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Online Marketing Basics for Small Business: Week 2 – SEO

SEOThis is the second part of a five-part series on online marketing basics for small business. Today we shall focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which is often a confusing topic for owners of small businesses. With over 90 per cent of online experiences beginning with a search engine, it is crucial for small business owners to be conscious of SEO fundamentals and to understand how SEO can increase traffic to your business website.

What Exactly Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation is the procedure of improving your website’s rank in the free/organic search engine results.

Achieving a highly ranked position for specific search terms mostly depends on having quality web page content that is relevant to the search query. Ranking can also depend on the way in which the content is organised and presented, not only on the page but also within the overall structure of your website.

Further factors can also have an effect on how well a page ranks, especially the quality and quantity of “back-links”, which are links from other websites that direct to yours. Back-links act as signals to Google and other search engines that a particular website has “voted’” for your website. The greater the number of back-links your website receives and the more influential the website that the “vote” has come from, the more that Google and other search engines will boost your website up in their organic search rankings.

Why Should You Invest In an SEO Strategy?

Consumers use search engines to search for products and services that they are looking for. Like Pay-Per-Click (PPC), SEO will aid your website in appearing on search engines, meaning potential customers will locate your business. Further, if you already have a PPC account set up and working, or you’re planning on started with PPC soon; research demonstrates that by having your business website in both the paid (PPC) and organic (SEO) listings, it is more likely that potential customers will choose your business rather than others in the search results.

What You Should Expect?

SEO is a procedure of establishing the credibility and relevance of your website with search engines to improve rankings on search results pages. SEO results are often not immediate, so SEO should be considered a long-term marketing strategy. While results may not be evident for 6 to 12 months, SEO remains a very valuable channel to put your focus on, as it makes a free and sustainable source of traffic to your business website. In addition, if you opt to use PPC to achieve greater visibility to search engines, with support from a solid SEO foundation, then the results for both will be boosted.

Bonus Tip:

SEO professionals often promise the world and unfortunately too often under deliver in terms of results. Being on Page 1 for a sole search term does not mean much. It depends upon what the commercial intent of the key term is, the number of people who are searching for that term and whether you are the 1st or the 5th result on Page 1. Remember, being on Page 1 is crucial, as 75 per cent of people will not move onto Page 2 of results. Not only is being on Page 1 very important, but being at the top of Page 1 is perhaps the most crucial, as 60 per cent of all clicks are on the first three results.

You should measure your success with SEO based on how far away are from being ranked as the Number 1result and how valuable the search terms are that you are ranking highly for. There’s no point in ranking for keywords or search terms that attract visitors to your website who have no interest or intent to purchase your product.

SEO is essential in drawing traffic and qualified customers to your business website. You must make sure that your business is being located for all the right reasons. An effectual SEO strategy can be complicated to begin with, but once you are established, the initial outlay will prove invaluable in the long term.

This article was contributed by Magicdust, a web design company and web developer Sydney businesses trust for their custom WordPress websites and SEO campaigns.

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