If you have just burst onto the online marketing scene, you may currently be feeling like a lone ranger in a vast wilderness, trying to A) navigate to paradise without a map and B) light a fire with no matches.

Getting people to visit your website is hard. They don’t just stroll past it on the street and decide to pop in for a look around. You have to make your website accessible and SEO friendly. But what is this strange and mysterious SEO everyone is going on about?

In this series of blog posts we’ll be looking at the basics of SEO, what it is and how to get to grips with it.

Let’s begin…

What is SEO?

Why isn’t my website No1 on Google for ALL search terms?

Our website is totally amazing, WHY aren’t we getting any traffic?

If you have spent many an hour pondering any of the above (perhaps slightly less dramatically), it sounds like you might need a little information kick-start to help you on your way to search engine success.

SEO – What is it and what does it stand for?

We agree, a sandwich-eating octopus wouldbe really cool, but today we are discussing a different SEO that is both tentacle free and less damp.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which in the smallest nutshell possible is the process of changing the visibility of your website or certain pages on your website within a search engine’s organic or paid search results.

Generally speaking, the more frequently your website appears in the search results and the higher up it appears – the more visitors will come your way. In summary:

Good SEO practice = more visitors.

Does my website need SEO?

Trying to get visitors to your website without optimising it for search engines is like trying to make an omelette without breaking any eggs.

From the words on your homepage through to the other websites you link to – it all matters.

Nowadays, major commercial search engines drive the vast majority of web traffic. To give you an idea of what we’re talking about, see below for recent market share percentages:

  • Google – 80%
  • Yahoo – 9.5%
  • Bing – 8.5%
  • Other – 2%

Whilst social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can direct traffic to your website, as you can see from the above it is the search engines who are the ‘big players’ – ‘the Don’ of Internet navigation shall we say.

When you enter a search query into one of the above engines, they display pages that they believe are both relevant and authoritative. They do this using complicated and constantly changing and shifting algorithms, which much like the recipe for Iron Bru will remain a closely guarded but hotly debated secret.

Why can’t search engines work it out on their own?

If search engines are so clever I hear you say, why can’t they work out what search queries should bring up your website on their own? Why do you need to do anything?

Search engines are smart, and they are constantly working on updating their technology so that they can crawl the web more efficiently to return the most relevant results – but there is a limit to what they can do.

Making content accessible to search engines will help them to find it so that they can put it into a place where others will subsequently find it.

Traffic that comes to your website (or doesn’t) can have a direct impact on the success of your company. After all, if no one knows about your service then how an earth are you going to make any money?

Investing in SEO whether through your own time, the time of your staff or financially by outsourcing it, could be one of the most valuable investments you make as a company (offering an exceptional ROI in comparison to other forms of marketing).

For a summary of the above, please see our infographic below: