Search Engine Optimisation or its three letter acronym SEO is the process of increasing the traffic to a website. In today’s world a business needs to have its brand or offering in front of the consumer. You do not want a billboard to be in the desert, but on Times Square where many customers can see it.
In the Internet world you need the advertising to be on the front page of Google and to a lesser extent the other major search engines. Only 1-5 % of search engine users will look at the second page of returned results.
Being found on the front page of a Search Engine result is especially useful as the consumers who are searching are looking to purchase or take some other action, if they find what they want.
SEO sounds complex and expensive. It is complex and involves many aspects of both the web site, but also how this interacts with your customers. SEO could involve the web site programming and coding, design, content and how it is organised, web hosting. SEO consultants will typically review the full package and make recommendations to what should be done. As always they will identify the easier and cheaper options that you could take. However it is important to have the objective to get your business to page 1, anything less will not give a good rate of return.
SERP or Search Engine Rank Position records the position of your website. It is KPI that allows you to track your SEO efforts.
Due to the different ways that SEO consultants can approach the same ranking problem, it may at times appear more of an art than a science. Partly due to the secrecy that the Search Engines shroud their ranking algorithms and the SEO consultants different methodology.
You might hear about organic rankings, this is what SEO is about, the natural listing of the business. On a typical search engine results you will find the natural or organic results list and some adverts or sponsorship, which are at the top of the page and in the right column. Some organic search engine results also include a box of “local” search results, which are particularly useful for those who are searching for businesses near to their locality, e.g. restaurants. Local SEO is a particularly cost effective solution for local businesses.
All businesses should regularly search for the “keywords” that they think their potential customers will be using to find them. E.g. London restaurant, London Indian house and Islington restaurant are three keywords for an Islington Indian restaurant (in London). If they are not on the first page for the two latter phrases, they are missing thousands of potential clients. In this case over twenty thousand search monthly for London Indian Restaurant.
As well as the benefits of increased targeted customers, you also benefit from an increased brand awareness that is always open. Be careful, suddenly jumping to the front page of Google can cause operational difficulties on the supply side.