What is SEO?

If you’ve spent anytime trying to drive traffic to your website then you will almost certainly have heard people talk about SEO and how it can mean the difference between having a profitable web business or a failing one. So what exactly is SEO and how do you use it to grow your business.

Well according to Wikipedia, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is defined as the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results for targeted keywords.

What this effectively means is it is all about getting the search engines to put your website at the top of their search results (often referred to as the search rankings) whenever anyone does a search for your type of business. The closer to the top of the page you are then the more people you will get to come to your website. In some markets, nearly 80% of the traffic goes to the website that is in the top position of the search results.

SEO itself has become big business with many companies offering to get your website to the top of the rankings. Of course these kinds of services don’t come cheap and it can be a worry to many businesses that are unsure if they are getting value for money.

You may think that SEO it extremely complicated and technical. In fact it isn’t. It’s actually quite straight forward. All you really need to remember is that the search engines want to list websites that give their users exactly what they are looking for. If they do that then people will keep coming back to that search engine every time they need to search for anything on the internet. This is the reason Google has become the dominant force on the internet. They provide the most relevant results and therefore the majority of people now use them as they search engine of choice.

So, how do you convince a search engine that you are the most relevant website for the searches for your products or services?

There are three simple steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Choose the words that you want your website to appear in the search engines for. These are called your keywords. For example, if you provide plumbing services in London then one of your keywords could be “plumbing services London”.

Step 2: Make sure your website uses your keywords in a way that tells the search engines that this is what your website is about and that they should place you in their search results for those keywords. This is called “onsite optimisation”.

Step 3: Get other websites to link to your website using your keywords. This is very important because the search engines see these links as “votes” for your website for those keywords. Simply put, the more votes you have the higher you will appear in the search results.

Clearly there is a lot to each of those steps and it’s not as simple as it sounds. For example, picking the right keywords is critical to your success so step 1 above requires a lot more work than just thinking up some words for your site. However you can learn to do this yourself and for many start up companies this is your only option as hiring an SEO expert may be outside your current budget.

Luckily, KKSmarts offer a Free SEO training course. Through a set of 5 easy to understand audio lessons you will be shown exactly how to optimise your website and place your site at the top of the search engines.

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