So… you type your business name, let’s say it’s “Doggy Beauty Parlour” into Google and you come up first! Or you might even try typing in a popular search term into Google, something like “dog grooming Sunshine Coast”, and you come up in the top 3 on Google.
So, that’s your SEO sorted right?
Not necessarily. Our computers ‘cache’ information, like the things we commonly search on, and often bring these up for us, higher than they would appear for anyone else.
If you really want to know how your site is performing, go to the library or an internet café and try searching from a computer there.
How Search Engines Work
Search engines are answer machines. When a person performs an online search, the search engine scours its index of billions of documents and does two things: first, it returns only those results that are relevant or useful to the searcher’s query; second, it ranks those results according to the popularity of the websites serving the information. It is both relevance and popularity that the process of SEO is meant to influence.
How do People Interact with Search Engines
One of the most important elements to building an online marketing strategy around SEO is empathy for your audience. Once you grasp what your target market is looking for, you can more effectively reach and keep those users.
Why is SEO important?
An important aspect of SEO is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand. Although search engines have become increasingly sophisticated, they still can’t see and understand a web page the same way a human can. SEO helps the engines figure out what each page is about, and how it may be useful for users.
There are, on average, ten positions on the search results page. The pages that fill those positions are ordered by rank. The higher your page is on the search results page, the better your click-through rate and ability to attract searchers. Results in positions 1, 2, and 3 receive much more traffic than results down the page, and considerably more than results on deeper pages. The fact that so much attention goes to so few listings means that there will always be a financial incentive for search engine rankings. No matter how search may change in the future, websites and businesses will compete with one another for this attention, and for the user traffic and brand visibility it provides.
How is SEO worked out?
The search engines constantly strive to improve their performance by providing the best possible results. While “best” is subjective, the engines have a very good idea of the kinds of pages and sites that satisfy their searchers. Generally, these sites have several traits in common:
- Easy to use, navigate, and understand
- Provide direct, actionable information relevant to the query
- Professionally designed and accessible to modern browsers
- Deliver high quality, legitimate, credible content
Can I do SEO myself?
Use these SEO tips yourself. Identify your keyword phrase, and use it:
- In the title tag at least once. Try to keep the keyword phrase as close to the beginning of the title tag as possible. More detail on title tags follows later in this section.
- Once prominently near the top of the page.
- At least two or three times, including variations, in the body copy on the page. Perhaps a few more times if there’s a lot of text content. You may find additional value in using the keyword or variations more than this, but in our experience adding more instances of a term or phrase tends to have little or no impact on rankings.
- At least once in the alt attribute of an image on the page. This not only helps with web search, but also image search, which can occasionally bring valuable traffic.
- Once in the URL. Additional rules for URLs and keywords are discussed later on in this section.
- At least once in the meta description tag. Note that the meta description tag does not get used by the engines for rankings, but rather helps to attract clicks by searchers reading the results page, as the meta description becomes the snippet of text used by the search engines.