SEO – What is it and why is it important for your business?

When executed correctly a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy will increase both the quantity and quality of traffic to your website. This is done by ensuring that you occupy a strong organic ranking position in the search engine results.

Good SEO takes proper attention to both the needs of search engines and individual users. A strong website optimisation strategy will consider what your ideal audience is searching for online, including the specific keywords they are using, the types of content they want to engage with, and the answers they want to find. Before you can build a robust SEO strategy for your business, you need to know the answers to these questions to ensure you are best placed to connect with the right people, in the right places, at the right times, and in the right way!

SEO 101

A search engine crawls and indexes billions of individual pieces of content to deliver a page of results it deems most effectively answers the query that lies at the heart of every search a user conducts. A strong digital strategy should incorporate both an organic and paid approach to digital marketing and SEO is primarily concerned with the former.

SERPs are now filled with more advertising than ever before, but they also contain more dynamic features too. These features, including rich snippets and image carousels, are influenced by SEO and if you can secure a place within one of those features for a key search term or phrase, you should see increased traffic that you can then convert into valuable leads and sales.

The Importance of Good SEO

Most online traffic is search engine driven. In addition to organic search results being afforded more real estate on SERPs, they are often cited as being more credible in the eyes of searchers. Across both desktop and mobile, SEO drives 20% [1] more traffic opportunities than pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and in the US, only 2.8% [2] of searchers engage with paid advertisements.

Unlike paid advertising, which needs co┬žnsistent investment, producing a well-written and informative piece of content that ranks well for relevant keywords can pay dividends over time, attracting more and more high quality, highly convertible traffic.

Although search engines are consistently getting smarter with each algorithmic update, optimisation is still essential to ensure your content is properly crawled, indexed, and ranked.

Building a Credible Brand

The primary goal of every powerful SEO strategy is to establish a robust web presence that highlights the credibility of your brand. Brand authority is built over time through considered elements including positive user behaviour, optimised on-page content and high-quality backlink profiles.

The difference between Black Hat and White Hat SEO

White hat SEO is a term used to refer to optimisation techniques and best practices that are aligned with search engine rules. Conversely, black hat SEO refers to the strategies and techniques that are designed to spam and/or trick search engines into awarding a more prominent ranking position.

Black hat techniques can be effective in a transient fashion but as algorithms are continually evolving, sites using these practices risk being removed from search results altogether. Many businesses have struggled to recover from this type of unethical SEO, which is why pursuing a strategy comprised solely of white hat techniques is so important.

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[1] https://moz.com/blog/state-of-searcher-behavior-revealed
[2] https://sparktoro.com/blog/seo-opportunity-growing-shrinking/

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