Search Engine Optimisation—or SEO—is a term that may sound scary at first but is simple when you break it down. It's the process of optimising your online content (website, blog or otherwise) for search engine algorithms like Google's. Search engine algorithms look at all the content on the web and lay it out on the search engine results pages. That's where your business will get found or end up in the world of "second page and beyond." Your business' SEO efforts determine your SERP (search engine results page) ranking and determine how "findable" you are online to your customers.
Still confused? SEO is the process of tweaking your website, blog, and other online content so that Google, Bing, and other search engines will put you at the top of the search results page when customers start looking for you online.
Basic SEO terms
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. The list of results that search engines formulate and present to the user after performing a search. Your SERP rank is where your website/content appears on the results list.
A backlink results when one webpage hyperlinks to another website—prevalent in blogging and creative writing. The more backlinks your website gets, the better your SERP rank!
A word or phrase that a consumer enters in search. Your website and content should be optimised to attract customers searching for specific keywords. E.g. “best hairdresser Texas.”
Metadata is data used to inform the search engines about your web page/content. It helps the search engine algorithms know if your content is relevant to what the consumer is searching for online.
Why does SEO matter to my business?
If you’re thinking, “well, that doesn’t matter for my business,” then you’re wrong! On the contrary, optimising your website and blog content with the right keywords, metadata, and other SEO factors will hugely benefit your business.
If you play your SEO cards right, it will get your business found when customers ask Google and Bing about things relevant to your business. If you’re a Texan hairdresser, SEO can help you appear in search results whether local Texans are searching “www.yourhairdresser.com (you)” or “best hairdresser Texas,” or even “where should I get my hair cut?”!
Here are the four biggest reasons you should care about SEO, regardless of your business.
If one person types in “best hairdresser in Texas” into Google, and your business is at the top, then they’re likely going to click on your name. But there isn’t just one person Googling that term—there are thousands. Each person who clicks on your name from Google is another boost to your website traffic and more potential business and sales for you! Hello SEO, hello more traffic, hello higher revenue!
Offering helpful solutions for customers
Optimising your content for specific keywords like “hairstyle tips” or “best hair for my face shape” means that when a customer goes to Google to search for answers to their questions, they’ll find you. In addition, creating a name for yourself in your industry as a helpful, informative brand will improve your reputation and get more customers flocking your way!
SEO makes marketing easier (and cheaper)
If a customer can find you at the top of Google by typing in “best hairdresser Dallas,” then why would you need to pay for ad space at the top of the page? SEO determines where your business appears on Google, so optimizing your content for the search engines makes sense regarding where you spend your marketing bucks.
Don’t give business to your competitors
Still not sure why you should use SEO? Well, here’s a big one—if you don’t implement SEO tactics for your business, your competitors will surface when local customers go looking. Someone has to be on the top page of Google, right? So, if you’re not employing SEO tactics for your business, then your competitors will show up when your potential customers turn to Google for advice and answers.
Search Engine Optimisation is vital when creating and publishing any online content—whether your business website, blog or otherwise. The better your business gets at optimising your content for SEO, the more likely you are to be seen online, and the more business you’ll get to your storefront!