What is SEO? SEO tutorial for beginners 2017
So before we start anything let’s just get this straight! SEO applies to every single business that has some form of online presence, whether that is a single page website with contact details on or a complex online retailer selling thousands of products. Now that we have determined that, what is SEO? It stands for search engine optimisation and is the name given to improve search engine rankings.
Google and Search rankings
Google is a search engine in which millions of people every day “google” information, products, video etc. If you haven’t used it then you probably live under a rock in the desert. Millions of businesses across the world depend on google to sell, buy, share their information and products on a digital platform, without google your customers would have to directly access you website. So what does google have to do with SEO then? Well Google has a complex algorithm that it uses as a rating system so as an example when you type in “hairdressers” it displays well known and local hairdressers in your area and it works as a library of instant information that it deems relevant to your search. When SEO is applied correctly to your website or content then you too would be displayed on google’s search results. So instead of searching “hairdressers” and your business listing comes up on page 17, with the right SEO principles in place it could come up on page 1! We all know as google users that 90% of us never get past the first page. It’s kind of like having a shop front down an alley when really you want it on the high street.
Why SEO is so important?
SEO is not just simply an afterthought once your site is up and running; it is the foundations that your website should be built on. If you have spent thousands of pounds on a beautiful looking functional website with no SEO in place then I am sorry to say but you may have just wasted thousands of pounds. Too many people fall victim to web designers with very little knowledge when it comes to implementing the correct SEO and instead just want a front end website that’s sings and dance! Sound familiar? Well it’s all great having a visually brilliant website but what is the point if no one can find it? But if you think that’s bad enough customers too can sometimes be their own worst nightmare.
SEO… Is it worth the investment?
As a creative agency we speak to clients regarding a range of budgets and requirements which is completely relevant to the type of business you run and its success, however when a customer asks for a website for £200 and wants it to feature on page 1 of every keyword known to google is where we often find that those customers that will never be successful in what they want to achieve. Applying SEO practices to your website does not have to be costly but you will only get back what you invest in. These principles are a long term plan that if applied correctly will play a vital part in the success of your business; this is not to say that there are also a lot of other factors that need to be in place for the business to be successful as a whole. So if you don’t invest in your business then how do you expect anything back? A business is very much like a cake in the sense that SEO is like the flour, it’s a raw ingredient that is need to work hand in hand with other ingredients to make the mixture! Once the mixture is made your work is like the oven that will bake the cake and the ROI is the icing on top! Everybody wants the icing!!!
Check your designers knowledge.
So where do we start? SEO should have been one of the first things discussed when you speak to any decent web designer looking to create your new website. At this point you’re either researching information about SEO or your banging your head on the table because the penny has just dropped and you have just realised that your web designer was exactly that, just a designer that makes things look pretty but has no concept of SEO, content marketing, backlinks, Optimization or anything else relating to the ingredients needed for a successful business. This type of web designers are have no business concept and generally have no invested interest in your business once you have paid them but that is there loss because as an creative agency we have realised a successful customer is actually our ROI. If your customer is successful in business via their online platform then you can bet your bottom dollar that any future work whether it’s SEO or design related will be coming your way! If you were the later of the two then get your head of the table because this doesn’t mean that all is lost, you can still apply SEO principles to your business starting with your website.
Meta’s and Optimization.
There are a number of website issues we tend to find when taking on new clients and always address these issues before looking to implement anything else. Common mistakes we find are ropey or mostly non-existent Meta tags and Meta descriptions. These are important because it allows search engines to determine what your website is about? Without the correct Meta tags and descriptions your business may never index which is a big no no! This is just the start as there are many other problems relating to websites such as content optimization, this is where all the content occupying your website has not been optimised and as a knock on effect is causing your website’s loading speed to slow down dramatically. Now I don’t know about you but as technology has developed we as humans have become very impatient and expect things instantly, without instant loading and information you may see your bounce rate of customers dropping off your site before it even appears.
Your content needs keywords.
Other issues we tend to find with customers who have fallen victim to the drive thru web designers is the lack of keywords contained in the very thin content that they have had their customer strum up without any clue of what they are doing. When a new business is looking to develop a place in a new marketplace, this can be very difficult. Your first step is always based whatever work you do on your ideal customer! What do we mean by this, well look at everything from your customers point of view and not yours as the seller or business, you may have vast knowledge of your marketplace whereas your customers may not and instead would use completely different keywords when searching for your product or service. This of course is based on the fact that you actually have implemented keywords and not just images and fancy videos! Content is king when it comes to SEO and plays second to none when it comes to helping you grow your online presence. Your first point of call when doing keyword research is looking at your competition, who better than to tell you what people are looking for but make sure you are looking at competitions that is positioned roughly where you want to be. You need to be realistic when doing this as a new company it is very hard to establish yourself firmly against well-established national companies that have been operating for years and have a large budget dedicated to SEO services.
Needless to say these are just a few issues that you may come across when developing your new business digital platform or possibly these issues are once you are facing right now as an established company. SEO is forever changing on a daily basis and if you don’t stay on top of current changes to the algorithm then you will fall behind or never achieve what you set out too, however with a fairly small budget you can make dramatic changes to your business but you have to be willing to make that investment otherwise it is very unlikely you will succeed as I said earlier SEO is a major ingredient in the sweet taste of success. If you are interested in more blogs relating to SEO and digital marketing then sign up to our newsletter and blog @dragomedia.co.uk or contact us via email ([email protected]). We are a creative agency based in the heart of Worcestershire helping local and national businesses improve their online marketing platforms and web design with by tailored strategies.