A Brief Guide to SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. Generally speaking, it’s the process of increasing the amount of traffic to your website as well as the quality of the traffic, through a number of online techniques.
With good SEO, your business can move higher up in the search engine rankings, which means your website will be found more easily. If it’s one of the first websites a person sees when searching for something specific, they are more likely to click on it.
Hence you are increasing your website visitors and chances of converting those visitors to customers. All from improving your SEO.
This is because people are typing in words or phrases into a search engine, which match with words and phrases on your website.
For example, imagine you own a business selling hot tubs.
Someone might be looking for a hot tub and they type in a search phrase like ‘where can I get a hot tub for my garden near me?’ Then they will get a list of companies that can sell them hot tubs. Where is your business on this list?
The businesses that are higher up and on page 1 of the search page are clearly using SEO well.
The potential customer searching for a hot tub is much more likely to click on one of the first websites that appears rather than scrolling through several pages to solve the problem.
That’s where good search engine optimisation comes in. If your website has regular, fresh content, new images and videos, it’s more likely to appear higher up in a search.
Obviously, you want the people to choose your business over the others in your industry that appear in the search so you need to stand out.
Table of contents:
How Does SEO Work?
Generally speaking, SEO targets unpaid traffic, rather than direct or paid traffic.
Unpaid traffic is also known as natural or organic, basically visitors find your website naturally, not because they click on a sponsored ad.
Essentially, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for and the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines. As well as which search engines are preferred by your target audience.
Ultimately, with good SEO, your website will receive more visitors from a search engine. This helps your website to rank higher on the search engine results, otherwise known as SERP.
Here are a few other SEO phrases which are useful to know.
Search engines use complex mathematical algorithms to decides which websites a person is looking for. Sometimes the programs are called spiders. Websites getting more inbound links, are presumed to be more important and what the user is searching for.
The leading search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo use crawlers to find pages for their algorithmic search results.
Occasionally, the search engines update the way their crawlers search for websites.
For example, in 2016, Google started to make their index mobile first. This means that the mobile version of a website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index.
Which basically means that you need a really good, user friendly, mobile version of your website. Don’t overlook this. The mobile version of your website must be easy to find and navigate.
Cross linking between pages of the same website to provide more links to important pages can help to improve its visibility.
This is why a blog is an excellent idea for your website.
Writing a regular blog will give you fresh content each time, but you can also link back to other blogs or landing pages to sign up for more content.
These cross links can keep people looking at your website for longer because they find another piece of content that they’re interested in.
However, you also need to get other people to link to your website. Getting links from other reputable businesses will give your SERP ranking a major boost.
It makes your website more credible and trustworthy in the eyes of visitors. However, this is not always easy. You’ll need to create great content that other people will want to share. Such as educational blog posts, or inspirational videos. Getting other people to link to your website requires time and dedication.
A top tip here is to have a look at the topics on Google trends. You can see what people are searching for and the related queries that come with that search. Hence you can start creating content that you know people want to see.
Furthermore, if you are an industry expert in your field, you could write useful content or guest blogs for another business in return for a cross link to your website. Thus extending your reach further than your own blog.
SERP stands for search engine results page or position. In simple terms, it’s the page that displays search results whenever your search for something.
All SERPS are unique with Google search, because Google personalises search results for its users to display results that are relevant to each specific person.
How to Get Good at SEO?
Is SEO easy to do?
Well, it’s easy to get started, and interesting to keep up to date with, but it’s not all straight forward.
You can get further and deeper into SEO, including several technical aspects or you could hand it over to an expert and you’ll notice the difference in website traffic almost immediately.
However, you can learn to do basic SEO yourself. Just don’t underestimate the time and effort it takes to do it well.
If you can only commit a few minutes a day on your SEO, then you won’t notice a change very quickly.
Again, that’s when an expert can help. If you’re trying to balance SEO with running your business, it can possibly get overwhelming.
Meanwhile, if you’re ready to give it a go, here are some top tips to get started.
Do Your Keyword Research
Putting together a list of relevant keywords is a crucial element to improving your SEO. What words or phrases do people use when looking for your business?
Imagine someone is asking you what your business is about.
Do you provide a service, sell products, or make things? Do you have a niche? For example, if your business is a catering company for large events such as weddings and business meetings, how do you attract the right clients with your keywords?
