What is SEO?

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In this article we will look at answering what is SEO and how it works, along with why SEO is important for business.  Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) at its core is about supporting and strengthening what your business offers, your message, yours aims and your values.

Before getting into the technical aspects of SEO, it’s easier to understand it as a way of reinforcing your communication online so that every page and blog post supports what you do.  It’s important to keep this in mind as ultimately we’re building an online presence for people, not search engines. However, SEO is best achieved when you combine what people want (compelling content, web design that is creative yet easy to use and trustworthy websites) along with what search engine robots want (unique content with relevant keywords, clear site architecture and websites which are updated often).  

Why do we need SEO?

So, you may be wondering: why do we need SEO?  Putting in the effort to  optimise your site for search engines will work to make sure your web presence is perceived as highly valuable, rank higher in search results and gain more exposure.  We all go to search engines to ask questions, look for products, services, advice and reviews ultimately to find answers, solutions or information. In fact, as of August 2017, there are 5.5 billion Google searches performed every day, and 1.2 billion websites in the world.  It’s now up to the search engines to sort the wheat from the chaff and provide the most relevant and high quality results to each person’s search query.  These results are then put in order (ranked) based upon a number of different factors using mathematical equations (algorithms).  For every result to a search query, you will usually receive 10 organic results per page along with a few paid advertisements at the top and bottom.

Getting to the top of Google

To give you an idea of where we want to be aiming for in terms of your ranking on Google, a study by Advanced Web Ranking revealed that 71% of searches result in someone clicking a website appearing on page one of the search results. Whereas pages two and three only account for 6% of clicks. On the first page alone, the first 5 results get 67% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 receive only 4%.  With this in mind, we can see why we all want to know how to get to the top of Google, and why SEO is important for your online success.

Due to the significant advantages of being on the first page of Google, websites are now continually competing for placement and attention. So, it’s going to be those with the knowledge and experience to improve their ranking that will be rewarded with more traffic and visibility.  

Benefits of SEO

A website without SEO can be invisible to search engines,  but for the self- confessed ‘non-techies’ the concept of SEO and all such related jargon such as meta tags, alt tags, keywords and sitemaps can be overwhelming and make us wonder, is SEO worth it? However, as we can see, these top 5 key benefits of SEO show us it definitely is:

  1. Low Cost  –  Organic search engine listings are completely free, so your initial investment in good SEO practice will pay you dividends when it comes to receiving ongoing consistent traffic. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
  2. Increase in Traffic – Once you start your SEO efforts, your traffic will increase (and therefore provide more opportunities for conversions and sales).Use tools like Google Analytics to measure and track your website traffic.
  3. Stay Ahead of The Competition – With more and more people catching on to the tremendous necessity of SEO, you don’t want to be left behind and see your competitors rank above you and get all those leads before they even hit your website.
  4. Improves Your Business – According to Eric Siu for Search Engine Journal, on average 15% of visitors coming directly from an organic Google search will convert into a lead (for our purposes, a lead is anyone who has provided at least their email address on a website form) compared to outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) which stands at 2%.
  5. Brand Awareness & Trust – Businesses on the first page of Google are generally perceived as more trustworthy and leaders of their industry.   

Now that we’ve covered some of the basic understanding and benefits of SEO, you may be wondering how you can get your website to the top of Google. This is why we’re following on with a series of articles to give you a behind the scenes look at how we conduct SEO for childcare websites.  The next installment starts with keyword research.  Keywords are essential to the search process and the entire information retrieval system that search engines run on are based on them.  In our next article, we’ll give you the tools and take you step by step through conducting your own keyword research using a real nursery website.

Looking to build a website for your childcare business? Contact our digital team today to run through your options!

 

 

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