Get more clients online with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Ben Laing is an Online Marketing Consultant from Kirkcaldy who helps businesses get more sales from the internet with SEO, WordPress websites, social media and YouTube video marketing.

Here are the key areas Ben talked about in his presentation at Cupar Business Network:

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

The definition of SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the process of preparing and promoting a website in the best possible way with the goal of getting higher rankings on search engines such as Google. Once you are ranked higher on Google for frequently searched keyword phrases that your potential customers are using, you begin to get more traffic to your website. And more traffic leads to more enquiries and sales.To make SEO work for you, you need to understand how search engines work. Google’s job is to provide searchers with the best possible results to answer their question or provide solutions to their problems as quickly as possible. Say for example you search for “Restaurant in YOUR AREA” on Google. How does Google’s search engine decide how to rank the list of websites that appear on the search results page? This is done by Google’s algorithm, which is their ranking system based on over 200 different ranking factors.

70% of people use Google over Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. Ben was asked by a member of the audience at his last talk why he was focusing on Google and not the other search engines. The reason for this is because the majority of internet users prefer Google as their search engine. In fact research shows that over 70% of web browsers use Google over other search engines.

The importance of Google

The shift from Yellow Pages to Google
In the 21st century when people look for information, products or services they go straight to their PC, laptop or mobile device to find it and 70% use Google’s search engine to find the solution they are looking for.

– 70% of buying decisions are made online.
This is known as the zero moment of truth (ZMOT). Most customers have done enough research online and made up their mind to go ahead with you before they have even phoned you. This is because there is enough information including features, benefits and prices online for most products and services that they can make up their mind before needing to call and ask for more information and to get a quote. This means that we don’t need to sell we just need to answer as many of our potential customers’ questions as possible on our website so that they don’t go to our competitor’s website to find the answer. By answering commonly asked questions on your website, you are building authority and a relationship with your prospects. This rule obviously depends on what type of business you are. If you take a moment to think about how you buy products or services as a consumer, then you’ll begin to understand.

How to get found on Google

Make sure you are adding the right keywords and keyword phrases on your website – i.e. the ones your customers are searching for on Google every day. You can find out what these keywords are by using a free tool from Google called: Google Keyword Planner. This tool works like a thesaurus where you can search for synonyms and related keywords that your customers might be searching on Google. You can get a list of keyword ideas plus this tool shows you a the average number of times these keywords are searched for on Google monthly, how much competition there is to rank highly for the keyword (Low, Medium or High) and how much people are spending on Google Ads to rank on the first page for these keywords. This information gives you a lot of insight on the importance of different keywords to help you make a decision on what keywords to add into your own website.

User Experience
The user’s experience is a very important statistic and ranking factor that Google looks at to decide if a website should rank on the first page for a search result. So it is important that all technical and design aspects of your website are up to scratch to give your visitors that best possible experience when they land on your website. The last thing Google want to do is send a user to a website that does not function well. If this happens it’s most likely the user will click back and leave your website. This sends a signal to Google to tell them that they’ve not done their job. This forces Google to move that website down the search results so that they are providing their customers (the searchers) with the best possible results.

Mobile Friendly
According to Google, this is the first year (2015) that mobile web usage has exceeded desktop usage. So more people are now browsing the internet on their mobile devices than on their PC or laptop. Based on this statistic, Google implemented an update to their system back in April 2015 with the effect that websites that are not mobile friendly will not rank highly on Google.

Here is a tool from Google that allows you to find out if your website is mobile friendly:

Click here to put your own website to the test: