SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
So, what is SEO? Search Engine Optimisation is the science behind getting found on Google.
In lay-mans terms, it’s engineering your website so that it is presented to Google as being relevant to the search term and authoritative. And you want to be found on page 1! Page 2 is not second prize.
Maybe we should start a bit further back with an explanation of keywords and search terms…
SEO Keywords and Search Terms
When you go to Google to search for something – you enter what is known as your keyword or search term. Lets say you’re looking for a nearby mechanic to repair your diesel car. You might very well search for “Diesel car mechanic in Newry”. And you would be right to expect that Google would return a page of search results that match what you are searching for.
We all take this for granted. We use Google every day, to look up a product or service that we need – or just to answers to our children’s homework. Not many of us will take a moment to think about the complexity of what is going on within Google to provide us with those results.
It’s often said that content is king. But that’s not true. The searcher is king.
Google is ONLY interested in serving the most relevant search results to their customers – the people doing the search… they’re not interested in you, your business or your need for customers. Nothing else. Just their customers.
So, start with the search. What words or phrases are people searching for, when they’re looking for something directly related to your product or service?
Here’s the first task in SEO – know and understand your keywords.
You need to find out exactly what people are entering into the search box. Not what you think they’re asking. Not what you’d like them to ask – but find out exactly what they enter – word for word. Accuracy is important. The keyword research is a vital first task for the SEO.
As a “searcher”, we expect to be presented with relevant results to our search. And we will almost certainly get what we are looking for on page 1 of these results. What if we didn’t get what we wanted? What if the results that we were provided turned out to be a load of rubbish – spammy websites trying to sell us viagra, or irrelevant content abut the origins of the diesel electric train in the USA?
Now given that our experiences with Google search is that we get accurate, relevant information – we return to them again and again. We trust that they’ll give us the information that we need. However – if they started to provide rubbish info, we would go elsewhere to get our information.
To keep us coming back, Google will try to serve us with the most relevant and authoritative information.
SEO and You – the business owner
I hope you now have a general understanding of what a keyword / search term is… (it’s the starting point for all SEO). As a business owner, hoping to be found on Page 1, you need to be aware of the terms that your prospective customers will be searching for. Some of these will be plainly obvious – such as the diesel car mechanic in the example above. But another searcher may enter “mechanic for Peugeot 308 HDi” – which is a diesel car – but their search is more specific. Our friendly mechanic may also be a specialist in Peugeot cars, and may want to be found by those clients.
Having made a list of all the search terms and keywords, you should have your website content written to include these terms. You may be able to include several terms in one article – as long as they are all related. Once the content has been written, it needs to be SEO optimised for Google. This simply means that the piece of content may need a re-write to make sure that the keyword appears often enough to be recognised as meaningful. The content piece needs to be seen as relevant to the search. Your SEO will help get this right for you – actually – this is a key role for the SEO.
The optimisation will also include setting appropriate heading tags and meta data. A description is written and placed in the coding. It is this brief description that will appear below the URL (web address) in the search results. The heading tags and meta data provide the relevance information to Google and the description provide the relevancy and reason to click for the reader. The description should be thought of as the advert for your content.
In addition to providing for search term relevance – such as “diesel car mechanic” or “Peugeot HDI mechanic” – you will want to provide Geographic relevance. Especially if you provide a local service – such as the car mechanic does. Our mechanic in Newry will want to gt calls from people in Newry who need him, not calls from someone in London or Edinburgh. Geographic relevance can be provided for in your address in the contact page, by embedding a map in the site and by adding Geo tags to your photographs. You can also add geo schema to your website – but that’s probably too advanced for the local business owner audience.
If you’re thinking about how to get more new business enquiries and more customers – or SEO – get in touch – even if it’s only for a friendly chat. We don’t bite.
Fill out the contact forme below and hit SEND! Chat soon. Thanks Adrian.