert than someone who visits your website and is immediately repelled by the lack of user-friendliness.
If you don't have time to manage an SEO campaign that doesn't mean you have to give up the race for the Google top spot. Here at the JDR Group, we manage and run many SEO campaigns and have a proven track record of helping websites achieve higher conversion rates and more customers. Visit our website for more information: www.jdrgroup.co.uk