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How SEO Works: A Business Owner’s Guide To Search Engine Optimisation

by | May 24, 2019 | Blog, SEO | 0 comments


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If you are a business owner in any given industry chances are you’ve heard of SEO as a way of growing your business and getting more high-quality traffic to your website.

You probably know that it stands for search engine optimisation, but you might not know how SEO works and how you can use it to your advantage.

When used right, SEO can be an extremely powerful marketing strategy that can bring you high-quality traffic that will result in direct revenue for you and your business for years to come.

How SEO Stands Out

What really makes SEO stand out in comparison to other marketing strategies is that it’s all about the long-term game and being seen by the people that matter the most to your business.

When you invest in newspaper, radio or even television advertising there’s no doubt you will see some results. The problem is that you have to keep on spending money to get your message out. Once you stop spending money, people will stop coming through the door.

If you invest in this kind of advertising for your business, undoubtedly, you will get your message out to a very broad audience, which you might think is a good thing. More people hearing about your business must equal more people engaging with your business, right?

The truth is, most people won’t actually be looking for what you have to offer at the time they hear about you. What happens is that you end up spending money on reaching out to mostly the wrong audience.

Instead, what if you could reach people looking for what you have to offer at the same exact time they’re trying to find it? Something that doesn’t stop delivering results once you stop spending money.

Could you have this text stand out in some way, maybe in a box? The solution is called SEO.

It All Starts With A Simple Search

Before we dive into how SEO works it’s important to learn about the different results shown when performing a search.

SEO for Google

Remember Yellow Pages? Before the internet, flicking through the pages of that thick yellow book was the go-to way people found out about services or businesses they were looking for.

Now things are different. Nowadays, when looking for a product or service, you simply type it into a search engine online (generally Google), and less than a second later, you are shown exactly what you are looking for and where to get it.

As you may know, Google is the undeniable king of search engines. Every second, 63,000 searches are made on Google. That translates into 228 million searches per hour and 5.6 billion searches per day. That’s a whole lot of searches!

Whenever a search is made, Google displays a few ads at the top of the page, and below the organic search results. Most people have a tendency to scroll right through the ads and go straight to the organic search results for what they are looking for.

As opposed to the ads at the top of the page, for which you pay for every click (sometimes up to several hundreds of dollars in certain industries), organic traffic is completely free. Knowing how  SEO works is the first step is having your website show in the organic results for specific search phrases.

Another advantage is that people coming to a site from organic traffic usually stay there for longer and are more interested in what’s actually on the page.

What is SEO?

Now, let’s get into how search engine optimisation actually works.

What is SEO? Simply put, SEO is the optimisation of the content of your website so that search engines, such as Google and Bing, like it and decide to show it to anyone searching for a specific phrase that you want to rank for.  

For example, if you run a hair salon in South Brisbane, ideally you would want to show up in the top results when someone searches for a phrase such as “hair salon South Brisbane”.

The reason SEO works is because you can be seen by people that are interested in what you offer at just the right moment. This is what makes it one of the most powerful marketing strategies available for business owners.

If you want to be seen by these people, it’s important to show up as high as possible in the search results since the first five results typically receive about 67% of all clicks on Google.

How do I Rank Well on Google?

About 90% of all searches online come from Google, which is why it’s important to focus your main SEO efforts on ranking well in this particular search engine.  

In learning how SEO works, it’s important to first understand what makes a site rank on Google.

Google has a complex algorithm involving over 200 factors deciding which websites they’ll rank for specific phrases or keywords. Many of these factors haven’t been made public, but ultimately their goal is to provide a great user experience for their users.

This involves showing the most relevant content available for each specific keyword. If you can provide that content then Google will really like you and you will get more business.

Sounds easy, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it seems. If it was easy, then everybody would rank on the first page of Google.

Understanding How SEO Works

On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO –  When it comes to how SEO works, there are two main categories:

On-page SEO means optimising the content of the actual page you try to rank. Examples of on-page factors Google takes into account include:

  • Page structure
  • Content
  • Titles
  • The words you use

In deciding which search results to display for a certain keyword, Google also takes off-page factors into account. These are things outside of the page itself, like social media presence and other sites or blogs linking to your site.

A strong social media presence, heaps of shares, likes and links from other high-quality websites linking back to your site show Google that your site is worth paying attention to.

Both on-Page SEO and off-Page SEO are important for ranking well

High-quality content – Great content is crucial for SEO. However, just because you understand how SEO works and have good quality content on your site doesn’t mean that you will rank on the first page of Google.

You can compare high-quality content with the foundation of a house. You can’t build a house without it, but you also need strong walls, roof and insulation for it to be complete.

Every successful SEO campaign starts with high-quality content. To rank well, you must produce content that your users will love. If they don’t love it, they’ll leave your site and never come back.

This then signals to Google that the content is not relevant to the search phrase. If you can’t get users to stay and engage with your content, you won’t rank.

Besides producing great content you also need to optimise it with just the right amount of relevant tags, meta-description, headings and choosing the right words throughout your content.

Website – To take advantage of the opportunities SEO offer, you obviously first need a website. What most people focus their energy on is making their website look great, which is important. However, they forget the most crucial part.

Having a nice-looking website isn’t going to do your business any good if no one can find it. That’s where SEO comes into the picture. With SEO you can make that beautiful website of yours be found online for the search phrases that matter the most to your business.

To have your website found online

What SEO Can Do For Your Business

As mentioned earlier in this article, about 5.6 billion searches are made on Google every single day.

What’s interesting as a business owner is that a good portion of these searches is made by people looking for a specific product or service. As such, businesses that haven’t yet started doing SEO are missing out on a lot of potential revenue.

The beauty of SEO is being found just as someone is looking for what your business has to offer. When someone clicks through to your website from a search result, as opposed to the paid ads at the top, you don’t pay anything!

Before starting your campaign it’s important to do keyword research. SEO experts can see how many people are searching for specific phrases every month and will map out the most valuable search phrases for your business and get you ranking for them.

SEO is all about getting long-term and consistent results for your business. Even if you stop doing SEO, once the work has been done and you rank, you won’t stop seeing results for a time to come. However, to be in front of your competitors, it’s important to constantly keep doing SEO. Otherwise, you are going to lose your rankings and ultimately business over time.

To sum up:

SEO = High-Quality Website Traffic = More Sales

Can I do Search Engine Optimisation myself?

Doing SEO yourself sure is possible! But, if you are like most business owners chances are you are busy enough with what you do best, which is running your business. You might not have the time to learn something as time-consuming as understanding how SEO works and getting experience doing it.  

It takes years of practice and experience to really learn how to master it and even if you’re already experienced in SEO, the work itself is very time-consuming.

To rank well, you have to constantly put up new and optimised content, get high-quality links pointing to your site and countless other things.

As a business owner, you might be better of hiring an expert in the field. Not only will you save yourself time, but you will also get a better return on investment.

Why You Should Choose Digital Surfer

Our team of SEO experts know how SEO works and we have years of experience in helping small, medium and big companies in industries ranging from physiotherapists and lawyers to dentists and tree service companies.

We offer a personalised SEO service with the goal of helping our clients to rank high in search engines and in achieving their business goals.

With locations in Gold Coast, Melbourne and Brisbane, our services include, but are not limited to:

Ready to Grow Your Business Using SEO?

Contact us today at (07) 5576 7767 or fill out the form on our site with your query and we will get in touch ASAP. We’d love to hear from you and learn about your business challenges and how we can help. Let’s talk!

If you are interested in using Google to drive more search traffic to your site, let’s start a conversation.

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