What is SEO and how can it help my business?

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is how you ensure your website and its content can be found in search engines using relevant and useful phrases related to your business and/or your product. 

These words and phrases are known as keywords.

Once a visitor finds your site, its SEO rankings improve when they stay on the site longer, view more pages and return again and again. 

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

So how do you ‘do’ SEO or how can you improve it?

Well, search engines reward websites that are user-friendly, rich in keywords (which simply means the content you are putting on the site) but also promote and sustain user engagement. 

In fact, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, so getting SEO right is a must for your business and your brand. 

Below we’ve listed 7 ways to ensure users find your site, return repeatedly and navigate their way through everything you have painstakingly created 

1.Readable content that is relatable.

When it comes to your SEO strategy, you cannot ignore the human interaction with your content. Lumping a load of keywords into a blog or a landing page to appeal to search engines will not be that effective. In fact, Google and others are becoming more and more sophisticated and the effort will not be rewarded. You should never sacrifice good writing for SEO. Instead, craft the content using the keywords your audience would use but you also need to ensure the content remains fluid and engaging. Interesting content which your audience will want to read will yield more results as you will become known for engaging rather than jargon laden copy. 

In summary, you need to find the right balance between relatable and readable content and search optimisation to produce the best results.   

2. Start with optimising your site for mobile devices.

So much browsing is done on mobile devices and any delay in browsing could be a missed opportunity – put simply, people have neither the time nor the patience to wait. We are a ‘want it now’ culture and if not now, then we move on. Your SEO strategy cannot ignore mobile optimisation. But it’s not just the browsing speed that’s important – it’s making sure the site has the same impact on the small screen as it does on other devices. Do the drop-down menus must be easy and image quality cannot be lost. Finally, SEO in 2019 is also moving towards understanding how mobile browsers’ and ultimately your consumer’s searching habits differ to when they are at the desktop. It needs to be clear, quick without any delays. 

3. Stay up-to-date with the latest changes in SEO.

Dedicate time every month to read up on the latest developments in SEO. Remaining informed about recent changes, trends and algorithm updates will only ever enhance your strategy. 

4. Update your content regularly.

You need to remain up-to-date in terms of content. You need to remain fresh. It is one of the best indicators of a website’s relevancy. Therefore, new content is key but as with our first tip, ensure you write for the user and not the search engine. Good copy should never be compromised for SEO.

5. Discover the link between social media and SEO. 

While social media use does not drive you up the rankings, it is still extremely beneficial to learn how a strong social presence can positively affect your search results. 

Social media is already a huge part of our lives and will only continue to grow; it can therefore define your online authority and your brand. 

Some social networks are however turning into their own search engines – Pinterest and YouTube being among those that are more visual search engines whereas Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can help find more information about a person or a news event.  

6. Enrich your user experience.

While many feel SEO can damage the users’ experience, changes to Google’s algorithm is now actively encouraging companies to improve the user experience in order to rate higher in the rankings. Best practice include:

  • Using hyperlink differentiation 
  • Use images wisely
  • Include well-designed and written headlines and captions
  • Optimise your page speed
  • Use white space
  • Catch any 404s
  • Use attractive ‘calls to action’

7. Have a link-worthy site.

‘Click here’ is dull. It’s boring. It’s ineffective as it has no search engine value beyond the linked URL. Instead, use descriptive links that are rich keywords to improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to. 

So, if you are relying on users finding your site through a Google search, SEO needs to be on the top of your priority list.

Cover photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

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