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What is SEO and why is it important for your business?

Hellopeter

Oct 7, 2018 2:08:06 PM

If you’ve heard of SEO, but aren’t sure what it is, or why it’s important for your business, this is for you. If consumers can’t easily find you online, it’s as though your business doesn’t exist at all. 

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is: “The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”(Moz).

In other words, it’s a tactic used to ensure that your business is visible, and can easily be found by potential consumers. The best part of SEO? You don’t actually have to spend any money to reap the benefits.

In order to understand the ins and outs of SEO, you need to familiarise yourself with the following concepts:

 


Search Engine: Search engines include the likes of Google, MSN Africa and Yahoo! While you may think of them as websites, they’re actually (virtual) engines that search the web for the most relevant results of your query. They do this in various ways, which we’ll explore a little later on in the blog.

Search Engine Results Page: Abbreviated as SERP. This is the page that’s displayed by a search engine containing a listing of results in response to the searched keyword. The results listed are ordered by relevance and quality. Websites that have the highest organic traffic outrank those that have low organic traffic.

Traffic: The number of visitors to your website. The more traffic you have, the better.

Paid traffic: Traffic that is the result of paid advertisements, like banner ads and Google AdWords.

Organic traffic: Traffic generated without paying for ads. In the eyes of Google, organic traffic is the best kind of traffic. Search engines place more importance on organic traffic than they do paid traffic, ranking websites with high organic traffic above those with high traffic volumes as the result of paid ads. P.S., we get 800,000 organic visitors per month!

Quality traffic: Traffic that consists of people who are looking for your goods or services. After clicking on a link about your business, they’ll visit your website and browse several pages. Put differently, high quality traffic is comprised of people who are interested in your business.

Low quality traffic: If you’ve ever googled something, clicked on a link, realised that the result had nothing to do with what you’re looking for, your visit was counted as low-quality traffic. Basically, low-quality traffic typically doesn’t result in a true interaction with your website.

Ranking: The order in which your website appears on a SERP. The ultimate goal of SEO is to rank as highly as possible. The higher you rank, the higher the chances are of someone visiting your website.

Content: This is any piece of information that’s available online. This includes: website pages, blogs, online reviews, social media posts, etc.

User-generated content: UGC is content that has been created and posted by people other than your brand, about your company. Examples include online reviews and product photos posted by your consumers.

Search engines give preference to websites that optimised for SEO

Every time you type something into Google, the search engine scans billions of pieces of content, presenting you with the most relevant results in a fraction of a second. Google’s algorithms take several things into account when compiling search results – and one of the most important factors is SEO.

There are several ways to use SEO to increase quality, organic traffic to your website

If you want your business to appear on the first page of Google, you need to make sure your SEO efforts include a library of content that’s relevant to your products or services displayed on your website. 

Importantly, this content needs to include the keywords or phrases that prospective shoppers are using to search for your product or service so the search engines can find you.

The easiest way to boost your SEO efforts is by using quality content

The more quality content you have, the more relevant you become, and the more information Google has to work with. Google only takes quality content into account. Blogs and how-to articles, as well as online reviews and customer testimonials, are all great types of quality content to make use of.

There are three things to consider when using content as a way to improve your business’ SEO:

1. Content must be up-to-date

Outdated content becomes less relevant to prospective consumers,  and in turn to Google. Remember, digital content has an incredibly short lifespan, so you need to regularly create content in order to ensure the information online is up-to-date.

2. Content must be useful

All of the content you create must be useful to prospective customers. If it’s not relevant to them, they’ll lose interest. 

Many businesses only post content about their product or service. While this is important, it’s only one piece of the content-puzzle. Make sure that you’re publishing content that addresses the problems or concerns that your prospective consumers could be facing – even if these aren’t directly related to your product or service.

3. Content must be published on platforms other than your website

To get the most out of your SEO content, you need to make sure that you’re publishing content on trusted external sites, like online review sites and social media channels. 

The bigger your digital presence, the more relevant you become to Google, and the higher your SEO rankings.

Focus on user-generated content

Google gives preference to businesses that have been reviewed by customers. This is due to the fact that online reviews and testimonials indicate that people are interacting with your brand – a crucial factor when Google compiles search results. 

This demonstrates people are interacting with your business, which facilitates trust with potential consumers. It’s easier and cheaper to scale user-generated content as your happy customers will be creating the content on your behalf.

Online reviews aren’t only free - they’re a powerful marketing tool

Make sure your business is easy for prospective consumers to find. You can learn more about how our Platform boosts your SEO efforts here.

Reviews on Hellopeter have helped over one million consumers make better choices. Had an experience you’d like to tell us about? Leave us a review here.

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