Search Engine Optimization for Your Business
More essential since the pandemic!
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is now a omnipresent element in business websites. It’s become even more important since the beginning of the pandemic, because so many more retailers and customers are now online, and many startups kicked off in 2020/2021.
A record number of new companies were registered in June this year, with experts saying that the tens of thousands of extra businesses launched in 2021 is due to a boom of entrepreneurs and contractors spurred on by the coronavirus crisis. There were 34,868 new businesses formally signed up with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission nationally in June.
SEO is an essential tool and acts as a marketing campaign for businesses. It’s essential because it’s what makes your website stand out among the hundreds and thousands of other businesses competing in the online space. Within Australia, in the month of July 2021, 5.6 million households made purchases online. That’s a little over 67% of Australian households. Australians have taken to shopping and purchasing online, and googling for local businesses, like never before, and if you are not quickly visible on a Google Search results list, then customers will soon be purchasing elsewhere.
Australia Post reported in its ecommerce industry report 2021, that consumers are clearly becoming more comfortable engaging with the vast array of retailers they have at their fingertips – readily hunting down better prices or offers.
6 good reasons to undertake Search Engine Optimization for your business website
- First and foremost – SEO lets you rank higher in search results and gain more online exposure, i.e. getting more traffic to your site by helping your target audience find your site!
- SEO will help convert visitors to customers
- It will help build your brand
- It will give users a better experience
- It will get results that can actually be measured
- and, it will be a long-term marketing strategy
Getting down to tin tacks – what is SEO? How does it help?
So let’s talk first about Google Search – the search engine – knowing that Google is by far the most popular and most effective search engine in Australia and in many other countries.
Google, once just the company name, is now mostly an action word, a verb.
“Just google it” needs no explanation! It’s an action that millions of people do around the globe, 24/7. Statistically we know that most people searching and browsing on Google, do so on mobile devices (although they often order a product or service via a laptop/computer)
SEO is the process of improving (optimizing) your website/webpages to increase its visibility for relevant searches.
SEO means to modify your website and other off-page elements, so that Google Search can analyze your web pages and add them to its massive search index. Then, when someone performs a search query, Google’s complex search algorithms sort through the index to find the most relevant results. Google Search algorithms, which are constantly updated, are extremely sophisticated and use numerous factors to rank web pages. You want your business, your site, your products, ranked high in the search results to attract the eye of the shopper.
The Google Search website explains how search algorithms work, and we’ve summarized this for you below. Use the QR code if you would like Google’s fuller explanation. Their site gives us the full rationale re why it is important to undertake SEO, explaining the basis of how Google sets up their indexing and ranking, how they understand the needs of searchers, and what the algorithms all boil down to, in a practical sense, for business owners.
Back to the tin tacks – imagine you are the person googling ….
After working out the meaning of a search query, Google Search then looks for
- the relevance of webpages – algorithms analyze the content of webpages to assess whether the page contains information that might be related to what you are looking for. Google says that the most basic signal that information is relevant, is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of text, the information is more likely to be relevant.
- quality of content – beyond matching the words in your query with relevant documents on the web, Google Search algorithms also aim to prioritize the most reliable sources available. To do this, Google systems are designed to identify signals that can help determine which pages demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a given topic.
- usability of webpages – Google Search also evaluates whether webpages are easy to use. ”When we identify persistent user pain points, we develop algorithms to promote more usable pages over less usable ones, all other things being equal.” These algorithms analyze signals that indicate whether all users are able to view the result, like whether the site appears correctly in different browsers, whether it is designed for all device types and sizes, including desktops, tablets and smartphones; and whether the page loading times work well for users with slow internet connections.
So it’s easy to see that every website can be modified to influence its Google Search ranking by acting on various site and page elements, as well as some off-site elements, in line with what we know the Google Search and other search engines look for.
Consider also – Local SEO
Local SEO is a special form of search engine optimization that is particularly relevant for local businesses. Local SEO, like “normal” search engine optimization is designed to optimize your website in such a way that it reaches top positions in the Google Search list, for potential customers searching businesses in a particular geographic locality.
Local SEO is most important for businesses with physical locations (like a bricks and mortar store) or face-to-face services (like a law firm, a restaurant, an electrician, or plumber). These types of businesses need to reach customers in a geographical area.
It’s known that 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby, visit a business within a day. (from Think With Google)
In addition to Local SEO, a free Google My Business account will link to your website and give potential customers a quick snapshot of what your business has to offer. And a Google Business Profile – which is Google’s business listing for you – enables your business to show in Google Maps and in the local results of Google Search.
Can you undertake SEO yourself?
If you already have the types of skills needed for SEO, you probably would have already done it. Except that it is time consuming, and most businesspeople simply won’t have the time, and possibly many won’t have the inclination. If time is not such a problem, you could start slowly, seek advice, and check out all the online help and how-to tutorials.
However, Search Engine Optimization is a very specialized field. An SEO expert needs a broad array of skills – marketing knowledge, research and analytical skills, web design, web content and blog writing. An expert also has to know your industry, and what kind of content gets clicks in your industry. SEO is partly a content driven process.
Content writing is hugely important to optimizing search results. People search use keywords, which need to be built in professionally to your website content, social media posts and blogs. There is a fine line between writing ecommerce content for SEO purposes, and writing for your business.
If all this sounds either alien, terrifying, or like too much work for a busy person or team, help is just a Zoom call away!
Book a free Zoom call with our founder Tony Jose to find out how Webyroo can help with your SEO.
To finish up – combining SEO or Local SEO with Google My Business and a Google Profile, will mean you are set to increase the visibility of your business, generate leads, and make searching easier for prospective customers.
Aspects of SEO can take a long time, such as building in links from other respected websites to your website. This can’t happen overnight. It can take time before you see any return on investment.
But it will be worth it.