The WWWWW(oa)H of SEO
We’re going to break it down, demystify and simply that buzzword, SEO. Onwards!
WHO needs SEO?
If you are in the business of making money, wanting to build the recognition of your brand, raising funds for charity, or promoting a worthy cause, if you want customers to interact with you online (& when 80% of Australians are active online, why wouldn’t you), you need to do SEO.
While Google does get the majority of search requests, Yahoo, Bing, Duck Duck go and other search engines shouldn’t be overlooked.
SEO is an organic (not a paid listing), cost-effective approach to helping all of the search engines (and people searching) to find you, or your business.
Are you looking for an affordable and effective marketing solution? You need SEO.
WHAT IS SEO?
SEO is an acronym that means; SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION.
The practice of SEO refers to the use of methods, and research to ensure your website and social media is correctly developed and optimised for search engines (i.e. Google). SEO actualises the goal of getting your business onto the first page of a search engines results page (SERP)
SEO not only assists your organic listing on search engines, it improves the customers experience when interacting with your brand, because SEO tactics
You may have heard that SEO is dead… It’s not dead, it, just like all digital marketing tactics, has had to evolve and change over time. Search Engines make changes as technology expands and interests change, to ensure they return you the most relevant information from your request. This means, the way SEO is implemented changes to suit the search engine provider. What got your business onto page 1 of Google 2-5 years ago, will probably get you penalised (temporary or permanent exclusion from appearing on SERPS) today.
What are the types of SEO:
On-page SEO: Optimising things you can see and prospects interact with
Off-page SEO: The promotion of your webpage and social media
Technical SEO (behind-the-scenes): The back-end development and design of your website in accordance with search engine requirements and recommendations.
WHEN does SEO start to work?
SEO is a long-term gains tactic. If you need the validation of instant success, you’ll be frustrated by SEO (and probably think your marketing agency has taken your money and run).
If you’re in it for the long game, it’s one of your best friends to get your business noticed.
But, How long until SEO takes to start working?
As a general rule it can take anywhere from 4 – 6 months for you to start seeing results. That doesn’t mean you’ll instantly appear on the first page of a SERP within that time. SEO has an accumulative effect with results growing over time. Whatever results you are seeing at the 6 months mark, at 12 months it should be considerably more.
WHY pay someone to do my SEO
You can of course school yourself in the art of SEO and do it yourself, especially if you have a technically orientated mind.
My career exists because I was able to pirate Photoshop in the 90’s after all. (I subscribe now, and I have had plenty formal training since! See: About BPDM).
There are small activities that you can do to contribute to the overall success of SEO. Adding an Alt tag to your images is one of them.
SEO does however, take a decent amount of time to implement and manage correctly, especially if your website is large or you’ve neglected the importance of it.
Should I hire a Digital Marketer?
Digital Marketers, who specialise in SEO, know what to focus on to get your business noticed. They can analyse, implement and optimise thoroughly. They have the apps, subscriptions and technical knowledge to implement the correct tactic in the right place.
Simply, it’s value for money to do what you do best, and outsource the rest. You wouldn’t hire a horticulturist to write an employment contract because they watched law and order once or twice. Ya dig?
HOW IMPORTANT IS SEO for business?
Would you rather: Pay thousands per month in advertising fees and constantly have to compete with other businesses driving up the cost of search terms important to your industry, or would you like to invest a fraction of that budget and get better results?
If your marketing budget is small, if you want to increase leads, if you want to ensure customers have the best experience interacting with your brand, search engine optimisation is crucial.
SEO is the reason 75% all search traffic takes action/clicks and uses less than 15% of a marketing budget
Paid ads (PPC) – gets 25% of traffic (because searchers don’t trust ads as much as organic listings) and uses 80% of your marketing budget
HOW can a business do SEO them selves?
If your budget is super tight, you’re a start-up business or fundraiser, there are some tactics you can implement yourself. Here are a few SEO Do’s and Dont’s to try now:
Image file names in SEO:
How can an image name help SEO? Context! Search engines cannot see images.
Image file naming tips:
DON’T – upload with the automatically generated file names > 001canonA32.jpg
DO: Rename your images with relevant names > SEO-tips-for-business.jpg / handmade-blue-resin-bangle.jpg
Using Alt Tags:
When you upload an image to a website (or even Instagram), you can add an alt tag. Alt tags, or ‘Alternative Attributes’ provide a text description to search engines to inform them what the image is about. Remember, Search engines do not see pictures.
Alt Tag tips:
DON’T – leave the alt tag/description blank
DO – keep it succinct and relate the alt tag text to the page context.
How to formulate Headings
The section headings in this article are pre-meditated with SEO in mind. Take a scroll up and you’ll notice they are similar to what you may have put into the search box to find this blog.
If you pay attention, you’ll also notice that different sized headings have been used for sections and subsections. H1 – H5 size headings are used to assist search engines (and your readers) with context and readability.
Website or Blog Heading Tips:
use overly complex or industry lingo laden heading if you want non-industry people to find you: Most people search in plain simple language.
use the same size heading all the way through your article or website
Use keywords that customers will use when searching
Use different size headings to increase readability and educate search engines about section importance and context.