Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is a term that has been tossed around for some time now. It is something that the majority of businesses are looking into, and for good reasons too. With the rise of the Internet, most businesses have realised that an online presence is very important for their marketing and brand awareness. More and more people are using the Internet every day, with millions of users globally accessing the web daily. The go-to for many people who are looking for services is to Google it, or use a search engine of their choice (usually Google). Google will then return a number of links related to their search. SEO is responsible for what links Google will return, and this can be a significant factor in how well known your business is and how many consumers will go to you for your products or services.
For these reasons, SEO has become very popular in recent years, and there are many SEO Sydney companies out there dedicated to helping businesses to achieve front page rankings on Google in order to maximise brand awareness and consumer outreach. Having a website for your business is definitely a good start, as an online presence is a must in this day and age, however you need to be able to advertise and market your website and subsequently your business. With so many business websites out there, it can be difficult to get your business noticed amongst online consumers. This is where SEO comes into play, as it aims to boost the rankings of your business on Google and pull it to the front page. This will allow more consumers to see, recognise and click your link, resulting in more business and brand awareness.
How SEO works
SEO works with Google’s ranking system in order to optimize everything about your website, from the URL to the content, in order to rank well and pull it to the front page of the search engine. The authors, content and website of your business are all taken into account by this ranking system, and Google must ensure that your website serves a certain type of purpose. It will then look at the expertise, authority and trustworthiness of your website (or E-A-T).
Expertise refers to how knowledgeable the creator of the content on the website is. Expertise can be demonstrated to Google through the publication of accurate and verified authors with some form of qualifications or credentials to prove it, such as a degree, certifications and job experience.
Authority refers to the authoritativeness of the content on the website, of the creator of the content and of the website itself. Authority is demonstrated on a website through the regular updating of content, the regular organisation and reviewing of content and established review processes and editorial processes.
It is therefore important to write with a style that looks professional and provide sources for your content.
Trust refers to ensuring that your business makes users and consumers feel safe when browsing your website. The authors, content and links provided on your website all contribute to your website’s trustworthiness. Authentic and high quality pictures are important to use, as well as logos and other content that brands your business as authentic and trustworthy.
Google’s ranking algorithm is made up of different aspects to it, including Architecture, Content, Exposure and Links and Online Mentions.
Architecture refers to the way your website is built and how it is structured.
When a user enters a search term into the Google search engine, instead of searching the entire Internet for related results (which would take way too much time), it searches through its own index of information, looking for related results to return to the user. This index contains information such as the domain name, the words, images and URLs that are contained on sites, the website name and blog posts, the URLs of other websites that link back to your website, how quickly your content loads on your website, the words that are used in the links contained on your website and much more. What we are trying to say is that if you are not contained within Google’s index, you will not be showing up in their search results and returned to the user. SEO works to get your website and all the information above input into Google’s index.
When your website is placed into Google’s index, you have to make sure that your content is then relevant to your audience. Google will check your content to make sure it is relevant by looking at the words used in your content.
If the words used in your content are not relevant to the search terms, then Google will not return your website to the user. SEO works to find words and phrases which can be used to return your website if the relevant search terms are input by the user. SEO also works to craft content that fits the search terms so that your website does return in the search results.
Links and online mentions
Now that your website is in Google’s index and the content is deemed as relevant, you must be able to show Google that your website deserves to have a high ranking when it returns the search results. This is done by showing that people have found your website and content to be helpful. The evidence you need to show this is primarily done through the use of back linking in your content, and having your website linked in other content. Online mentions refer to people mentioning your business name, website, address, phone number etc. on other websites or pieces of content. They act as citations or references and are further proof of your legitimacy. If your website and its content does not have backlinks or online mentions, it will not rank on Google upon return of search results. If it has less backlinks and online mentions than competing websites, then it will not rank well. SEO works to help create content that is worthy of backlinks and online mentions, thereby increasing your ranking through this.
Being connected to others in the same field or online venue as you will help to bring exposure and brand awareness to your business. This is often the hardest part of SEO, and by creating content that is helpful and being an active member in the online field of your business, you will help to create more exposure for your business and thus, increase your ranking on Google.
Putting everything together
Google is definitely the biggest and most dominant search engine available on the Internet which millions of users access every day. Putting all of the above together is one of the best ways to get your business noticed and is a great way to increase brand awareness and spread your reputation.
Reasons why SEO can benefit your business
Creates more user friendly websites
SEO can help to create more user friendly websites, as your website must be streamlined, structured and easy to use in order to rank well on Google.
This forces businesses to improve their website to its most optimal standard in order to rank well, and thus makes your consumers happier as the website will be very user friendly. A well put together website that is structured properly will ensure that a user will stay longer, increasing the chances of them using your business for your products or services. Furthermore, it also shows the user that your business is professional, as your website is a reflection of your business and how you treat things. If done properly, your website will rank well, your information will help users and your users will be more compelled to do business with you.
