The purpose of the practice of SEO, or search engine optimisation, is to drive customers to your website. SEO doesn’t guarantee conversions, but it does increase your traffic, giving you more opportunities to make a sale.
SEO isn’t as complicated as many business owners imagine. While some of it can seem a little esoteric at first blush, the basics principles are pretty straightforward. The main task is to add value to your users so that they choose to consume the content on your web pages over your competitors. While there are technical things that you need to know, the main driver of better page ranking is the quality of what you create.
When you think about it, this makes sense. Google and other search engines want to direct their users to quality web pages when they type a set of keywords into the search bar. If you can impress users and convince Google that you have a quality web page, the search giant will reward you, sometimes handsomely.
How does SEO drive website visits?
The term SEO encompasses a wide variety of activities designs to improve your page rankings. Nobody knows the exact formula because Google and other search engines aren’t entirely transparent about how they rank web pages. And even if you did know exactly how their algorithms worked, it’s unlikely that you’d be able to construct a precise strategy around them. Search giants take hundreds of factors into consideration when ranking a web page. All of them interact in dozens of ways, making prediction difficult.
The practice of SEO is mostly about following general principles. Your content should be high-quality and original. You should use meta tags to back up your headlines. And your web pages should load quickly. How Google and other search engines interpret these signals isn’t known precisely, but it doesn’t need to be. Doing the basics is often enough to catapult your web pages to higher positions in search results. Consistent effort makes a big difference.
Of course, there are ways in which the practice of SEO directly leads to higher website visits. Many small businesses, for instance, run a Facebook account. Google doesn’t use social media directly to rank your site, but using social media can be a great tool to spread your content to a much wider community. Third-party websites may follow your social media website links and then create backlinks to your blog content from their sites. The more connections they create, the more people will funnel through and consume your content.
SEO is a complicated web of techniques, and it relies on both on-page and off-page activities. You want to make sure that your pages are snappy and attractive to visitors, but you also want to ensure that other pages on the internet link to your site. It’s the combination of different activities which has the most substantial impact.
How SEO saves you money
Doing good SEO isn’t free. You have to pay people to write content (or spend your own time doing it) and use professionals who can optimise the technical aspects of your site. But companies like to invest in SEO because, over the long term, it helps them cut back on their paid advertising spend.
Getting noticed on Google is challenging, especially if you run a relatively new business. It takes time for Google’s algorithms to crawl your site and figure out how exactly they want to rank it. And because’s the ranking system relies partly on the number of links from other pages to yours; you can be waiting a long time to gain visibilities. Sometimes it never happens.
The only option, at least in the short term, is to use paid advertising. This type of advertising is where you bid against other businesses on Google to display your ads at the top of search results when a user types in a particular keyword. The problem with this approach, of course, is that it costs a lot of money. Paid search ads aren’t cheap, and much more expensive if you target competitive keywords.
SEO is a long-term solution to get around this. With SEO, you’re creating the framework you need to rank organically when a user types search terms related to your firm. Instead of competing with the hundreds of other businesses for the keyword “mechanic in New York” and paying to display your ad, doing good SEO helps you rank high naturally. By ranking high without paying, you get visibility for free over the long term, reducing your overall ad spend.