Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of growing a website’s organic search traffic. It's the tailored processes that will help your brand to show across search engines and effectively how it appears and ranks in organic results..
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SEO In A Nutshell
SEO is now a fundamental aspect of our everyday lives, it's how we find what we are looking for, it's how me make selections and purchases, it's how we find you!,
What Is SEO?
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website and web pages to climb higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). The aim is to, not only increase traffic in quantity, but also in quality. Ranking high in the SERPs enables businesses and brands to draw targeted traffic with a vested interest in their products and services. More targeted traffic means higher Click-Through Rates (CTRs). The increased exposure means you’ll get more attention from prospective customers. You can even drive customers straight to specific pages on your website by offering detailed answers to the questions they are searching for.
Why is SEO important?
Today almost 90% of consumers use search engines to research a new purchase. Search engines make it quick and easy for consumers to find the information they need very quickly.
Of those users, 75% will never look beyond the first page of a search engine and around 30% of all search engine traffic goes to the first organic result (i.e. the first result that is not a paid ad). A further 15% of traffic is drawn to the second and around 10% to the third.
Users search for the product/service/question they need answering, and the search engines spit back results to quickly and comprehensively answer their questions.
This is why the race to the top of Search Engines continues to grow.
It’s clear that a website will need to rank high within search results to engage with prospective customers. Your website won’t rank well if you don’t understand your customers. To be able to rank well in the SERPs, you must understand their wants, needs, and buying behaviour. Understanding your potential customers in granular detail raises the chances of reaching that first page!
The key to attracting new customers is to be in the ‘right place at the right time’. To do this, you need to understand your customer’s Micro-Moments.
Micro-Moments are the intent-rich moments where a search engine user will instinctively reach for their devices.
If they want to learn something, buy something or go somewhere, it creates an opportunity to engage them with helpful and relevant content.
Common micro-moments include;
“I want to go” moments
“I want to do” moments
“I want to buy” moments
Presenting users with high-quality and highly relevant landing pages can position you as the answer to users’ problems.
So, what do these micro-moments look like for your customers? If you’re new to SEO, one of the best ways to discover this is through keyword research. We discuss this later in this article under How To Do The SEO Basics.
SEO is like any other aspect of marketing. It needs a strategic and proactive approach that’s tailored to the needs of your market. As such, your approach will be slightly different depending on whether you’re trying to target local, national or international prospects. Let’s take a brief look at how the game is slightly different, depending on your target market.
Almost 50% of Google searches are for local businesses. If you run a cafe, restaurant, or boutique high street shop, you’ll need to adopt a localised approach to SEO.
One of the most effective things you can do to improve your local SEO strategy is also the simplest. Simply make sure that your business’ NAP data (Name, Address, and Phone Number) is kept up to date in your Google My Business page as well as any local directories where your business may be listed.
Local SEO is very relevant for mobile phone users. Over 80% of smartphone users carry out “near me” searches. If you run a local cafe, you’ll want to rank in local “coffee shop near me” searches. If your NAP data isn’t up to date, however, local prospects may not find you, or may be annoyed when you’re not at the location where they expect to find you.
Local directories are also important for SEO. It’s vital that your business is listed on as many as possible if you hope to gain prominence in your local market. This is yet another reason why it’s so essential to keep NAP data up to date.
Inconsistencies in names, addresses, or phone numbers between directories can not only harm your local search rankings but can also create frustration and confusion for prospects.
Link building is also an essential part of local SEO. Search engines will rank you higher when trusted, high-authority local domains like local government bodies, local newspapers, or successful local businesses link to your website. It does a great deal to lend your business and website legitimacy in the “eyes” of search engines. We’ll talk more about link building later.
Many SMEs will want to use SEO to try and conquer their local market. However, there are some that are aiming for a national reach. If you expect to achieve national SEO dominance, you need to be able to demonstrate to search engines that you’re among the most trusted businesses in the country.
Great SEO comes with time.
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes when it comes to SEO at a national level. It’s simply a case of consistently adhering to best-practice and keeping a close eye on the basics. Don’t worry, we’ll explain those basics in much greater detail later!
Achieving SEO dominance in another country is challenging. Especially if that country has a native language that is not your own. Your first step should be to ensure that you localise content for international languages. This is about more than translating it into the language of your intended location. It means using geotargeting with international-friendly URLs.
Geotargeting is a paid practice that delivers content and information based on the current location of the user.
International-friendly URLs include short, easy-to-remember URLs that include the country code in the top-level domain, subdomain, or subdirectory.
As with local link building, you’ll need to find and reach out to high authority sources in your chosen country to improve your international rankings. You should also install welcoming prompts to redirect users from your .com website to their country’s equivalent.
To read the full article and an in-depth look at how search engines work, please click below.