Is search engine optimisation worth it? (Part two)

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In part one of the blog, we discussed whether SEO is worth undertaking for your business. In this second instalment, we look under the bonnet of this mysterious practice to see how it works.

Okay, so let’s assume that you want to do your own SEO, or at least understand what it’s all about before you commit part of your valuable marketing budget.

Keeping your website on page one is only one element of search engine optimisation – attracting the right visitors and sparking a meaningful conversation is the ultimate goal. It all stems from the principles of good content creation. The fact that Google keeps improving its search algorithms is a good thing, because it means that websites have to get better at providing accurate information.

Put simply, there are three main areas to consider:

  1. Optimise the construction of your website to ensure that it’s as logical and accessible as possible.
  2. Make sure the content on your site is relevant for the visitors.
  3. Build links from relevant websites.

If you have the time to do this yourself then you’ll save a lot of money. It requires a fair amount of time and you need to keep abreast of all the changes that Google, Bing and Yahoo are making to ensure that you’re following the best practice guidelines, which in turn gives you a better score.

You need to consider what keywords potential customers will be typing into the search engines; this will help you appear in the right places. You can use Google tools to check the keywords you think people would use to find you, and find out how many searches are performed per month on each of the terms. You can also check to see how competitive each keyword is, so don’t just punt for the most searched terms – this could be very difficult to manage.

Now you know what keywords you’re using, you can organise your website so that they become the title of the main landing pages that your search link arrives at. You can structure your content so that it works logically for both human visitors and robot visitors (the search engines call these robots ‘spiders’). Your content should be natural so don’t cram it full of keywords – it looks like you’re cheating and it never reads well. You’ll need to keep updating your website – otherwise it looks like a shop window that has been left to go dusty and tired.

Finding and creating relevant links is a laborious task – you need to check the websites that you are approaching for links. They need to be regularly updated and have a good score with the search engines and should be relevant to what you do. Imagine how frustrating it would be to search for something specific, and find yourself somewhere totally irrelevant – we’ve all been there so don’t be that site.

The world of SEO is still fairly new to many businesses and, like any burgeoning industry, there are a lot of people out to make a quick buck. Beware!