What is SEO and How Does it Help Businesses?
Although the term SEO is bandied around and spoken of, we thought we would write a simple guide to SEO to explain:
- What it is
- What it does
- How it can help your business
What is SEO?
SEO is a method of optimising a website so that it features within search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing (which is MSN search).
SEO involves implementing systems onto your website that will show these search engines that your website is valuable and relevant to the person who is searching. There are various systems and methods, both on your website and off your website, that are implemented within SEO which enable to get your website found to appear in the search engines.
What are Search Engines?
The search engines’ main objectives are to present relevant websites to the searcher and to discount irrelevant and poor websites. The search engines work by evaluating through their various complex algorithms how relevant and valuable the website is at providing good quality information and content to match the searcher’s query and therefore to fulfil the searcher’s requirements.
How do Search Engines Work?
Search engines have four purposes.
- Crawling the internet
- Responding to search enquiries
- Enabling rankings
Crawling the Internet
Search engines crawl the web regularly with automated systems which are referred to as `spiders’ or `bots’. Search engines will crawl throughout the internet and look at every web page and document that form the internet.
Another role for the search engines is indexing. They will index the web pages and documents that they have crawled, hold important details about these pages and documents and then store them in an index. This process helps search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, to present relevant websites to searchers who are searching for a particular product, brand or service.
Responding to Search Queries
When a searcher types in a query, search engines will process this query by referring to its index consisting of billions of pages, websites and documents and present websites that match the searcher’s query in a list of websites. It does this by matching key phrases and keywords with the websites, pages and documents.
Search engines will also determine the quality of website presented to the searcher and how high they appear on their search engine results pages (SERPS).
For quality, authority websites that Google deem suitable and valuable and that match the searcher’s query, the higher the ranking will be on their search engine pages for those high quality and authoritative websites.
What does SEO do?
The method of SEO will help websites to get noticed by the search engines and get ranked for specific terms and phrases whilst also appearing on their search engine results pages. When SEO is implemented for a website, it is more likely to be found in search engines by their indexed data for words and phrases that are relevant to what the business and website is offering.
How can SEO Help Your Business?
Search is the most important form of marketing and research for potential customers today. It doesn’t cut it anymore to just have a half-decent website that is live, not optimised and with no traffic being driven to it. It is the same scenario as having a shop front with no sign on your shop or pointing to your shop to say to your potential customers where you are and what you sell.
If your website does not have SEO implemented, you will be losing out in terms of rankings and driving more quality traffic, which in turn won’t improve the number of leads that you generate. Your competitors may also be operating an SEO-optimised website that will drive the traffic to their websites and not yours.
SEO is an important digital marketing process to be implemented on your website to improve rankings in the search engine page results so that you have visibility to customers searching for a particular product or service. If your business is not in the top 20 (first two pages) of Google then you will not be found at all as research shows that 84% of searchers never reach Page 3 of the search engine results. Studies also found that the top three Google results receive 79% of clicks.
Having good rankings in the search engine page results will give your business visibility in the marketplace and against competitors, drive more traffic and generate more leads and enquiries for you. Business with higher organic search results are also perceived as better quality companies by those looking for products and services and searchers are more likely to visit those websites.
Using search engines is an integral part of the customer research and behaviour for buying and is integral to the way customers research products and services and purchase online and offline. UK internet users visited search engines 2.3 billion times during one year as at May 2012, and this figure is increasing by nearly 4 per cent year on year.
Other consumer reviews and research have shown that 70 per cent of searchers used the internet to find a local business in the past year.
Search engines also recommend that websites are built and cater for visitors rather than search engines, and the more useful and well-written information and content referring to your products that you have on your website, the better it is for your business, customers, SEO and for rankings. SEO methods should not be spammy both on and off your website and it needs to consider and serve your customer first and foremost. Within the Google quality guidelines SEO should also improve the usability of the website for users and make websites faster (i.e. to get information from).
Contact us to Find out More on SEO
If you need SEO in Surrey, please call us on 0208 914 8998. We’re more than happy to talk it through with you further. We also carry out comprehensive SEO audits that take a 360 degree view of your business, market and competition.