SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of optimising your website through content so that keywords and terms related to your business show up through online search results. In short, it’s making sure your content appears when people are searching for anything related to your business.
Why is this an important factor for businesses to consider? The answer is simple. While many marketing tactics rely on you reaching out to your audience, SEO gives you the power to reach people when they are actively seeking information related to your products and services – you’re reaching people who want to be reached.
In a recent SEO survey, covering how people interact with search engines, 76% of respondents said they used search engines to find local business information – more than double the number who searched using a printed directory such as the Yellow Pages. 67% had used search engines in the past 30 days to find local information, and only 23% had used online social networks as a source. Google led the core search market in April with 65.4% of the searches conducted, followed by Yahoo! with 17.2%, and Microsoft with 13.4%.
Whether we like it or not, the benefits of SEO are closely tied to your Google ranking. If you don’t have a large budget to advertise on Google, SEO helps you improve your visibility within the organic (or natural) search results on the world’s most popular search engine, as opposed to inorganic, paid, advertising. This is essentially free promotion that ensures the Internet is working for your business.
So what are some best practices to make the most out of your website?
It’s important to define the following: How do people refer to your product or service? What will they really type into the search bar when they’re researching your industry online? At BTA, we believe in the importance of thinking like your customer, no matter what you’re doing. It will help you anticipate their needs and deliver a strong service level. The same applies to SEO. Thinking like your target customer will help you use the terminology they know, and ensure that you speak their language. Your target customers will therefore be more likely to find your site and your services.
Next, consider the search volume. This is the popularity of the keyword. How many people are searching for the phrase? Is it trending up or down? It’s pointless to target a phrase if no one is searching for it, even if it is what you would personally consider a strong keyword. That being said, competition is also a factor to consider. If your keyword has a high search volume, it’s likely a to be in high demand, and used across a variety of websites. How likely is it that this keyword will help your website appear on the first search results page in Google? Will a competitor website rank more highly than yours? Make sure you have a chance of appearing in the search rankings before focusing on a particular keyword.
Tags are the text that helps Google identify the different types of content on your website. A header tag, also known as an H1 tag, is much like the subject line of your web page. It’s a good idea to use your keywords in the H1 tag of any pages that you would like users to visit. You can also use H2 (second or sub-header) tags if there are multiple sections.
An alt tag is essentially the name of an image. When you upload an image on your website, use an alt tag that describes what it is, and if it can incorporate the keyword, so much the better. Not only are alt tags good for search engines, they are also good for accessibility; if someone is using a screen reader, they will be able to hear what that image is.
Meta descriptions, while not as important in search engine rankings, are extremely important in getting users to click through from the search engine results page (SERP) to your website. Meta descriptions should include a compelling description that will attract your users, and this is another opportunity for you to utilise your chosen keywords. Much like title tags, the SERPs will highlight keywords that the user searched for, increasing the likelihood of the user clicking through to your website.
These are just some high level tips to help you leverage SEO for your business. While SEO matters to your business, a strong internet connection and network will make sure your website performs the best it can when your target customers land on it after a successful Google search. BTA can support your business with network design, upgrades, domain hosting, Internet connectivity and managed Wi-Fi networks. For more information on our Network & Internet services, contact us today.
We take care of your IT, so you can focus on running your business. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive outsourced IT support service or something more flexible, BTA can help. As industry-leading specialists in network security, business continuity, hardware and software provision, cloud computing and Internet services, BTA has been helping businesses gain a competitive edge through technology for more than 20 years. Call today on 020 8875 7676 to learn more and sign up for a free consultation.