SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.

I am sure you will have come across SEO before but do you know how important it is for your digital marketing?

It helps with your brand awareness, it helps to build relationships with current and potential new customers.

There are many factors to SEO but here are the main ones:

Keywords

Keywords are words or phrases that you want your website to be found for in search engine results. So for example “SEO Barnsley” is one of our keywords.

We could target keywords such as “SEO Services” or “SEO consultants” but the competition for these keywords is so big that it would be very difficult to achieve page 1 results on Google or other search engines.

So choosing the right keywords to target is very important.

Content

Once you have what you think are the right keywords you now need to go about creating pages and good quality content. You should split your pages into topics or categories. This way it is easier to SEO each page. For example we are based in Barnsley and we are surrounded by areas such as Sheffield, Leeds, Doncaster etc. To target all these areas to the home page would be difficult so we have created pages for each of the local areas that we support.

We also suggest having a blog or news section where you can educate the people that visit your website on what services you offer.

All of your content should ideally be unique but if that isn’t possible you need to tell the search engines to ignore that particular page.

Links

Links or backlinks can be internal and external. Internal links help people to navigate to other areas of your website. External links can help your domain authority if they are on a good quality website.

Google Search Console

Google search console or GSC for short is a selection of tools provided by Google. GSC helps you spot errors with your website and you can also see which keywords are driving visits to your website. This can help you to optimise your website with actual data rather the guess work that is done when you start with SEO.

Web Traffic

A recent study from the respected Forrester Group research company reported that businesses who invested in SEO and in particular user experience (which is a huge part of SEO) saw their revenues increase by 400%.

Much of our consumption and a huge amount of purchases are now made online and people have more time on their hands to do their research when it comes to brands, content and the overall feel of the way companies offer their wares than ever before. With most of us having more time on our hands than we know what to with what better time could there be to dedicate some of that pent up energy into getting to know the intricate details, flaws and potential for improvements on your website.

With people avoiding crowded places (the research is unanimous) and behaviour adjusting to shopping around online even more than before, now is the perfect time to open your business up to customers who up until now didn’t know you existed. To highlight that what this article is saying about SEO being more important than ever in the light of the current global situation is true is the fact that search terms including “SEO” are featuring highly in Google trends. As such it is imperative, now more than ever, that your business not only ranks highly in the results of search engines, but also – even more importantly – that the content users will find matches or even exceeds their expectations.

SEO Best Practices

Fortunately, the fundamental best practice of SEO is, these days, tied inextricably with user experience as the algorithms of search engines that were once rigid and designed to give reward to those sites that ticked some rather simple boxes, are now fluid, complex and designed to maximise the experiences of end users over anything else. Content must be informative, up-to-date, accurate and relevant and pages must be well laid out, not duplicated and easy to navigate for laptop/desktop and mobile users.

SEO is vital for helping you, as a business, to solidify what it is that you wish to project. What do you want your customers to think about your business? What do you want to be known for? You also need to begin by forging a concrete profile of your target audience. There is absolutely no point in increasing your visibility to an audience who would rather be blind to your presence. You need to pop up in relation to the right searches and using SEO tools like Google Analytics is a vital weapon in your SEO armoury in clarifying what makes your potential leads special. What are they searching for before arriving at your site? What unique problems can you address in top quality content and how can you integrate this content most effectively on your blog or website, with well-placed CTAs (Calls to Action) and purchase links, offers and advertising to grab the attention of the people most likely to make a purchase? These are all questions that can be answered by going through the process of overhauling your SEO.

Some of you will look at this article and instead of a balanced argument, you will be looking for a TL;DR precis. A snappy headline to tip you over the edge and convince you to embark on your SEO journey. Well, here it is…

Statistics reveal that around ¾ of all searchers NEVER look past page ONE of Google’s search results.

Still not convinced? Okay.

Around a third of searchers only click on the FIRST listing!

Maybe you still need a bit of a nudge? Well consider this. Browsing via mobiles is year on year more important in terms of market share. Add to this the fact that the percentage of people who research products and services prior to committing or even leaving the house, or office on their mobiles, is also dramatically increasing then you have an enormous incentive to ensure you maximise your web presence and search ranking. Finally, of these mobile searchers, 50% visit a local shop or premises after completing their search. Now, you should be 100% committed to investing your time in an SEO overhaul.