In this post and our next few posts we will give you a clear understanding of Search Engine Optimisation.  We will go through SEO in plain English, with all the mystique removed.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be defined as any action or activity that will help to improve your search engine ranking i.e. where your website pages can be found in the search engine results pages (SERPS).

The objective of any SEO campaign is for you to have as many of your website pages appear on page one of the search engine results for your keywords or keyword phrases.  This is important because around 80% of people will start their internet activities by doing a search for what they are looking for.  Very few people will bother to go beyond the first page of the search results so you need to be there.

To have your website pages ranked highly by the search engines it is important that the engines can clearly define what your web pages are about.  Here is the first thing you need to appreciate – The search engines do not rank websites, they rank web pages.

Each page in your website should have unique content and ideally each page should just have one clear topic or theme.  It follows therefore that each page in your website should have just one primary keyword or keyword phrase.  If you offer say 10 core products or services in your business, you need 10 pages in your website – one for each product or service.  If you try and tell the search engines about everything you can do on one page they will not be able to identify what the page is actually about!

By way of example, let’s say your business is a lead generation / telemarketing company.  Your home page has 10 keywords such as: telemarketing, b2b referrals, new business generation, lead generation, sales leads, UK telemarketing services, new business appointments, appointments for business, telephone sales, sales call services.

I am in the market for someone to do some sales calls for me.  I find your home page via a search engine and go to your home page.  I look at all you are able to offer and I get confused – all I want is someone to do a few sales calls for me!  So I exit your site (bounce off it) and go back to my search results.

A better result for you would have been for me to find your page about sales call services – and only sales call services – and I would have been more likely to have done business with you.  If I wanted to know about your other services I could do so via the easy page navigation on your website – it was my choice, and that is the key.

Top help both the search engines and your website visitors to easily identify what your page is about you need to have a clear website architecture featuring clear navigation which allows you to establish a hierarchy for your web content.

Search Engine Rankings:

Search Engine rankings are an important part of SEO, but they should not be the end goal in themselves.  Far too many people get sidetracked by visitor numbers – or even worse by the number of ‘hits’ their website has.  Many people mistakenly believe a ‘hit’ is a site visitor, it isn’t.  A ‘hit’ is simply the number of times a file is uploaded (displayed),  so, if your webpage has say 5 images and some text that would mean that your web stats are showing 6 ‘hits’ each time someone opens that page!

A far more meaningful measure is the number of unique visitors.  It is also important to measure the ‘bounce rate’.  If someone enters your website and only views the page they land at and then leave the site, this is a ‘bounce’.  Different keyword phrases will produce different bounce rates but as a rule of thumb if your page has a bounce rate higher than 50% then you may need to improve the content on that page because over half the people who see that page don’t bother to read any more of your website content.

Having your keywords ranked in the search results is just one way to help people looking for your products and services to find you but it does not necessarily mean that they will buy from you.

In this post we have introduced you to Search Engine Results Pages (page ranking for your pages – not your site).  In our next post we will look more closely at web conversion.  In subsequent posts we will explain what ‘on-page SEO’ is, why ‘off-page SEO’ is as important, if not more so currently .  We will then cover link-building and talk about the power of ‘Anchor text’.

If you cannot wait to find out more contact GB-Web Marketing today by leaving a comment below or visiting the contact page

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