It builds your brand awareness
SEO helps to build your brand awareness, as it will help to put your website on the front page of Google, thus helping to increase the reputation and consumer awareness of your business. It will also pull them in with its professional design, and thereby it will reflect your business professionalism, making an impression on users and building brand awareness further.
If your business ranks well on Google, a major search engine, the consumer is more than likely going to trust your services and products, again increasing brand awareness and reputation. It is important to have a notable presence on the Internet, as everything is done online nowadays and this is the future of business. Keeping your business relevant and available to consumers will ensure that you can access a huge audience online, and increase your business and brand awareness significantly.
Pass your competition
Having a notable online presence and brand awareness through search engines ensures that you will pass up your competition who lacks these things.
For example, if you have a competitor who has a limited online presence and does not focus on SEO and ranking on Google, then they will be surely surpassed by your business who focuses on ranking on the front page of Google, increasing brand awareness, providing information to consumers and ultimately having an increased number of conversions from users to customers. While many are looking into SEO, some are not doing it correctly or putting enough effort into it. If a business focuses a lot of effort into SEO, then they will definitely have an increased consumer base and brand awareness compared to other competition who does not.
SEO can build trust and credibility for your business
The goal of SEO in general is to rank businesses with professional, structured and credible websites. By turning your website into one that provides content that is informative, credible and structured well, you will be ranking well on Google. As a result, consumers will see your business and because it is ranked well on Google, they will trust it and believe it is credible. When they click on your website, they will see how well structured, credible and professional your website is, as well as how informative it is. Combine this with backlinks and online mentions, consumers will definitely trust your website and business.
Thereby, SEO can definitely build trust and credibility for your business by forcing you to make it look good and provide credible information.
SEO is constantly being updated and adapting
It is the inherent nature of technology to constantly be updating and changing over time as new emerging technologies come to fruition. Because of the technological nature of SEO, SEO practices are constantly being updated, reviewed and developed in order to meet these developments. You can be sure that when you look into SEO, you will see new changes and methods being adapted in order to fit the current landscape of technology. You can also ensure that your business will not fall behind on the latest technology, and you will stay in the loop. Many previously successful businesses have failed due to not keeping up with the times, and by being invested into SEO, this will not happen.
Being invested into SEO will help to understand the web environment
The web is constantly changing, but through SEO you are forced to understand how it all works behind the scenes. This knowledge is extremely helpful in terms of understanding how technology works and how it can benefit your business. Knowing the web also means you will learn tactics that your competitors utilize and how others get ahead. This will allow you to develop your own methods for competitive advantage using your technological prowess, as well as knowing what your competition is doing.
It is not as expensive as you think
By now, you should be thinking that SEO sounds incredible for any business owner. You might also be thinking that hiring an SEO focused company to manage your SEO development and such would be quite expensive.
The truth is that for what you receive, it does not cost as much in comparison.
SEO can take a while to pick up; however the initial investment into SEO services is well worth the benefits that a business receives as a result.
Usually, companies will charge based on what services you want, and this will increase and decrease depending on this number. Regardless, SEO in itself is a well worthwhile investment, especially if you want professionals who know what they are doing to solely focus on your business and SEO.
It is easily measurable
There are many business services out there that claim to help your business, however it can be very difficult to measure the degree of success they have. Too often are there business owners attempting to trace back the numbers and dots in order to find out how successful they were using a particular service or method. With SEO, everything is easily measurable through the use of proper tracking methods as well as analytics. Any good SEO company will be able to provide reports and measurements over time which can show you how successful the SEO has been, making it clear as day. This can also help when trying to see which company knows what it is doing and which ones don’t.
The results don’t lie.
SEO can help to encourage users to visit your physical store
There is a high likelihood that many users who visit your front page ranked website will visit the physical store. By having your website placed on the front page of Google’s ranking algorithm, you are gaining their trust and they will be likely to click on your site. Upon seeing the professionalism of your website, they will not only be more likely to buy your products, but also visit your physical store to do so.
SEO helps to increase the mobile friendliness of your website
Another parameter for Google rankings is the mobile friendliness of the website, as this is encapsulated in the overall user friendliness aspect.
By forcing a business to improve its mobile friendliness, you are able to engage with more consumers who may be using their phones to access the site.
The majority of the population has smartphones nowadays, and there is a good chance they will look to access your site through these types of devices.
Therefore, the mobile friendliness of your website is very important due to the wider audience who are using smartphones to access websites, and SEO will help to make your website more user friendly in all aspects possible.
In summary, SEO works through Google algorithms which focus on specific aspects in order to index, rank and display websites based on search terms from users. By investing into SEO, you will be improving not only the marketing and brand awareness of your business, but also improving your business in general, in the process of SEO. There are no downfalls to SEO, and if your business is not already involved in it, then there are nothing but benefits that your business can receive through the use of SEO.
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