After a recent presentation to a group of local businesses I thought it would be interesting to include that content here, if you have been wondering how SEO can help your business this should help to give you an introduction to this service. Please do get in touch with question and to see how I can help you.
Website SEO or Search Engine Optimisation
The number one starting point for online search whether that’s a product or a plumber is with a search engine such as Google Chrome.
Optimising your website for Google can have a big impact on your business.
To get lots of online visitors, It’s not enough to just have a website. It’s important to make sure your website is structured and contains content that is relevant to your visitors you want to attract.
Optimising your website will help you:
- Grow your business
- Increase sales
- or enquiries.
How does SEO help a business?
SEO will help to Improve search engine position – if you’re not on page 1 then you will get far less traffic to your site. It will drive qualified traffic to your site – Not just a flood of random visitors, A qualified visitor is someone that is more likely to purchase or make a decision than a regular visitor.
Increase conversion – More people buying, booking or calling you.
Reduce Bounce Rate – This is when people arrive at your website but decide it isn’t relevant to them and quickly leave.
Saves you money, reducing the need to spend on advertising or paid search.
Basically SEO will help you to get more visitors, they’ll stay longer and be more likely to buy, book or call you.
So what is SEO
SEO is process of improving the position of your website in the “organic” search results of Google.
As Google is so widely used in the UK, you will get well over 80% of your web traffic directly from people searching within Google.
When i work with a client on their SEO I analyse the client’s website and what their customers are searching for and how many times they are searching for those phrases. I then look at their competitors to see what efforts they are doing with their SEO.
The goal is to improve the relevance of your website to specific search phrases so people will search for in Google then your website will be displayed higher in those results.
SEO work needs your website to have lots of unique and relevant content to search phrases you want to target.
It also includes making sure your website code is well structured to help Google understand what each web page is about.
It’s about making sure that the page has the right kind of content in the right amount and in the right places.
As a general rule of thumb, sites that appear higher up in the results will get more traffic to their pages, and so potentially more business.
The goal is to get to page one and ideally to position one but that depends on how much competition you have.
Google paid versus organic results
So i mentioned Organic results so i can explain what they are:
Google displays paid search results above organic search results and they are making them look very similar.
Appearing in the organic results is free and seen as a more trustworthy website to visit than a advert.
How Google Search Works
You could think of searching the web as looking in a very large book. Basically Google checks that book to determine the most relevant results for your search.
There are 3 parts of creating that result:
Crawling is the process by which Google uses a huge set of computers to crawl the internet. Using a secret algorithm that follows links from one website to another reading through the code of each page trying to understand what the website is about adding each page to its Index.
Googles index of your site includes the words it sees and their location on each page.
When you do a Google Search, your browser connects to Googles index for matching results and it’s quick,
If i do a search for Running shoes it will bring back about 82,300,000 results (0.56 seconds)
How do i improve a client’s website with SEO
I’m going to use a new client as a case studies. This is a local business based in Windermere. After using 2 other local design companies which have left them with a badly designed website with far less traffic than previous years.
The site was hacked in February this year and destroyed losing all content, the new site has never got to the original level of traffic
Looking at Google Analytics since the hack in Feb all website traffic is down around 43% on the previous year and 55% down on the year before which has terrible for the business.
First thing i did was place the website onto my website hosting which is based in the UK. This simple thing can really help Google to better understand the location of a business and which searches would be most relevant depending on their location. If a website is served from America or Asia this is confusing to Google if you want a hotel in the Lake District.
I then analyse the current website – looking for problems with the website code how much content the site has and if it is including search phrases we want the client to rank higher for.
The website design also has an impact on the search engines. If a site is difficult to read or navigate Google will be less likely to bother with the site.
There are over 200 areas that Google uses to decide on a web pages value and importance then compares that to all other websites on a similar topic.
For this client, I fixed the website code and improved the design to make the site easier to read and navigate.
Next I added a secure certificate added to the site which reassures visitors the website can be trusted and is secure.
This also comes with some SEO benefits from Google as well as reassuring the visitors that the website can be trusted.
Sites without a secure certificate are shown as Not secure now which won encourage visitors the site can be trusted.
After researching relevant phrases that will be searched for in Google and also how many times a month such as Lake District Boutique Hotels will be search for 2,400 times a month.
If my client can get onto page 1 for that phrase they will start to get a lot more traffic and bookings.
I’ve worked with the client’s content writer to create a series of new pages, more text on existing pages and all including their keywords I’d researched. Content was added and pages optimised around those phrases.
Its early days yet as i’ve only been working with them since October but already they are on page 1 in Google for: Luxury Hotels Windermere and just outside of page 1 for many other search phrases. This is a very quick improvement since i took over the site and it will continue to rise over the next 2-3 months.
That’s the power of SEO to improve your business.