Back to Basics: Why Your Website Needs SEO
If you run an online store, chances are you’re going to want your customers to find, browse and ultimately, make a purchase from your website.
So that your website is visible to your target audience, you need to use search engine optimisation (SEO), which is the process of enhancing and tweaking a website to make it appear on page one of search engine results. These days, SEO is more important than ever, as the digital landscape continues to expand and present browsers with more choice than ever before.
And appearing on that first page of Google is becoming increasingly important – statistics show that searchers rarely look beyond the first page of search results. Either they’re finding what they need right there on page one, or they’re rephrasing their search query and trying again. Data also shows that websites appearing on page one are viewed as more trustworthy and authoritative than later results, so if a website isn’t ranking on that first page, it stands a pretty good chance of being overlooked and ignored.
Solely relying on paid advertising to bring in web traffic is an unnecessary expense that only serves to cut into your profit margin. SEO is far more consistent and affordable, and is crucial for increasing your revenue.
What’s involved in an SEO campaign?
An SEO strategy can be broadly divided into two areas: on page and off page.
Keywords are the basis of an optimised webpage. SEO specialists conduct research into which keywords will yield favourable search volume, without being overly competitive. The process is a balancing act between finding keywords that will generate first page results and those that are too obscure that they won’t bring in any worthwhile leads.
The site structure relates to a website’s architecture, and the simpler its layout, the easier it can be read (or crawled) by search engines. Once a website has been crawled, the search engine sends the data back to the search engine index where it is ranked.
Natural, unique and relevant internal links are also a strong rankings factor in a website, but they need to be used sparingly and in different variations. Google tends to be suspicious of repetition, so it’s important to link back to the home page, for example, with different phrases that describe the business, as opposed to using the business name every time.
User experience relates to how appealing a website is, and how easy it is to navigate, regardless of a searcher’s technical abilities or fluency. The content and layout of the website should be created with the customer in mind, with all aspects designed to provide value. Some good examples include an information-rich, educational blog, an FAQ section or a live chat function.
Mobile optimisation grows in importance every year, and it’s now known that more people browse the web from their mobile device than their desktop. As such, websites need to keep up with the behaviours of their customers, and offer responsive design that can fit the changing screen sizes of the various devices on the market. Furthermore, mobile-friendly websites are ranked more favourably by Google than those that are not optimised.
Link building is a long-term strategy that builds a website’s authority. There are a number of ways that a website can earn natural, authoritative links that point to their website. One such way is to engage in outreach email marketing, whereby a website offers content to external websites in exchange for a valuable backlink. Websites can also promote their own content in the hope of generating unsolicited backlinks, but this of course depends on the quality of content on offer.
While it’s unclear how much of an impact social media signals have on search engine results rankings, a strong social media presence is crucial for generating brand awareness, building engagement with target audiences, and driving traffic to your website. We know that Google certainly does take these factors into account when determining rankings.
The role of quality content on your website cannot be overlooked. Your website’s content needs to be both informative and optimised for a search engine’s crawler. It needs to engage and educate visitors, which can be achieved in blogs as well as in the home page and product pages. eCommerce sites are able to optimise a large number of pages for specific keywords through their product pages, and unique product descriptions are therefore very important, as they can assist in boosting a website’s rankings.
Above all, the best way to boost your website’s chances of a favourable ranking is to place user experience at the heart of your SEO strategy. While websites are indexed by search engines, they’re used by people, so they need to be engaging and informative. Do this right and your website’s metrics will prove to Google the relevance of your website.
If you’d like to learn more about how an SEO strategy could help your business, then get in touch with us today on 1300 663 995. I’m confident my team and I will be able to assist you.