Studies have shown that over 46 million people across the UK have used the internet in 2020. With the West Midlands being officially UK’s second most populous metropolitan county, it is safe to say that a sizeable number of the region’s inhabitants are conversant with the use of the internet. For businesses looking to attract many of these people, they can use one useful technique: digital marketing, and more specifically, SEO. However, what exactly is SEO, and how relevant is the subject to the understanding of marketing and business growth?
What is SEO?
There is plenty of buzz about search engine optimisation (SEO), what the term means, and what impact it has in today’s digital marketing world. The concept is still foreign to many business owners, and having to incorporate relevant principles to the day-to-day running of their business may prove challenging.
SEO consists of a diverse range of features designed to give your business website more visibility. In simple terms, your website gets the traffic that it deserves when you use the right SEO tools, which allows you to attract more customers, make more sales, and earn more profits.
With SEO, people become more aware of your brand, making you stand out from the crowd. You can be sure of interacting more with prospective customers, keeping the relationships healthy, and projecting your image as a business owner who is up-to-date with the latest technology. Your customers build trust and confidence in the products and services you offer.
SEO has several key elements:
1. The keywords
Nobody can underestimate the critical role that keywords play in SEO. Keywords are specific terms that prospective clients use to search for products and services on the internet. These terms could be words or phrases. Brands must use the same, or at least similar terms when connecting with their clients.
Skill is required to execute an appropriate keyword search. For best results, experts look for keywords that are most likely to be used by prospective clients. Keywords should be kept short (e.g., ‘cat’ rather than ‘hairy domestic cat up for sale’), specific (e.g., ‘Persian cat’ rather than ‘any breed of cat’), and localised (e.g., ‘cat for sale in Birmingham’ rather than ‘cat for sale in the United Kingdom’).
2. The content
Content is the means through which business owners engage with potential clients. It is the transport mechanism, without which goods and services would be out of reach. What you publish on your website or blog regarding your business must be engaging. It must capture the attention of prospective customers. It must be educational and informative, adding value to people’s lives.
There are different examples of content:
- Website content
- Voice prompts
- Image prompts
- Social media content
3. The backlink
Websites or blogs can be optimised from outside their domains, rather than within. One way to achieve this is to use a backlink. Backlinks are generated when another website is linked to your website. Assume your website is Website A, and the other website is Website B. Website A can have an external link to Website B, or Website B can be said to have a backlink from Website A.
Backlinks let search engines know that other websites or blogs have some degree of confidence in your website. The more backlinks your website have, the better the optimisation.
One way to build backlinks is to have guest bloggers on your site. You can also include videos and images in your content.
4. The local listings
As more and more people use mobile phones and tablets to search for products online, it has become pertinent for business owners to consider optimising their local listings. Searches are becoming more local, with studies suggesting that 8 in 10 smartphone users opt for search engines when on the hunt for local businesses. Smart business owners should, therefore, optimise their business locations for compatibility with search engines. To achieve this, they can use local keywords, get local listings, and incorporate Google apps like Google Maps on their website or blog.
5. The digital ads
Business owners should be able to invest in digital advertising to boost their rankings. There are local ads that optimise your results in search engines. Various social media ads, such as Google ads, serve the same purposes.
SEO is an intricate subject involving multiple dimensions. That notwithstanding, it is imperative for business owners to keep up with evolving trends in the digital marketing world. With SEO, businesses get to be more visible online, and the results can be richly rewarding.