What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) involves putting a number of techniques into place to increase your ranking placement in the search results pages of search engines such as Google and Bing. The ultimate aim is to increase the number of visitors to your website.
Why is SEO important?
When Sergey Brin and Larry Page first created the search engine Google in 1998, they encountered a problem. If Google is to return a website for a search, how does it know which site to match with which keyword?
Together they came up with a sophisticated ranking algorithm, which is known as PageRank (named after LarryPage). To sum up this complex algorithm succinctly, PageRank attempted to rank websites according to the links that pointed at them. Each link was seen as a vote of confidence, and the system rewarded the most trusted websites according to the quality of their content, key words (keywords) and the votes of confidence they received from other sites.
PageRank was just the first of thousands of algorithm updates, and today Google admits to using over 200 different factors to rank a website.
Although there are search engines out there such as Bing, Google has such a market dominance in the UK that it takes 95% of our focus when we talk about SEO.
What factors does Google use today to rank a website?
While Google never give out any more information about their algorithm than the statement above, and are coy about their ranking factors, we know that the following are key:
To give simple examples for each of those factors think:
.co.uk vs .com domains
Shares via social media networks like Facebook
Positive brand mentions
Low bounce rate
A regularly maintained site with lots of fresh, high quality content
Onsite and Offsite SEO
Onsite SEO involves creating new, interesting content, targeting keywords, and optimising the infrastructure of your website. Ensuring good 'site health' is essential and a low bounce rate is key. This is where it can all become a bit technical...
Offsite SEO involves getting other online sources to refer to your website. This includes gaining good quality links back to your website from authoritative, trusted sites. Positive mentions of your brand and shares via social media networks such as Facebook will all help.
Does my business need an SEO strategy?
The short answer is YES. Google is the world’s biggest online marketplace and there are very few businesses that don’t need to be in that shop window. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, so getting your business to rank is essential. There are two main ways to do that – either paying for Google Ads or using SEO - whether it’s to optimise your website, your app, your images or your YouTube channel. SEO is also particularly important if you need your website to be found for local searches e.g. flower shop near me, or if you have two different versions of a website for two different countries.
SEO vs PPC
Our director, Mark Picton, described it best when he compared paying for ads to renting a house, unless you need a specific feature of Google Ads, (such as shopping) investing in SEO is more like paying off your own mortgage. The ads are here today, gone tomorrow, and if you stop paying you have no presence on Google anymore. The beauty of SEO is that you will reap the gains of the work done for years in the future.
How can we help?
Our SEO team at SONDR® has over a decade’s experience in a number of verticals including e-commerce, B2B, B2C, education, insurance, health & beauty, events and more. Contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you.