You will obviously need ‘catering’ in your keyword list, but think further about your niche.
You could include ‘gourmet food’ ‘tasting menu’ ‘canapés’ ‘wedding breakfast’ ‘ dinner parties’ wine tasting’ and so on.
Also, you can add in a location, so if people are looking for ‘a wedding catering company in Norfolk’ then if you have used Norfolk across your website as a keyword, your business is more likely to appear in their search.
Or you could be writing a blog about what food to choose for a wedding breakfast.
You could do your own google search on this and find out what keywords keep popping up.
What do a lot of people ask for or search for? Then make a list of those foods if you offer them, and write about them in your blog.
Continue to weave your keywords through your content in a natural way. So you may have a heading on ‘Hog Roasts’ or ‘Canapes for Entertaining’ for example.
Furthermore, you can include these keywords through your title tags and meta descriptions of images on your website, which will make the search engine see your website as even more relevant.
Local SEO is important here. If you have a physical location, you can update it on google business search, including a map, so people can find you easily.
For example, have you ever used the phrase ‘cafes near me’ or ‘restaurants in NR3’.
The box with all the business information is called the local SEO pack. Updating your location information on Google business page will make a difference to your local presence.
Bad SEO v Good SEO
So, you can get started on SEO by yourself. But a word of caution here. There is such a thing as bad SEO.
Generally speaking, bad SEO means using practices that are unethical, outdated or outside the boundaries of Google guidelines. Bad SEO can be detrimental to your business.
Here are some example of bad SEO to avoid:
1/ The Same Content
Any new content should be fresh and original. Even if that blog is over a year old and you want to recycle it, write a new one! Content that is not original is not good for SEO.
In simple terms, if search engines already have the same content in their index, there’s no reason to index your web page because there’s nothing new to offer.
Therefore, each piece of content must be original. No copy and pasting from another website or blog.
2/ Repeated keywords
Keywords are essential to SEO, but they must be used organically, or naturally. Don’t stuff your website full of the same keywords because you want someone who is searching for ‘catering’ to find your catering company.
For example, writing ‘a catering company based in Norwich, for all your catering needs, catering for wedding breakfasts, catering for big events etc’ is not good practice.
Plus it’s bad use of the English language.
Write normally, professionally, as if you are selling your goods to a customer. Just thread the keywords around the content naturally.
3/ Careful With Those Links
Back to the cross links. It’s great to be a guest writer on another blog, or to get someone to write for you, but remember that the writing should be of a high quality as it reflects on your business.
You don’t want to publish a badly written piece of content on your website just because you’ve agreed to do it in exchange for a link.
Also, the writing should be original, relevant and useful for your audience. Don’t just publish anybody’s content!
4/ Paid Links
Did you know you can pay for links?
Some companies provide a list of links that you can use on your website. However, the search engines regard this as bad SEO.
That’s because they want natural backlinks, not shortcuts.
Even if it provides results initially for your website traffic, Google will find out you have paid for the links and you could end up losing your ranking.
5/ Slow websites
Ideally, your website should load in less than 4-5 seconds and be available all of the time.
A website which is temporarily or suddenly unavailable is not good for your SEO practices.
If you are having problems with how long your website takes to load, or you need to build a new one, you can get in touch with a digital agency like Lead Genera to help you.
How Does SEO Boost Your Business?
If you’re starting a business, you want it to be visible and credible in the digital space.
The first step is to build a great website so that people can find your products or services easily online.
The next step is to help people to find your brilliant website. That’s where SEO comes in.
SEO can help your website to stand out among the thousands or millions of others in your particular industry around the world.
Through using SEO well, more people will be able to find your website.
Then, the more traffic you get to your website, the more you increase your chances of converting visitors into customers.
Furthermore, SEO helps to build trust in your brand. If you are a new business, why would someone choose you over another brand they already trust?
The more visible your website becomes in the search engine rankings, the more people start to trust you.
Think about the way you choose which website to click on when you are doing a search.
Are you more likely to click on the first few websites that appear, or do you scroll through several pages until you think you find an ideal website to suit your needs?
Most people don’t get past page 1 of a google search.
Moreover, SEO helps you to build a positive user experience.
