SEO – what every business owner needs to know

You have probably heard that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is something your business needs to do. What exactly is SEO, why is it important to your business, and what should you do about it? Here are the essentials that every business owner needs to know about SEO.

What Is SEO?

SEO involves taking steps to optimise your website to improve your ranking in Google.

In other words, you want your website to appear high up on search results pages whenever potential customers do searches for products or services you sell. SEO involves actions and strategies to help you achieve this.

How Search Engines Work

The first thing you should remember is that Google does not have to show your website on a search results page. You should also remember that Google’s priority is not your business.

Instead, Google only cares about the person doing the search. Therefore, its objective is to answer that person’s search query as quickly and as accurately as possible.

This is the most important concept to understand when it comes to SEO. There are lots of other factors to consider, of course, including keywords, page structures, content, etc. Understanding what is important to Google, however, is where you should start.

When you do, SEO starts to become much simpler, i.e. Google wants to answer a user’s search query as quickly and accurately as possible, so you should make sure your website does this.

Do You Really Need SEO?

If you want to keep and/or improve the traffic to your website that you get from Google, the simple answer is yes, you need SEO. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Google uses an algorithm to decide where your website appears on a search results page – in other words, everything about Google search is done by a computer programme. It is therefore important that Google’s search algorithm fully understands what your website is about and what you offer.
  • You have competition – if you want to appear in a higher position than your competitors in Google, you will need SEO.
  • Google has several specific standards – one of the things SEO should do is ensure your website meets Google’s standards. For example, lots of people now use Google search on mobile devices so it wants the mobile version of your website to be fully optimised. Page load speed is also important to Google as are things like unique content and user experience.

Of course, Google search is not the only way to get traffic to your website. You could, for example, use AdWords (paid search advertising) or social media. If you want Google search traffic, however, you will need to SEO your website.

Essential SEO Steps

  • Understand the keywords that are important to your website and optimise your website for them. Keywords are the phrases, queries, and terms that people type into Google when doing a search. Much of SEO involves keywords.
  • Your website needs a proper structure. This includes meta descriptions for every page, properly written page titles that include keywords, the use of header tags, and more.
  • Your website should be easy to use, and it should load fast.
  • Your website should work just as well on mobile as it does on a desktop computer.
  • Adding regular, fresh, and unique content to your website is important for SEO.

SEO requires a proper strategy and effective implementation to get right. When you do so, however, you will get more traffic from Google. Crucially, the benefits of SEO are long-lasting.