What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to activity that attempts to improve search engine results—the unpaid or “organic” results.
The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines such as Google (80% of users), Bing (9.5%) and Yahoo (8.5%). These provide search results, where web pages and other content such as videos are shown and ranked, based on what the search engine considers to be most relevant to users and about what they already know about your website. In search results, Google displays links to pages it considers relevant and authoritative.
But isn’t Google smart enough without my help?
Search engines are very smart, but they still need our help. The major engines are always working to improve their technology and to crawl the web more deeply returning the best possible results to users. There is, however, a limit to what search engines can do unaided. Good SEO can get you thousands of visitors and increased attention, but the wrong moves can obliterate you from the google search rankings and spoil the chance of your website being anywhere near page one.
In addition to making content more accessible to search engines, SEO also helps boost rankings so that content will be placed where people will find it. The Internet is becoming increasingly competitive, and those companies who work at SEO have an advantage.
AdWords – The easy way?
Google AdWords is more immediate than SEO since you can create advertising campaigns and start getting targeted traffic very quickly, while with SEO you need a lot more time to get good rankings and traffic. AdWords can be expensive, every time a potential customer clicks on your ad you are charged per click regardless of whether they buy anything or not.
What happens when you stop paying for the Google AdWords? Your campaigns traffic will automatically stop but once you start getting organic traffic with SEO, this will continue long term. A well-managed AdWords campaign can target many ‘Short tail’ keywords simultaneously i.e. for sports shop ‘Sports shop Ireland’ ‘Sports shop Dublin’. They very rarely however, cater for ‘Long tail keywords’ this is an advantage of SEO is that it works well with these ‘Long tail keywords’ i.e. for the same sports shop it would include ‘where to buy footballs in Dublin’, ‘best cheap sports shop near me’
AdWords and SEO are not in competition with each other, they are two individual very powerful tools available in your digital marketing array. You can use AdWords when you want traffic fast but you need SEO for long term and sustainable online success. Investing in SEO can have an exceptional rate of return compared to other types of online marketing.
Why do I need SEO?
Although social media sites like Facebook can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users.
Search engines are unique in that they provide targeted traffic—people are searching for what you offer. Search engines are the ‘middle man’ that make this happen. If search engines cannot find your website, you miss out on incredible opportunities to organically drive traffic to your website. SEO attempts to optimise the information and structure of your website to achieve a good ranking. Experience has shown that search engine traffic can make (or break) any website’s success.
Keyword definition: Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your website is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called “search queries.”
5 benefits of SEO for your business
- It is cost effective- Compared to the costs associated with other forms of advertising, SEO provides a good return on investment.
- Find new customers and assist growth- The basis for any website is to allow customers to find you. With higher ranking, your customer base is likely to increase.
- Achieve better conversion rates – optimised websites loads faster, are easy to read and navigate, and will display properly in almost all types of devices, including mobile and tablets.
- Build brand awareness–When your sites appear on the first page of search engines such as Google organically , potential customers are more likely to trust your brand (as previously discussed in the trust stack)when they search for a particular term rather than having paid in order to rank well with Google AdWords.
- Stay ahead of your competition – Let’s face it, people searching for what they want will stop as soon as they find it, hence beating your competition in rankings will steamroll you past your competition
5 disadvantages of SEO for your business
- SEO results will take time, this is not something that will happen overnight.
- It can be difficult to calculate the ROI because there are a lot more factors that play a role in getting people organically to your website.
- Keywords: there may be massive competition for your vital keyword and SEO provides no guarantee that you will rank on the first page of google for the keywords you are targeting
- Changing times: Google regularly update their techniques to improve their results and make them more accurate, this in turn can affect your ranking on the results page.
- Investment: SEO is free but once you factor in the time cost of implementing it or the fact that it needs to be done by someone who knows what they are doing and this usually involves hiring a professional to do this for you