Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the process of maximising the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine (Google, 2015).
So why is SEO so important? Well did you know that…
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine
- 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads focusing on organic results
- 75% of users never scroll past the first page of results
- Search is the number 1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by 300% (ImForza, 2013).
- 86% of consumers stated that using a search engine allowed them to learn something new or important that helped them increase their knowledge
- SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate
- 60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results (Hubspot, 2014).
Aside for the facts and figures there are still numerous reasons why SEO is important. A good SEO is a constant marketing tool, it is 24 hours 7 days a week 365 days a year. With good SEO whenever someone searches for a product your website will be one of the first they reach, you can increase your sales without drastically increasing your marketing costs. According to Olenski (2014) 80-90% of consumers now research products online prior to purchasing it. So if a consumer is unable to find your product they will simply go to a competitor. It is also good social promotion for your website, if it is easier to locate it is more likely to be spoken about on social media thus boosting your online presence and increasing brand awareness.
As you can see SEO is extremely important for your business, and below are ways to improve your SEO:
- Publish frequent relevant content –More content means more traffic and more traffic confirms authority and relevancy.
- Have high quality relevant links – instead of creating links of ‘click here’, which bears no search engine value, use text to describe the link.
- Use alt tags – be thorough and be creative, think about words that may draw someone to your business. If you were a cake shop owner and you cakes were gluten free, include gluten free as a tag.
- Determine primary key words – as well as using alt tags you will want to use the most significant key words at the front of your website. Think about the categories and then sub-categories that you target audience is, this will narrow down the competition and result in more chance of you being found.
- Hyperlink key words in website content – hyperlink phrases such as red velvet cake recipe to generate more traffic to your website.
- Create a mobile friendly site – in 2014 mobile phones overtook PCs as the medium used for internet usage.
For more information about to optimise your search engine here is a journal from Köse & Yalçona (2014) that identifies what key algorithms to include to improve your SEO http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042810022901
On the contrary outlined below are some reasons for having low SEO (Shields, 2012).
- Poor quality backlinks – unrelated links that bear no relevance to the content
- Lack of fresh content – websites need to be regularly updated
- Over optimisation – write for your target market and not the search engine, if the content is overfilled with key words and doesn’t flow, the system knows it’s being manipulated
- No social media presence – people need to be talking about your website to get more hits and up the SEO ranking.
Google (2015) Search Engine Optimisation Definition [Online] <https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=search+engine+optimization+definition> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
Hubspot (2014) Search Engine Optimisation Stats [Online] <http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
ImForza (2013) 8 SEO Stats That Are Hard To Ignore [Online] <https://www.imforza.com/blog/8-seo-stats-that-are-hard-to-ignore/> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
Olenski, S. (2014) 7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest In SEO, Forbes. 26 March 2014 [Online] <http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2014/03/26/7-reasons-why-your-business-should-invest-in-seo/> [Accessed 15 April 2015]
Shields, A. (2012) Search Engine Optimisation and Links, Michigan Bar Journal. Vol. 91, Issue 10