Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is a practice business’s can and should utilise to increase both the quality and quantity of traffic to their website. It can give your business a better understanding of your clientele by showing you what words are being used in a search, the type of answers the audience is seeking and the type of content they would like to consume.
It’s beneficial to understand what a search engine does once a person types something into the search bar. It evaluates thousands of factors and scours billions of pieces of content to determine the best content that will answer the persons query. It “crawls and indexes” all available information on the internet and puts it in order as to how well it matches the query, which is also known as “ranking”.
Search Engine Results Pages, or SERP’s, are the result of the search. They are continuing to change and emerge, driven largely by what people are seeking. An example of a SERP is what is presented when someone searches for ‘weather’. The forecast is displayed directly in the SERP itself, rather than offering a link to a website.
SEO, when set up correctly, can continue to pay dividends over time. It makes sense this is the case since the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines. If you optimize your website and focus on the included content, the information delivered to the search engine will place your website in a position that is properly displayed within search results. This will also ensure that you are fulfilling the users intent.
It comes down to personal preference as to whether you decide to hire an expert to assist with your SEO, as it is possible to do some of the basics yourself. It can be beneficial to invest in a professional with experience if you research them first. Many agencies and consultants will claim knowledge in providing SEO services, but the quality can vary greatly. It’s important to note that using the wrong SEO techniques can harm your website. Ask whoever you choose to go with to explain the difference between ‘White hat SEO’ and ‘Black hat SEO’. Their answer should give you some insight into their work ethics. White hat refers to the best practices and strategies used that abide by search engine rules. Black hat is the act that attempts to scam / fool search engines, which may work but comes with tremendous risk, like bankruptcy.
If you take the time to really understand your websites business goals while recognising and managing your Key Performance Indicators (like sales, downloads, email signups and phone calls) you will achieve more success in and possibly see a return in your SEO investment. ‘Ranking’ and ‘traffic’ are an important addition, but they are means to an end. Particular focus on the smaller details and constant correct management will achieve better overall results. When SEO is done well it helps a business grow and is paramount to their success.