What is SEO Marketing anyway?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is all about promoting a website with the combination of techniques that make it likely to be found easily and listed by search engines such as Google and Bing.

There are a lot of different aspects to SEO marketing and different actions that help a site be found. Some are about the structure of your site, some are about the content of your site. It can all sound rather like voodoo at first – but it really isn’t. Improving a site’s performance in search engine listings through SEO isn’t a quick fix. It requires patience and application, but it is worth persisting as the results will certainly help your business.

When we are designing websites we are often asked questions on SEO. These are the most common.

Does our website need SEO?

Without some SEO it is unlikely many people searching the web will find your business, other than those who already know your name, that is. Of course you might get lucky, but for most business that probably isn’t enough.

Traffic on the web is mainly driven by the big search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo – the ones you have heard of. Most web users will search for the product or service they want, rather than your business name. So traffic generated for your website by search engines in this way provides targeted traffic. Optimising your site for search engines means having the right content to be found in these searches, otherwise the traffic goes to your competitors.

Most research and a lot of bitter experience shows that search engine generated traffic will be a key component in achieving growth and business objectives. Generating more website visitors who are actually looking for what you offer enables you gain exposure, brand awareness, referals and publicity. It is crucial to the emerging techniques of both content marketing and inbound marketing. So putting time and money into SEO can generate spectacular rates of return on investment when set against other forms of marketing and advertising.

Do you need it – we would say so!

So search engines can’t find my site without SEO?

There are millions of sites on the web, your competitors are there, your partners are there and so are many of your customers.

The right SEO and the right content can mean you are found easily and on the appropriate searches. With SEO that’s not appropriate getting found can be very difficult indeed – readers will rarely look past the first two pages of search engine listings.

By making your content available to search engines in the right way you can generate thousands more visits and gain a business advantage

Can we do the SEO ourselves?

Most people understand the basics of Search Engine Optimisation – even if they don’t know it. You understand because you search yourself and that knowledge alone can make a difference if you apply it.

It all depends on the time you have – though you can start by ensuring that your content has the terms that you would search for within its text. Content is more and more important to search engines, in particular Google, which accounts for the largest share of the market. Google regularly updates its search methods to weed out many of the trick that were used to push sites up the listing in the recent past. If you are rebuilding your website plan for easily managed and deployed content including blogging which will help push you up the listings along with the use of social media.

If you are willing to learn then there is no reason you can’t fix your own SEO but like everything else your own time is money and it could pay to get in a consultant who can already has the knowledge and doesn’t need the learning curve. It might be that a highly focussed specialist is what you need but it is more likely that if you need to fix your SEO you also need to look at your overall website strategy to determine exactly what role in your sales and marketing you want your website to play in the future. A digital audit will establish the baseline from which you are starting and will act as a kick start to your thinking.

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