Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, is in danger of becoming seen as a dark art. People talk about black hat and white hat, back links and link sharing, page ranks, Google algorithms, multiple websites……. but what does all this mean to the average small business – nothing quite frankly.
So let’s get back to basics:
What is search engine optimisation?
Search Engine optimisation is the process of optimising your website to make it appear as prominently as possible on search engines (Google, Yahoo)
Why do I care?
Web search is ubiquitous. How often have you heard people say ‘what did they do before the internet?’ – This is usually in response to someone finding information by searching online. It is how we operate. You want to find a restaurant, a local shop or a how-to guide – you search online. If you’re running a business, search engine optimisation is about being found for the products/services you sell.
How does it work?
In principle it is very simple. Search engines have one mission in life and that is to ensure that the searcher finds exactly what they are looking for. As such they reward ‘relevance’. How relevant is your website or particular web page, to the user trying to find you product, service or information?
What do I need to do then?
The key word in Search engine optimisation is ‘content’. Your website, needs to have unique content which is written with the needs of your customer in mind. That means, thinking what your customers will type in to find your products, and ensuring that your website has that information. In many cases this will happen naturally. If you are a manufacturer of a particular product you are invariably going to write about it a lot on your website and therefore be the most ‘relevant’ site.
For service business with a particular locality this can be more difficult and you need to be a little more deliberate about it, but if you offer a service, then your website should have content about it.
So what’s with all the other stuff then?
There are a lot of people who will find short term methods which will improve their visibility on Google. Invariably, unless these sites remain truly relevant and produce regular content they won’t perform well over time. If you try and trick a search engine you might gain some short term success, but if we go back the search engine’s mission of finding the most relevant result, you are going to slide, or if the search engine deems your actions unethical, they may black list your site.
What do I need to do then?
- Make sure that each page on your site contains relevant and useful information to your customers. Naturally, your copy is then going to be relevant to search engines
- Blog – regularly. People are a bit intimated by a blog – but in reality it is you talking about your business on a regular basis. Your customers will find this of interest, and you are invariably going to include more and more relevant keywords and content on your site.
- Promote your content and ask others to link to it – People linking to your content is evidence of its relevance. If you think you’ve got something interesting to say, share it on social media and forums and ask others to share it.
- Include keywords into your meta description and page titles – Your website will have the capability to add content designed to help indicate the subject matter of a page. Once again, just make a list of the key things on the page and include these. This is background information which will help you get found.
At Digital Glue we help businesses to optimise their online strategy and help them create content which make them more relevant to their customers.
If you’d like more information just get in touch