How to make the most of SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a way for businesses to make their sites appear further up the rankings on search engines and is a powerful tool for every marketer to use for their clients. With the millions and millions of searches made every day online, even just appearing on the first page of results can make a massive difference for a business. With the right knowledge and training, anyone can take control of their business’ position on the search results. 

It is important to remember that the aim of SEO for your business is not just to make your site’s homepage appear at the top of results, but for every subpage in your site to rise up the rankings too. This is called keyword rankings. For example, if you are a business that sells furniture, you want to be high in the results for key related words like chair, table, and cupboard. This goes for any particular key words or phrases related to your business, whether it is a specific product, materials, or concept associated with your business. Appearing higher in these results will be very important in gaining more and more organic traffic to your website. It is this organic traffic that the SEO is aiming for, as organic visitors are much more efficient than any pay-to-click visitor. 

There are several ways to make your webpages rise up the search results, the most obvious of which is to make use of the most relevant keywords on the site itself. The most efficient places to have these words are in the title and any headers. This will let the search algorithm know that your page is more relevant than one that has the keywords in body text. Many organisations also make use of a centralised spreadsheet to track the most relevant keywords and their statistics. This will allow you to see which keywords are the most searched and which would be best to use. Be careful though, if you only choose the most popular keywords there is a chance you will be lost among thousands of other sites. Sometimes it is best to be the big fish in a small pond, rather than a small fish in a big pond. That is a decision that each business must make, as to which strategy is best for them and fits best with their aims.

The other simple way to push your site up the search engine results is to improve the structure and linking of your website. If visitors struggle to find relevant pages and are leaving your site quickly, it will reflect negatively on your ranking. If you are featured in external directories and your site is linked to from many others, it will of course reflect positively.  If you are a young business, it may be good to sign up to some business directories or collaborate with other small businesses to build up a base of external links. As your business grows these will grow naturally. 

On the technical side, there are ways for a business to quantify and track their performance in search engine rankings. Google provides its own tools like Google Analytics and Search Console, but independent tools like Searchmetrics also exist for those who want a less Google-centric view. You can see what is working, and what isn’t, to find the best path forward for you and your team. SEO optimisation is not an exact science, so it may take a few tries to find what works best for your business in its current state. Your strategy should also be reviewed and restructured as your business grows.

Remember to always be realistic with your SEO strategy, you will not immediately be the number 1 for every keyword. It is a process that takes time, and every other business will also be working to improve their ranking. It may take time, but with the appropriate strategy and a healthy dose of patience, the results will come.

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