Search Engine Optimisation
When you are just beginning your online endeavours it really pays dividends to learn some search engine optimisation basics right out of the gate. Because no matter how much of a visual impact your site might make, this is the process that will actually dictate the success or failure of your website.
If you have a lot to learn about SEO then you’re definitely in the right place to pick up some quick tips to set you up along the right path towards a basic understanding of the core concepts.
Here’s the scoop!
What Is Search Engine Optimisation?
Since many of you reading this may well be new to the game, we thought we’d get the ball rolling with some very basic information.
Search engine optimisation (usually abbreviated to SEO) is a way to harness certain ranking factors in your favour. The goal is obviously to get high rankings in the search engines. Don’t forget that does not just mean Google – you should not underestimate the importance of Yahoo! and Bing.
The reason is simple: to be found by your customers and potential prospects.
Contrary to (some) popular belief “doing SEO” is not frowned upon by Google, it is actually encouraged. It is the aggressive unnatural and positively manipulative stuff where the line is drawn.
If you do not have high organic rankings, your website will simply be a needle in a haystack. It may serve as a great brochure for people you yourself tell about it, but it won’t achieve much more than that. It certainly won’t be anything resembling a money machine. If nobody can find it, then it isn’t working powerfully for you.
You could of course try some paid advertising.
But high rankings are the holy grail, and tend to be more targeted towards your products and services.
The Search Engine Optimisation Basics & What They Mean to Your Business
To be very simplistic about search engine optimisation, the core elements for high search engine rankings are:
This is critical. Google does provide a keyword tool but of course there are other more sophisticated tools available. Of course you can make a decent guess at what your customers are searching for, but you will always be amazed at the various combinations that people come up with. Often you simply wouldn’t think of them. Naturally some combinations will be more competitive than others.
The power inherent in this is quite simply that it laser targets exactly what your market is searching for. Only when you know these “keyword phrases” can you even contemplate making a half way decent attempt to build the correct content for your web site, and plan a strategy for building backlinks pointing back to your site.
If you do not know the correct keywords, your online endeavours will be built on sand.
There are certain factors that Google, Yahoo and Bing take into consideration when they examine a webpage. One of the primary factors is, of course, relevancy. But there are many, many factors that the bots look for. Some are logical and some may seem counter intuitive at times.
These factors do change and one never stops learning. But a trained eye can work wonders to put these factors to work to your advantage. Gradually by these methods you can outrank your competition.
Off-page optimisation has many aspects to it. But perhaps the most important of all is: backlinks. Yes backlinks, and more backlinks, and more and more backlinks.
Simple? Most definitely not.
Whilst backlinks are vital to the art of achieving high search engine rankings, they can so easily be a source of manipulation. If you try to pull the wool over Google’s eyes (that is if robots do actually have eyes!) then inevitably you will most probably have your comeuppance one day. It is simply not worth it.
If you have a profound understanding of what Google actively wants, then there really is no need to engage in this type of sharp practice. When you are looking for SEO success it is far better to build solid foundations and be in it for the long haul.
The history lesson set out in the SEO London page where we drew a metaphor with an arms race does demonstrates the ultimate futility of trying to put one over Google.
Google uses certain factors to decide where various pages of a website should rank for the multitude of available keyword phrases.
You can harness these factors in your favour through search engine optimisation. When you learn how to stack these factors, one after another after another, in your favour, then it is inevitable higher rankings in the Google results will inevitably follow.
The Search Engine Results Pages (“SERPs”) for different keyword phrases do, of course, vary considerably in competitiveness. That is without a doubt the most utterly obvious statement you will find on this website, and we worry as we write this that you might feel that we are insulting your intelligence. That is certainly not the intention.
It is probably true to say that with enough hard work and dedication, you could even end up claiming the number one spot for your selected keyword phrase if you really want it badly enough.
But once again to state the very obvious, ranking for “emergency plumber Neasden” will not be nearly so difficult as “how to lose weight”.
(Hint: if you want to rank for number one for “how to lose weight” you will need the patience of a saint and a budget not dissimilar to that needed to run for the United States presidency…..but can you imagine how much money you could make if you ranked number one globally for “how to lose weight”? The mind boggles.)
Why Should I Even Bother with Search Engine Optimisation?
We hope that by now you will be convinced that SEO can make a very real difference in your business and by definition, to your bottom line revenue.
It seems to us therefore that it boils down to these two questions:
- do you believe in the power of SEO?
- do you think that a good SEO rank can really help a business earn more money?
If you aren’t yet convinced we will clearly have to try a little harder to convince you in some of the other articles on this website. For we are true believers in the simple equation that high SEO visibility means more visitors to your site, and if your site is compelling then it is only a matter of time before this converts to more money. It is really very simple indeed.
How to be found on the search engines?
Most business owners do not have the foggiest clue how to perform search engine optimisation on their websites….and why should they?
Well we wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to fix a dripping tap or how to fill a dental cavity.
On the one hand there is some simple information that can help, but the reality is that to do this exercise properly to its fullest extent, does require specialist knowledge.
What the business owner does best is…..run his or her business. Even if that person has the inclination to add yet another skill set to their unique abilities, we would suggest that there are probably a thousand other things that would be a better use of their time.
If this resonates with you, then do yourself a favour and hire an SEO agency that specialises in search engine optimisation, great conversion techniques, has the ability to pull a lot of moving parts together and construct sophisticated marketing sales funnels, and understands the plethora of advertising sources and techniques.
This is the best way to conquer your market without having to spend years learning SEO – and trust us, to learn this skill properly, we are talking about years, not hours!
Of course you may well have a friend of a friend of a friend who says that they understand a bit of SEO. Perhaps they do. In one of my previous professional incarnations when I had a “real job” I had medical insurance as part of my job package, and I went to a Harley Street specialist for weekly injections to try to defeat a really bad allergy. It didn’t work. At the end of the treatment he offered my some acupuncture. Apparently this Harley Street specialist who charged an arm and a leg had been on a weekend course to learn the basics of acupuncture. Needless to say his “acupuncture” did not work. But it did inspire me to seek our a real acupuncturist who had spent over three years studying traditional Chinese acupuncture……and he really helped my allergies go away. As the old adage goes: “you pays your money and you takes your choice.”
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