Essentially, the easier your website is to use, the easier it is for a visitor to find what they are looking for.
For example, say you own a beauty therapy business. If you have used your keywords well, you will have all the search phrases through your website that people are looking for.
Such as ‘facial’, ‘aromatherapy massage’ or ‘manicure’ and ‘pedicure’.
These will naturally appear in your headings, images and content so that a visitor can easily see exactly what you business offers.
They shouldn’t have to click through several links or pages to get to a price list or a contact number. Your website should be as easy and clear to use as possible and SEO is a big element of this.
How to Pick a Good SEO Company?
As mentioned earlier, you can start and build up your business SEO on your own, or you could ask an expert for help.
Building up your SEO and using it well requires time, patience and dedication.
It’s not a case of a daily 10 minute addition to your schedule.
Improving your SEO and using it well to boost your business needs to be part of your overall marketing strategy.
You can start with a tick list of SEO recommendations to improve your website immediately, but doing it well goes so much deeper than that.
Moreover, improving your SEO should be a priority for every business, no matter what size. Hence, if you don’t have the time to dedicate to it or a current expert in your company, you should get some professional support.
But how do you choose a good SEO company to help you?
Here are 4 things you should you look for:
1/ What experience do they have in SEO
Really, there’s no point in paying for SEO support unless they are much more knowledgeable than you are.
What experience do they have with SEO? How can they show you this? Have they ever dealt with a company with your specific aims and goals? Do they understand your industry?
Who else has used them before? Do you recognise any key brands or names or can you look them up? Are there any positive reviews or testimonials you can find online? What is their reputation like?
3/ Ethical and Respectable
As mentioned earlier, a respectable SEO agency or company will always employ ethical techniques when it comes to SEO. So if someone is offering to pay for back links or using other ‘bad’ SEO strategies, then walk away now.
4/ Good Communication
Are you happy with the person or team you will be working with? Can you contact them easily and get your questions answered in good time? Essentially, you want the company to provide you with regular updates. You are paying for results and you want to see it happening.
Lead Genera and SEO
To sum up, with good SEO, you can boost your business by putting it right in front of potential customers online.
Professional SEO optimises the content on your website so that a search engine values your content enough to show it to the end user.
The higher your SEO score, the higher your website is on the search results page.
With this in mind, professional SEO takes time and effort. There could be many businesses offering the same product or service as you.
So it’s important to consider:
- Why should someone pick yours? Does your website solve their problems?
- Answer their questions and provide useful and relevant content at the same time?
- Do your keywords thread naturally around your content while avoiding any bad SEO practices?
Great SEO builds up the awareness and visual presence of your business, which ultimately leads to more traffic and more opportunity to capture and convert leads.
Hence it’s important to get it right and do it well. Therefore, it’s one thing to research and write a list of keywords.
It’s entirely another to offer an informative and enjoyable experience to the end user, while being as relevant as possible to search engines.
This means understanding and providing what your customers are searching for.
Furthermore, the technical aspects of SEO and particularly google searches are always adapting. Search engine algorithms can be increasingly complicated.
Hence if you are really keen to grow your business, it’s a good idea to get a professional company like Lead Genera to help with your SEO.
Notably, this is an investment, but you will be able to see the results much faster than if you spent the time and effort improving SEO by yourself.
Moreover, if you are not an expert in SEO, you can hand this work over to someone who is, and concentrate on the parts of your business that you are really good at.
Delivering A Measurable Impact
We offer a personalised approach, so you won’t feel excluded, you will be included in the SEO process and will be able to see the results.
Lead Genera is a hands-on agency which gets to know your business intimately. Hence they can understand what your business needs in terms of SEO and how to get the best impact for you.
With good SEO, you can attract more visitors to your website and raise the potential to convert people into customers.
Moreover, if you work with Lead Genera, you will be attracting quality leads to your business by using excellent SEO processes.
These are the people who show an interest in what your business has to offer and they want to know more. It’s like delivering a ready made customer to your shop who wants to buy your product.
Therefore you have a much greater chance of converting that visitor to a paying customer. Hence you are growing your business even further.
If you would like expert help with your SEO, get in touch with Lead Genera today at https://leadgenera.com to see how they can help.
You can also chat live to a member of the team on the website and ask any questions you have within working hours.