As the internet continues to grow at a rapid pace, the online opportunities for businesses in Edinburgh grow in kind. Unfortunately, what this also means is that competition increases by the day and another contender takes up the challenge of reaching the top of the Google rankings.
Getting to the top of the Google rankings is the online business equivalent of winning the lottery. Unlike the lottery though, the number one position on Google does not rely on luck. Instead, it involves a lot of hard work and an in depth understanding of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
The importance of SEO
Search Engine Optimisation is a process that involves optimising websites internally and externally to achieve naturally higher search engine rankings based on certain keywords and phrases that people use to find businesses in your niche. The idea of SEO is to gain targeted visitors, increase brand awareness and, ultimately, grow your bottom line. If you are good, your SEO efforts will get you to the first page on Google – the only page visited by 75% of all users. If you are really good, your SEO efforts will take your site to the number one spot, which is where the real benefits are.
A study by ad network Chitika recently revealed that the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33% of all traffic, compared to 18% for the second position, and 11% for the third spot. Add those stats to the fact that 93% of all online experiences begin with a search and it’s pretty obvious why businesses are willing to do everything it takes to get to the top.
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Why learn SEO?
SEO is a skill – an often complicated one. For many businesses looking to achieve higher rankings, the simple solution is to outsource optimisation efforts to one of the pros – someone with knowledge of the industry and a proven track record of getting results. SEO services are cheaper than ever these days and outsourcing allows owners to focus on other areas of the business where their skillset is more suited. So, if SEO is cheap and frees up time, why on earth should anyone bother enrolling on a training course?
Well, there are several reasons:
Taking on your own SEO
SEO is a lengthy, on-going process and its work is never done. Any let up in your SEO efforts will see your ranking slip below that of the competition, and that cannot be allowed to happen. Learning SEO will be more cost-friendly in the long term and will prevent you from relying on SEO professionals throughout your entire business life. What’s more, it will allow you to take on SEO internally, making sure that all aspects of the business are structured in a way that benefits search rankings.
Having completed an SEO training course, you will come to see the value of SEO in everything that you do.
Protect your business from black hat providers
For every provider of white hat SEO (legal and ethical practices), there are several that use black hat techniques. These unethical practitioners are only interested in taking your money, with no regard for your future rankings. Black hat ‘experts’ generally engage in spam to provide short-term results that ultimately result in a site being penalised or banned by Google. By learning how SEO works, you will be able to spot these rogue traders.
Become an SEO asset
Good SEO relies on the bond between website owner and SEO provider. By understanding and learning how to exploit SEO you can become an asset for your partner and introduce new strategies that can be implemented to give you the edge over the competition.
When it comes to Google, there is only room at the top for one Edinburgh-based business in your niche. By completing an SEO training course, that honour will belong to you.