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Just having a website does not automatically mean that you are visible on the web – people should also be able to find it. And SEO is a crucial tool in this respect. We are going to tell you why SEO is indispensable…
Unless you have massive marketing budgets to increase your brand awareness, or are so famous that people already know your website – and even then – the majority of your visitors will find your website via Google or other search engines.
Moreover, you are (almost) never alone with your product or service, as there will always be competitors. It is therefore important to give your website as much visibility as possible on the web, so that potential customers can find you quickly. And one of the most effective techniques you can use is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), because it allows your site to naturally ("organically") rank higher in the search results returned by search engines.
SEO will help you optimise your website in such a way that Google can find it organically and rank it high in its search results. Because you can also achieve that result by "buying" your position, using another technique known as SEA (Search Engine Advertising). But... those advertisements cost a lot of money. And although the difference with organic search results is concealed as much as possible, experienced Internet users are aware that these are advertisements, and that might make them suspicious of these results.
When you hear the word "SEO", you probably instantly think of achieving the highest position in the text results. That is the list where, for each website, you can see a title, a short piece of text from that website (meta description), followed by the link to the site in question.
However, the search results provided by Google contain many more elements – and for each of these elements, you can optimise your website. If we take a look at typical search results, you will see the elements below. Their location may vary: sometimes, they appear above or below the text results, other times in a sidebar, and occasionally under a separate tab at the top.
Well, for each of these results (images, shopping, etc.), you can optimise your website. It will take some effort, but it is most definitely worth it!
Why make that effort? Because search engines are the main source of traffic to your website. Statistics from Alexa, a web service that ranks the popularity of websites, show that people visit a website for four reasons:
For many sectors, search is the most important factor.
Being listed "somewhere" in the search results of the search engine is not enough: you really need to rank as high as possible. Being listed on the first page of results is a must, and it is even better if you can make it to the top 3 search results.
This too is proven by figures, namely the click-through rate, both on desktop computers and mobile devices. If your website achieves 1st position in organic results, you will have a rate of 30-35 for desktop computers, and a slightly lower rate for mobiles. If you are 2nd, this rate will immediately drop to 15%, and if you are 20th, it will even drop below 5%.
When you use the right SEO techniques on your website, and reach the top of search results for your keywords, you should not rest on your laurels. Keeping a constant eye on your website analytics is a must – and fortunately, there are plenty of tools to do this, such as Google Analytics.
This is quite labour intensive, but also a lot cheaper than opting for SEA (Search Engine Advertising). Depending on your keyword and your sector, your advertisements will often cost you thousands of euros each month.
On the other hand, the costs of SEO are much lower. You may need to hire a copywriter to make your texts more attractive, or a web designer to use certain techniques. But once you have good organic results, and you maintain them, you will actually not have a lot to pay – at least in comparison with SEA.
Just do the math: suppose that, every month, 100,000 people search for the keyword you want to rank for. If you want to be at the top of the search results, you will have to outbid your competitors, which can quickly cost €1 per click-through (that is, every time someone clicks on your ad). So with a click-through rate of 25%, you are looking at €25,000!
In order for your website to be in Google's favour using SEO techniques as organically as possible, you must know what Google values in a website. The principle here is "relevance is key". In other words, your website should always provide answers to the questions of Internet users and offer added value.
Google's strength is that it has an algorithm that can tell, from more than 200 indicators, which sites offer those answers. And these are the indicators you can work on to get your website to rank higher.
Remember: most indicators are known, but their weight in the algorithm is not. In addition, the algorithm is regularly updated – for various reasons. First of all, to respond to changing circumstances, such as the emergence of searches performed on mobile screens. This is why the responsive nature of your website (i.e. its ability to adapt to different screen sizes – for desktops, tablets and mobile devices) plays an important role.
Another reason is that SEO experts often find ways to outsmart the algorithm. And when Google discovers this, it adapts its algorithm so that new search results can make the most relevant website stand out as organically as possible.
There are a few general guidelines that will help you achieve a good organic ranking:
With Combell hosting, you automatically comply with these guidelines!
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