So, you’ve decided to take your business online and you have yourself a brand new website for all of your customers to enjoy. You’ve done a little offline promotion and posted some links via social media telling the world that your Edinburgh-based business is now operating online. But where are all the visitors? You have a great website, promoting great products and services, yet barely anyone is visiting your site. Why is this? Well, the answer is quite simple: no one can find you on the search engines.
In the ultra-competitive world of online business, you have to be seen to be heard, and to be seen you have to be easy to find on the likes of Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Achieving this is not all about having the best website or the best products (although admittedly both of those things do help); it’s about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation is all about implementing a range of methods and techniques that are designed to take a website from obscurity to stardom. While you can carry out some of these methods through the regular publication of great content and a strong social media presence, others require the help of SEO professionals, who – with on-page and off-page optimisation – will come up with a strategy that gets your website to the all-important first page of the search engines.
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Some of the techniques used by the SEO pros include:
- Keywords – the bread and butter of SEO. When someone uses a search engine, he or she types in a phrase that describes what they are looking for: ‘used cars in Edinburgh’ or ‘wedding dresses in Lothian’, for example. These are the phrases you will need to include in your content in order for your site to show up when someone is using relevant keywords.
- Link building – another cornerstone of the SEO process. Link building involves putting out links to your website in order to attract visitors. Links are generally earned by producing engaging content on a blog or guest blog; through social media; and on forums that are relevant to your niche.
- Site architecture – by optimising the design, navigation, and link structure to your website, search engine crawling is encouraged and more pages are indexed to boost the visibility of your site. Great site architecture also means happy visitors and happy visitors are more likely to spread the word about your site.
- Great content – blogs, images, videos, infographics, tutorials – search engines love great content as much as humans do and, by producing plenty of it, the pros can help you reach the top of the search mountain.
Why SEO matters
Reaching the top spot on the major search engines (Google in particular) is something that every business with an online presence strives for. And the statistics demonstrate why:
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine
- 70% of the links that search users click are organic (unpaid)
- 75% of search users never scroll past the first page of results
- search drives 300% more traffic to websites than social media.
Being at the top of the pile on Google, Bing or Yahoo! sets you apart from the competition and ensures that your website is seen before those of your rivals, allowing you to attract more visitors and earn more revenue than anyone else in your market.
Search Engine Optimisation offers exposure like no other form of marketing, turning a little known business in Edinburgh in to a brand that is visible across the world. And that is why it matters!