In Internet circles SEO is a buzz word tainted with secrecy. It is almost a myth for some people due to its aura of mystery. SEO practitioners are viewed as our modern days alchemists, seeking to make gold out of secret recipes that only they understand. But what is the truth about SEO?
The myth of SEO
Most people have heard of it, but few small business owners really understand what search engine optimisation is all about. We will explain the reason why it is hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to SEO, but let’s first reveal what SEO exactly is.
In a nutshell SEO is simply a service offered to online businesses to help them rank on page one in Google search results so that they can get new customers.
In order to gain customers from the Internet any business must first of all get new visitors to its website. This can be achieved via a number of channels such as social media (facebook, youtube, etc), paid advertisement (adwords, banner ads, etc), local visibility (Google maps) or organic traffic.
Organic traffic comes into play when a potential customer enters a search term in Google such as “best dentist in London”. Then the search engine will return a list of pages and links. By clicking on one of the results, the person who searched for a dentist in London will land on your site, in this case a dental site. And you may get a new customer this way, this is the key idea behind search engine optimisation.
The question is then how to rank on page one in Google. For a query like the above, there will be hundreds of dentists in London who would love to appear at the top of Google results, but there are only a few spots available. Therefore it is quite clear that the competition is intense to be able to occupy these top spots, and this is true for most types of online businesses, small and big.
How to rank in Google
How to rank in Google is based on understanding how the Google or bing search engines decide to generate their search results. They use complicated mathematical formulas combined into so-called “algorithms”, so that the websites deemed the most worthy appear at the top, while lower quality websites are demoted to lower rankings.
The expertise of SEO experts comes with a deep understanding of how the search engine algorithms operate, so that SEO pros can optimize websites in order to boost their search rankings. It takes years of practice, testing, reading and research for a SEO specialist to master his trade. As search engines are constantly updating and improving their methodologies for ranking websites, any serious SEO service provider must continually keep his or her SEO knowledge up to date.
Search engine optimisation can be very useful to most small businesses, as it can double or triple your sales, if not more. As most people will only click on the top results for a commercial query like “photographer in Central London”, a website can get thousands of additional visitors every month if many people are making online searches for this term. If only 10% of these people become customers, this is hundreds of new customer each month, potentially a huge increase in sales.
Should you use SEO providers
It is quite clear from the above example that SEO can have a tremendous impact on the bottom line for many small businesses.
The key is to use a trustworthy SEO company that can deliver results. SEO is a long-term endeavour, not a project worked on once that will bear fruit forever. SEO is an integral part of your marketing budget, working side by side with paid ads and social media campaigns. SEO supports your branding and online visibility efforts, and it should be worked on constantly in order to boost and maintain your sales over the long term.
Your SEO service provider is the partner you need to bring your business to the next level. He will help you use the search engines potential to its full extent. He can work on all aspects that will increase the number of visitors to your website. He can help you convert these visitors to new customers. To learn more about what SEO can do for you, click here.