While keywords, page speed and domain authority might sound like meaningless jargon, without them your website may not be optimised effectively for search engines.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of those misunderstood tasks that you should try to focus on with your website to ensure it’s getting the results you’re looking for – whether that’s more traffic or more sales.
There are plenty of guides out there on steps you should take to ensure your website is optimised, such as 7 top tips for getting better SEO as a small business owner, so in this blog I want to focus on why you should be taking SEO seriously.
Many business owners I’ve spoken to don’t do any SEO work on their website because they don’t understand how it’ll benefit them, or because they believe it will cost thousands from a digital agency (it won’t!), so here’s the 5 reasons why you should be upping your SEO game in 2019.
1 – Your website needs to be found if it’s going to get you results
- provides reassurance that you’re a genuine business
- gives credibility that you’re good at what you do
- gives further information about yourself, your products/services
- gives social proof in the form of testimonials/reviews
- acts as a conversation between you and your target audience, answering those important questions they might not want to ask directly
- makes it possible for a “sale” to be made
But your website is unable to do any of that hard work for you if it can’t be found easily.
SEO is about getting your website listed as highly as possible in the search results page for people searching for businesses like yours or the products/services that you sell.
A study found that 90% of all traffic from search engine results was from the first page, with the top three spots getting the most attention.
Although this statistic is somewhat old now (2013) and many would argue that they do go searching through results pages for what they want, most people are unlikely to spend the time and effort going past the third page of results. So, where you place is important, and that’s all down to SEO.
2 – Organic search results are still the primary source of website traffic
Organic SEO is what we’re focusing on here – that means you don’t pay Google for adverts pushing your website or landing page to a prominent position in the search results.
Despite the many millions of pounds that business owners and companies invest into paid Google Ads, you might be surprised to hear that it’s the organic search results that’s sending the most traffic to websites.
When it comes to website traffic, studies have shown that 39% of all website traffic comes from search engine results pages, but of those results only 4% are paid ads. That means organic SEO is still at the top of the list and the best bit? Organic SEO is considerably cheaper than using paid ads.
3 – An optimised website makes for a better user experience
Google likes a website that’s simple to use, preferring ease of navigation and relevant links to flashy design with bells and whistles that looks great but actually detracts from what the website is about.
Guess what? Your target audience prefer this too.
Think about the websites you’ve used recently. How easy were they to use? Did you give up on some of them because they took too long to load, or you couldn’t figure out where to go for the information you wanted?
Google focuses on user experience because a poor functioning website is going to send their users back to search results and somewhere else, affecting Google’s reputation.
For you, lost visitors means lost opportunities and profit.
Most web designers and developers understand how to create a simple yet stunning website that’s naturally optimised for search engines, but if you’re taking care of things yourself you need to be sure that you:
- use keywords naturally in your text rather than optimising high ranking keywords that aren’t relevant to your website
- use clear call to actions with a button or click that takes the visitor immediately to where they need to be to perform that action
- use the right words in anchor text that relate to the content found in the link, for example, don’t use “this blog about dog food” when the link takes them to a page about cat food.
- make sure the text is large enough to read at a glance and is clearly visible against the background
- use title tags (H1, H2) etc properly to break up text and draw attention to what’s relevant
- use meta descriptions so people understand exactly what that page is about
- use image alternative text descriptions to aid visually impaired users access your website
That’s just a short list of improvements you can make but are the important ones for ensuring your website is quick and easy to use, which will improve your conversion and sales rate.
4 – SEO is a long-term strategy that’s always working behind the scenes
While optimising your website for search engines today is unlikely to get you instant results (although the changes to the user experience may achieve just that), it’s always working hard in the background and steadily improving your SERP score (search engine results page).
Eventually that hard work will pay off with no more focused effort needed as every time you update your website, publish a blog or promote a link through social media you’re adding more “points” to your score, meaning a few weeks from now the ranking should be higher than today.
It’s a kick back and relax (mostly) approach that provides a steady stream of increased traffic to your website and the additional sales they bring with them, so long as you’re using blogging, content marketing and social media to keep things fresh and relevant for your target audience.
5 – SEO is a cheap form of marketing that can yield fantastic results
While it can be costly in terms of time and effort once the work is done it requires little maintenance to keep things ticking over and improving things for you. Just doing content marketing and social media marketing that directs people back to your website is often enough.
Although Google likes to shake things up now and then, their focus is always going to be on providing a good user experience and that means a website your target audience is going to love. So naturally, ensuring your website is optimised to meet the needs of Google is going to work wonders in appealing to potential customers too.
Fundamentally, having the right website optimised for your target audience and for search engines is going to provide the much needed foundation for your other marketing efforts and ensure they yield the return on investment you’re hoping for, and that’s why I recommend every small business owner pays attention to SEO as soon as they can.
To find out more about marketing for your business and how SEO can benefit you, get in touch with me today for a friendly consultation at 07973 924 589.