Unlocking The Power Of SEO
When it comes to digital marketing services, SEO is a crucial pillar for business success. However, selling SEO to clients can be a daunting task, as it can come across as a mysterious – not to say potentially dubious – process. The reality is that SEO is intricately tied to an understanding of the Google algorithm and the multitude of factors—around 200—that shape its rankings. In this article, the OYM team offers a lucid explanation to the query: How does SEO increase traffic to your website?
Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through innovative technologies and services, Google strives to provide individuals with easy access to the wealth of knowledge available on the internet. Ultimately, Google aims to enhance people’s lives by connecting them to the information they seek and enabling them to make informed decisions.
Search engines play a pivotal role in helping Google achieve this. By indexing vast amounts of web content, search engines enable Google to organise and categorise information from across the internet. Using complex algorithms, search engines analyse and interpret user queries, matching them with relevant web pages. This allows Google to deliver precise and timely search results, providing users with the information they seek.
Ranking factors are the criteria by which Google assesses websites for ranking. There are more than 200 of them covering website relevance, quality of content, user experience, backlinks, and mobile friendliness, among others. By analysing and weighing these factors, the algorithm determines the order in which search results are displayed.
The Task of Search Engine Optimisation
Google’s algorithm constantly evolves to provide the most accurate and valuable results to users. Understanding and optimising for these ranking factors are what businesses need to do to improve their visibility and increase traffic to their website.
SEO uses the Google ranking factors as a guide to providing users with the friendliest, fastest, and best possible online experience. In return, search engines reward these efforts by sending users to websites that offer the best experience. The websites that excel in meeting Google’s ranking criteria, secure top positions in search engine results attracting more visitors than their competitors.
SEO specialists play an important role in deciphering how Google ranks websites (an official list of Google’s criteria is not available). Their objective is to closely adhere to these criteria, despite the complexity introduced by regular algorithm updates that subtly alter the requirements. As a result, SEO becomes an ongoing process rather than a one-time task.
By staying vigilant, continuously adapting strategies, and staying informed about the latest algorithm changes, SEO specialists ensure that websites maintain their visibility and competitiveness in the search engine results pages.
Does a Top-Ranking Position Mean More Website Visitors?
The click-through rate (CTR) is influenced by the ranking position on Google. Higher-ranking positions receive a higher CTR. While the exact ratio can vary depending on factors like the search query, sector, and user intent, studies have shown that the first position on Google search results typically returns the highest CTR, with subsequent positions experiencing a gradual decrease in CTR.
The drop in CTR between positions may vary but can range from several percentage points to significant gaps. Achieving a high-ranking position in the search engines can significantly impact the visibility and click-throughs to your website.
How Does SEO Increase Traffic To Your Website?
Let’s take a look at the steps involved in creating an optimised website that will rank well in Google:
Step One – Technical SEO – Ideally Applied at The Design Stage
Technical SEO includes all the components that allow Google to ‘read’ the site and assess its usability. Some key components include:
- Site Speed. Optimising website loading speeds to provide a fast and seamless user experience in order to reduce bounce rates.
- Mobile-Friendliness. Most searches are carried out on a mobile. Ensuring the website is responsive and mobile-friendly enhances user experience.
- Indexing and Crawling. Ensuring search engines can efficiently crawl (read) and index website pages. If Google can’t read your website, no-one else will either.
- Website Architecture. Designing a well-structured and organised website with clear navigation, logical URLs, and internal linking, making it easier to index the content.
- XML Sitemaps. Creating an XML sitemap to provides search engines with a clear overview of website pages and content hierarchy, which aids in indexing.
- Canonicalisation. Implementing canonical tags to resolve duplicate content issues in order to avoid potential ranking penalties.
- Schema Markup. In order to provide additional context to search engines, enhancing the display of search results with rich snippets and improving click-through rates.
- SSL and Website Security. Securing the website with SSL certificates and implementing appropriate security measures to protect user data.
- URL Optimisation. Optimising URLs with relevant keywords, making them user-friendly, descriptive, and concise, contributing to improved search engine visibility.
- Technical Errors and Redirects. Regularly monitoring and fixing technical errors like broken links, 404 pages, and redirects (301, 302) to retain SEO value.
Step Two – On-Page SEO – Ideally Applied at the Design Stage
On-page SEO involves optimising various elements within a webpage to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results. Some key components of on-page SEO include:
- Keyword Optimisation. Conducting keyword research and strategically incorporating relevant keywords into page titles, headings, meta tags, and throughout the content to signal the page’s relevance to search engines.
- Compelling Content. Creating high-quality, unique, and engaging content that satisfies user intent and provides value.
- Meta Tags. Compelling and concise meta titles and meta descriptions that accurately reflect the content of the page and encourage users to click through from search results.
- URL Structure. Optimising URLs to be descriptive, keyword-rich, and user-friendly, helping search engines understand the page’s topic and improving click-through rates.
- Internal Linking. Incorporating relevant internal links within the content to improve site navigation and establish content relationships for search engines.
- Image Optimisation. Optimising images by using descriptive filenames, adding alt tags with relevant keywords, and compressing images to improve page loading speed.
- User Experience (UX). Ensuring a positive user experience by optimising page loading speed, improving responsiveness, and providing intuitive navigation.
- Heading Tags. Using proper heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure content and signal the hierarchy of information to both users and search engines.
- Readability and Formatting. Creating content that is easy to read, properly formatted with paragraphs, bullet points, and relevant subheadings, making it more appealing.
- Social Sharing. Incorporating social sharing buttons or widgets to encourage users to share the content on social media platforms, to increase its visibility and reach.
How Long Before a New Website Ranks Well?
A good ranking position in the major search engines isn’t instant, even if your website has been thoroughly optimised by specialists. The reason for this is that it takes time for search engines to discover and index the website’s content. Your SEO agency will have no control over this part of the process, but they will monitor your rankings for signs of progress.
While some improvements will be noticeable early on – within 3-6 months – the major rewards of significant rankings can take 6-12 months. We always advise businesses to approach SEO with a long-term perspective, understanding that ongoing optimisation efforts, monitoring, and adjustments are necessary for sustained rankings and increased traffic to your website.
Is SEO Worth the Wait?
Absolutely! While it may take time to see tangible results, the long-term benefits and impact of a well-executed SEO strategy are immense. By investing in SEO, you lay a solid foundation for sustained organic traffic, improved search engine visibility, and increased brand credibility.
SEO provides a cost-effective and sustainable way to attract targeted audiences, generate leads, and drive conversions. While the wait can be challenging, the rewards of higher rankings, increased website authority, and long-term business growth make SEO a worthwhile investment for any online presence.
Have We Answered The Question How Does SEO Increase Traffic to Your Website?
If, having read this, you feel that SEO would benefit your business, why not talk to the SEO specialists at Outsource Your Marketing? They will take the time to find out what SEO services you need, and a dedicated account manager will put together a bespoke package, in a fully costed proposal for your consideration.