For any small to medium sized business with a limited marketing budget, search engine optimisation (SEO) continues to be the most effective strategy available to drive up online sales. In this blog we define what SEO is, how it works to improve your ranking, and the time it takes to start giving you results in hard sales.
What is SEO?
Anyone can buy a domain and have a website designed, but for that website to achieve high visitor numbers it needs to gain online trust and authority. This involves jumping through a series of hoops which are determined by Google, Bing and Yahoo. The more hoops you jump through, the more the search engines reward you by giving your website a higher ranking in online searches.
Search Engine Optimisation describes the process of jumping through the Google, Bing and Yahoo hoops. This is a specialist process that includes:
- Mobile-friendly website design
- Loading speed optimisation
- Consistency of tags, labels and urls
- Carefully researched keywords
- Clear, original content
- Website security
- Authoritative backlinks
How Does SEO Improve Your Search Engine Ranking?
The major search engines support websites that are clear and honest about the product they sell, provide a website experience that is easy to access on any platform, and offers real value to visitors once they land on it. For a clear example of what this all means, just look at the top brands; they’re always looking for ways to add extra value to their potential customers.
How Do I Hold My Visitors’ Attention?
The biggest battle in the search engine rankings is for visitor attention. You know from your own experience how easy it is to dismiss a website because it’s not loading quickly enough, or the content doesn’t seem clear or relevant. Search Engine Optimisation is all about using every aspect of design – visuals, content, navigation, colours – to hold visitors on your page.
When Will SEO Translate Into Sales?
Unlike pay-per-click which results in an instant but time-limited spike in visitors to your website, SEO needs some time to build the trust and authority that will result in high search engine rankings and subsequent sales. In addition to the site features, SEO creates a web of local citations, geographical references, and backlinks that gradually drive it up the rankings.
Once your website is appearing on the first page of the Google, Bing or Yahoo search results, you can expect that the phone will be ringing more often, and visitor numbers will be growing significantly. A good website, designed and built with creative integrity may take slightly longer to arrive in prime position but once it does, it will hold its position for longer.
When Is SEO Complete?
It’s probably not the answer you want to hear, but SEO is never complete. Because digital tech is always developing, Google, Bing and Yahoo are constantly changing the hoops that website owners need to jump through. There’s always the next breakthrough technology to consider. It’s a bit like being a shop owner; you’re forever re-organising your stock and making the customer experience better.