What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a marketing technique that that aims to improve your website’s performance in organic search rankings.
What are organic search rankings?
The idea is simple. When someone searches for something like “Coffee Shop in Manchester”, Google has to choose the order in which it will display the the results. The “organic” results are the websites in the list which aren’t paid adverts.
Search engines use super complex (and secret) sets of rules to decide the order in which search results are displayed. They measure loads of things about each website, from how often it is updated to how many other websites link to it and easy it is to navigate. Search engines weigh up all these different measurements and decide which is the best fit for the person searching.
When SEO is done properly, all of the things that search engines look for are improved. This will mean that search engines feature your website higher up in the list of results it gives.
Why do rankings matter?
When people use search engines, they expect to find what they’re looking for quickly. The top 3 search results get a lot of clicks. But after this there’s a steep drop off, with the website in position 10 at the bottom of page one typically getting around 1% of clicks.
Unfortunately this means that progressing from position 50 to position 30 in the rankings for your preferred search term may not have have a huge impact on the amount of business your website generates. However, once you get your website into the top half of page one, there will be an exponential increase in the interest in your site. Even moving up from position 10, at the bottom of page 1, to position 5 would probably double or triple the number of visits to your website from organic searches. The key is to keep pushing until you get to this pivotal point.
What will better SEO mean for my business?
These days, it’s hardly surprising that most people search online to find a local business. In fact, last year, just 9% of people said they hadn’t done an internet search to find one. When your website starts ranking highly, there will be a drastic increase in the visitors to your website from organic searches. People trust search results a lot so are very inclined to click on the websites at the top of the list. But there’s a steep drop off.
- Websites that rank in position 1 are clicked on by about 30% of of people.
- In position 2, fewer than 20% of people click to visit the website.
- By position 5, this drops to about 6%.
- At position 10, the bottom of first page of results fewer than 2% of people click through.
This means that when your website climbs from position 50 to position 25, there won’t be a huge increase in visitors to your website. But, by the time you get to page 1, the huge number of people who use search engines every day means things can really pick up. Moving up a couple of positions towards the top of page one could double your visitors.
More importantly, the people who find your site through search engines are actively looking for what your business is offering. If someone has searched for “Coffee shops in Manchester” and they end up on the website for your coffee shop, chances are they want to buy some coffee. So SEO doesn’t just target more people, it targets the right people; those who want what you’re selling.
Once you are getting more visitors to your site, you still have to make sure that they chose to do business with you. The end goal here isn’t to rank #1 or to get X number of page views, it’s to win over new customers. This is where you need to think about converting visitors into customers.
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