What is search engine optimisation ?
You may have heard of SEO or search engine optimisation while on your journey to building your website. Or maybe even after you have finally got your new website online. Here we will try to explain to you what SEO is and why you need it.
Firstly. It does not matter how beautiful, shiny or expensive your new website is. If people don't know it exists or it cannot be found in the search engines like Google, Yahoo or MSN search. Your are simply not going to get any web traffic to your site unless people find it on your business card or maybe a letter you have distributed into peoples letter boxes. Or maybe you have paid for an advertisement in your local news paper. If you have done all of these. This is the only way people are going to find or know about your website. If you want people to find and come across your website on the internet after searching for your product or services. You need to be listed in the search engines.
Lets say you have a hairdressing business and created a new website for it. Searching internet users are simply not going to find your website unless you have completed some basic tasks first. Many people are under the impression that search engines such as Google will automatically know about your website because it is now online. This is not true and also not how it works. In order for your website to be findable and searchable in Google. You will first need to make a submission request within Googles web master tools to ask them to crawl your website and include it in their search index so they know you exist.
This is not something that can be easily done in 2020. In the early 2000s and up to 2018 it was easy to ask Google to include your new website in their index. All you had to do was visit a special Google URL, plug in your website address, hit enter and generally within two weeks your website would be included in Google's search index. However. You would have discovered that when searching for your services and products set out in your web page. You might have found that after extensively searching page after page. You finally find your website listed on page 106 in Googles search results. The reason it is so far back is simply because you are competing with hundreds and sometimes thousands of other businesses that offer the same services or products that you do. So how does Google decide who's websites will be listed on the top pages of it's search results? This is not an answer that can be explained simply as Google has thousands of different criteria that it uses to decide where websites will be placed in its index and how high your website will get ranked in the organic listings.
Their are two different types of listings in Google. One is the organic listings. Which is free. And then there are the paid listings. We will try to explain the differences between the two later in the article. First of all in short. If you want to show up on the first page in Google straight away for people searching for your website. This is actually possible. But you will need to pay them. And this is not cheap at all and you can be finding yourself paying up to $5 sometimes more for just one single click! Yes that's right. When you pay and ask Google to advertise your website on its top pages. You are paying per click. Even worse. There is no guarantee's that when someone clicks on your listing that you are going to make a sale or get requests for your services. So for the purpose of this article we will stick with the organic listings which is free. Yes it is possible to get your website listed on top pages of Google without paying them. But in order to do this. Your website must have some strong SEO applied. This is not something can be done overnight. SEO is something that you must work on constantly over the lifetime of your website in order to keep up and beat your strongest opposition for the rightful placement of your listing high up in the search engine rankings. Over 95% of people searching for your business or services never look any further than the second page of Google before they type in a different search phrase. So if your site is not in those top few pages you are simply not going to get any traffic or customers visiting your website and paying for your product or services.
So how do you get found in Google without paying them directly? The best answer to this question is to apply SEO to your website. You may now be asking what SEO actually is. SEO stands for search engine optimisation. This is the process of improving the quality and the quantity of people visiting your website. SEO targets unpaid traffic, or know as natural or organic traffic rather than the direct paid traffic we spoke about earlier. Unpaid traffic can originate from all kinds of different search engines which include video search, news search, academic search, image search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO does things such as considering how different search engines work, the highly complex computer programmed algorithms that dictate search engine behaviour, what people are searching for, the search terms or keywords that are typed into search engines and also which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. So SEO is performed because a website will end up receiving more visitors from a search engine when websites rank higher in the search engine results page. Otherwise known as (SERPs) From there these visitors can then potentially be converted into customers.