A short guide to SEO basics

Written on 24 November, 2017 by Iona Yeung
Categories Search Engine Optimisation

One basic principle of marketing is to be where your customers are and these days your customers are spending most of their time online. It's reported that Australians spend about 10 hours online daily. If your business could use more leads and customers, SEO is a long term strategy that can attract visitors to your website without paid advertising. This article explains the basics of SEO and how you can use it to grow your business.

What is it?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of manipulation your website to be easily found by Google and other search engines. In the image below for example, you'll see a listing of dental surgeries in Prahran. The listings circled in red are examples of the organic (non-paid) listings, which SEO aims to create.

SEO involves a range of tactics which may include blogging, changes to your website copy, improving how quickly your website loads and changing how certain things on your website are labelled. When done well, it’s a long term strategy that can drive people to your website without the use of paid advertising.

How SEO works:

Sources report that there are over 200 factors that help Google determine what goes on page one of search results. Some of these factors include:

Content

Google may be the world's biggest search engine but it is still a business. Their goal is to provide their customers with the best search experience. High quality content (i.e. articles, videos and product pages that answer a person's search queries) can help your website appear higher in Google search results.

 

User experience

Your website may look great but if people can't find what they're looking for, they'll likely leave. A well designed website should be easy to navigate and accessible from all types of devices, like smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. Over 60% of searches are done through mobile phones and Google wants to create the best experience possible for its customers.

Backlinks

Backlinks are what gives your website authority. The more high quality websites that link back to your website, the higher you will rank in search engines. For example, if your business is featured in news.com.au or yahoo.com.au and the article includes a link to your website, Google sees this as a backlink and uses it as a ranking factor for your website.

Page speed

There's nothing more frustrating than having to wait for a website to load and Google understands this. How quickly your website loads can potentially affect the page and position your website sits in Google's search results. It's reported that Google aims to load its website in half a second and expects most websites to load in 2 seconds. If you'd like to know how quickly your website is loading, contact us for a free website health check or visit WebPagetest

 

What can you do now?

Search engine ranking factors are constantly evolving so that Google can deliver a seamless web experience for its customers. It takes consistent maintenance to rank on Google, which is why SEO is a long-term strategy with very few instant rewards. It takes a while to establish but once you're ranking, it becomes much easier to maintain. If you’d like to see how your business is ranking in Google, our team of online solutions advisors can give you a guide on what you could be doing with your website right now to get your website showing up in Google searches.

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