SEO - What's all the fuss about ?

If you are a small or medium-sized business you may believe that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is for the "bigger" players in your industry. You may not be the only one to hold this opinion, but you would be mistaken. The importance of SEO in this day and age cannot be ignored.

SEO strategies assist in getting your website to the top of Google's organic search rankings, leading to more people visiting your website and ultimately the knock on effect of growth in your business. But let's face it ... it's an investment. This investment takes time, knowledge and money. It will not happen overnight ... it takes patience.

In a world where most people utilise search engines online to find relevant information, you want to be one of the first sites that pop up when someone is looking for a business in your category. SEO keywords is vital in this endeavour - your goal is to write content in which these keywords are used, making your site higher ranked when people search Google for that certain keyword. Using long-tail keywords can increase your rankings in Google.

Working 24/7 behind the scenes, Google has "crawling bots" that cruise the web discovering and inspecting websites to enable Google to rank and index your website. Make sure that Google can see your website content so that you can be ranked accordingly. You will also want to speed up your site performance. Page speed has a direct impact upon improving your ranking with Google and good formatting definately affects website performance.

Google is also looking at allocating higher ranks to websites that can be accessed effectively through mobile devices. This is because it is apparent that a very high proportion of traffic (currently estimated to be approximately 60%) access via a mobile device. It is noted that this percentage will only get higher and higher as time goes on.

Links are incredibly important. You want your content to not only grab the reader's attention, but that people will want to share it through their contacts and these contacts to further share. Focus on creating high quality content (less is more), and sharing it on a number of different platforms to get links from other websites. Video (when relevant) is an incredibly strong and shareable medium that should be utilised to have a positive impact on your SEO.

You need to be authentic in your acquisition of SEO. Don't use duplicate content or you risk the chance of being flagged as spam. Tricking serach engines can be effective in the short term by the analytics programmes are changing constantly. Regaining the trust of search engines is a very hard and long process.

At the end of the day you may say that you have a good customer base that is loyal and appreciates your goods or services supplied. This might be the case now, but will it always be the case? New customers are required at all times - not just when the current clients wane.

Remember - most of all - you cannot have a competitive website if you do not provide the information that the reader wants. Keep them engaged !!