SEO in plain English

If you’re a business owner and don’t know what SEO is, you’ve come to the right place. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, much like Ronseal “does exactly what it says on the tin”.

SEO is the practice of making sure a business ticks all of the right boxes to make the Search Engine gods at Google, Bing, Yahoo or wherever, judge you kindly. If you have all your information in the right places, have the right people talking about you, and know where to place certain key words to let the Search Engines know exactly where and what you are, and when you’re open for business. If you have a full SEO plan that effectively comes together you could be one step (or search result) ahead of your competitors.

If you’ve looked into online marketing before, you may have heard of a ‘citation’. Don’t worry it’s not a punishment (we’ll get onto that later), actually citations are a positive influence for your online presence. A citation is what we call it whenever your business is mentioned somewhere on the internet.

The most important part of a citation is that it includes at least the name of your business, preferably with an accurate address and phone number. That’s why you may have heard of the importance of NAP (Name-Address-Phone) consistency. If your business is listed with lots of varying information, then Search Engines can’t trust the information as correct and so won’t display it. Citations are perhaps the most important feature that really grounds your business in a certain location in the Search Engine’s mind. So to feature on locally relevant searches this is really important.

seo for local businessesSo now we understand that search engines measure reliability of your business through how other people on other sites are talking about it. This is where online reputation can come in. Something more that you require from other sites that will improve how search engines view your business is ‘back links’. The World of back links can be a very tricky one to traverse. Some websites offer backlinks in return for money, but be warned that Google polices for these tricksters and if you’re found buying links you can face penalties (Dropping back down the Search Results). Worthy backlinks have to be earned, someone referencing your blog in their article or a press release about how your company is making innovations in their industry.

Once you realise the importance on back links, its hard to ignore the power of social media to amplify and spread those back links. Now businesses need to be on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus as a minimum. You can’t expect people to be giving you back links unless your creating valuable content on site, that once you promote it through your social channels, people will begin to share that content and so as well as generate authority for your domain, it will also drive traffic to your site independently of search.

So Google doesn’t like it when you pay people for them to feature a link to your site, unless its Google of course! So through highly targeted PPC campaigns (Pay Per Click), where Google will display your page above the Search Results you can advertise directly to people who are making relevant searches. SEO experts will provide a complete analysis of keywords and which keywords convert better for you business. That way your budget is more intelligently spent and you achieve a much better ROI (Return on your investment).