One of the greatest perks of the 21st century is the internet and the roaring revolution it has brought about. It has changed our lives in ways that would have been thought crazy even 30-40 years ago.
Better than this, it has delivered up powerful opportunities that never even existed at the time. Opportunities that have made life easier for many, and that provide a way for businesses to increase sales exponentially. One of such is search engine optimisation (SEO).
Regardless of whether your business operates primarily on the internet or out the corner of 29th and park, there’s an excellent chance you’re only ever looking for one thing: customers that bring in sales. You want them pouring in everyday you’re open, looking to buy exactly what you’re selling and coming back for more.
There’s no better way to do this than through SEO. At this very moment, 40,000 people are searching the internet, looking for services that you may offer. By the end of today, 3.5 billion searches would have been made and the most savvy sellers would have sold in spades.
Imagine if you could get even 1,000 of those people to buy something from you this month? SEO helps you own a patch of this real estate and place your services directly before customers that need them.
SEO helps get your business in front of the billions that search the internet every day, looking for answers, trying to connect with those that offer what they want. Regardless of whether your business is internet based or mostly physical, you want a piece of that demand. That’s why SEO should be a big part of your marketing plan.
In this article, you’ll learn all about SEO and why it makes a lot of sense for your business.
What is SEO and how does it work?
As mentioned earlier, SEO stands for search engine optimisation. And as the name points out, it has everything to do with search engines, which is why we’ll start with them.
Search engines are like huge directories that point people in the direction of resources they need. In this way, they function pretty much like yellow pages. Here’s why.
Every website on the internet has its own uniform resource locator (URL). This URL functions much the same way as an address. Let’s imagine that Jane finds herself in New York city for the first time. She’s heard so much about the Empire State building and wants to see the building. So the first thing she tells her cabbie is to head on over there.
This is because she knows the address. In the same way, when you want to get to Facebook, all you have to do is type facebook.com into your browser and get there directly.
Now, imagine that Jane is done checking out the Empire State building and is now ready to find some lodging. She tells her cabbie that she’d like some nice, inexpensive accommodation. So, what does he do? He drives her around options that he thinks will fit her budget or gives her a hotel directory that she can search through.
That’s exactly how search engines function. When users are not sure exactly where they’re going or want to explore a range of options, they head over to search engines. These search engines find the most relevant results and display them in order of relevance.
As a business owner, what would you do to have the cabbie drive Jane to your hotel first? Yeah, you’ll probably give a year’s worth of meals if he can deliver even 10 clients per week.
What SEO does is ensure that search engines produce your website first when users search for services similar to what you offer. Neat eh?
How does SEO work?
Again, to understand how SEO works, you need to understand how search engines work. And we’ll mostly stick with Google here, seeing as more than 74.5% of search queries go through it.
Search engines do three things that are crucial to how they work. These are crawling, indexing and ranking. When you publish a website or web page for the first time, the first thing search engines do is scour the page to identify the content. This process is known as crawling.
Once this is done, they store and organise the content in a huge server called an index. Once your website or page has found its way into the index, it can be produced in response to search queries. This is indexing.
The final part of the process is the ranking part. When a user sends a search query through the engine, Google bots get to work to find, retrieve and rank answers to the query. This ranking is done in order of relevance, with the most relevant first and the least relevant last.
SEO focuses on optimising your website or page to perform optimally across these three stages. The aim, for SEO, is to ensure that Google bots can perfectly crawl and understand the content on your website. It ensures that your page finds it into the right index and, when the right query comes in, that your website gets produced on the first page.
Why is SEO important for your business?
As should be clear already, SEO can provide your website with much needed visibility. It serves as a veritable business tool and will afford you the following advantages:
Get your website on the first page
Google’s first page is the holy grail of online customer engagement. If you want your business to get a steady influx of new customers, you need to find your way to Google’s first page.
Research from Moz indicates that an average of 71.33% of searches will generate an organic click on the first page. This means that without paying for ads on the results page, there’s a 71% chance that someone will visit your website if you’re on the first page. And that’s not all, being on the first page helps you…
Reach the customers that want what you’re selling
The great thing about properly done SEO is it works almost like magic. It not only helps you connect with a large number of prospects; it links you to those that are genuinely interested in your services.
According to stats, 50% of users will visit your store after conducting a search, especially if you’re local. When they come around, they are more than likely to make a purchase too. Google reports that at least 18% of local searches will lead to sales on the same day!
Get ahead of the competition
One thing you need to keep in mind is that you’re not the only fish in the ocean. At last count, there were at least 1.5 billion websites in existence. That’s a lot of fish to compete with.
Every time Google displays search results, you’ll see something like “about 762,000,000 results (0.54 seconds)”. Ever wondered what it feels like to be the 720 millionth result? Hardly likely to be a nice feeling.
SEO allows you establish your website as an authority amongst your competitors. It sets you apart and showcases your website as being head and shoulders above the rest. It does this through two ways: quality content and trust.
Can you do SEO by yourself?
Absolutely. If you’re willing to spend the time and resources to learn about SEO, there’s no reason why you can’t do it yourself. Whether you own a blog, an e-commerce site or a brick and mortar store with a website, you can be your own SEO expert.
There’s a caveat though. SEO can be ridiculously difficult to implement and keep going. Respected SEO authorities and Google engineers have noted that there are more than 200 indicators that will affect the ranking of your website. Each of these indicators will have to be checked independently.
More than this, several of the indicators change frequently along with Google’s algorithm updates. This means you’ll have to consistently update your SEO tactics to ensure that your website is compliant. If you don’t do this routinely, you may be wasting your time or even worse, you may get penalised by Google.
That’s not to say that it’s impossible to properly perform your own SEO. There are actionable, perfectly repeatable, strategies that you can implement to always stay on top of your SEO.
But how do you learn these skills? If you execute a simple search for “How to implement SEO”, you’ll find millions of resources telling you how to go about it. The problem with these resources though is they often tell you only enough to fill their 1,000 – 2,000-word limit. They are unable to dedicate the length of time and depth of engagement that would help you fully understand SEO tactics and replicate them.
Even worse, relying on their information can be very risky as many don’t revise their content in line with new updates. So you may end up relying on inaccurate or incomplete information. No worries though. We have just the perfect solution for you.
Here’s how you can learn do it perfectly
AWA SEO Mastery Course is designed to provide you an ongoing resource that helps you understand and implement SEO. We understand that SEO can be a bit difficult to keep up with due to the technical terms and procedures involved. All of this is broken down into simple, clear steps that you can implement even in your sleep.
So, want the best way to learn proper SEO and acquire the most current skills?