What is SEO?
SEO – or Search Engine Optimisation, to give it its full title – is one of those acronyms regularly used in the marketing business and it describes the technical process behind making sure that your website appears as close as possible to the top results returned when you enter a search term into Google, Bing or whichever search engine you use..
Google remains the most popular search engine – almost three quarters of all internet searches in 2017 were made through Google – and the ‘rules’ they set to determine the order of results returned in a search are often amended.
Effective SEO therefore is an ongoing requirement if you want your website to remain amongst the first that people see when searching.
What Factors are Important in SEO?
There are many factors which influence how close to the top of the search results a business appears – also known as ‘ranking’ - and Google is increasingly placing more emphasis on how useful and relevant websites are in relation to the search query that was entered. The way this ‘usefulness’ is measured is by the following indicators:
Direct Website visits - ie the number of times people actually click onto your website
Time on Site – ie how long they spend on it when they look at your website
Pages per Session – the number of pages people look at within your website
Technical indicators – updates in the background ‘coding’ of your website
Content Length – literally the amount of information on your website
Bounce Rate – the percentage of people quickly moving away from your website, suggesting that it was not the information they were looking for when they entered the search term. The higher this is, the more detrimental to your ‘ranking’ position.
This is not an exhaustive list – there are many other criteria that Google applies - however it demonstrates the range of factors. Nor is it an exclusive list: the last two bullet points show that effective SEO goes hand-in-hand with effective content marketing, more of which you can read about on our What is Content Marketing page.
Here at Dandelion Marketing, our experience tells us that a joined-up approach to SEO and Content Marketing yields the best performing results for websites and our team has specialists in both fields who work closely together to ensure that your website not only gets to the top of the search engines, but that it stays there too.
Why is SEO Important?
Clearly, if you’re looking to increase your online business, there is no point in having a fantastic website if nobody can find it. It is vital therefore that it is made as easy as possible for potential customers to find – and ultimately use – your website.
Research shows that the overwhelming majority of people (around 90%, based on findings by Moz) when searching for a product or service, will click on the suggestions on the first page of returned results. This makes sense, as those results should be the most relevant based on the search term they entered.
By contrast, it is therefore overwhelmingly less likely that somebody would bypass the most relevant results and scroll through the thousands of other pages of listings to find less useful information.
Again, this makes sense as these will have been deemed less likely to be relevant by Google and in prioritising the most useful results, enables the time-poor consumer to find out what they want and quickly.
All of this points to the importance of your website appearing as close as possible to the top of the results pages and, critically, that it remains there. Amendments are being made to the criteria that is applied on a regular basis, with recent inclusions relating to websites being mobile phone-friendly (technically referred to as mobile-first indexing) to reflect the changing nature of how we increasingly use the internet ‘on the go’.
This is why we keep on top of all the latest updates and take pride in our technical expertise, industry specialism and the consistent high performance of the websites we work with to help grow businesses and get the most out of their online presence.