If you’re posting online content without factoring in SEO, you’re missing out on a gigantic opportunity.
Many Aussie businesses look drastically differently to what they did two years ago. Their workers are more mobile than ever, their customers interact with them in different ways and their online presence has never been more important. We’ve grown more accustomed to being able to make our purchasing decisions and access everything we need online.
Although you may have previously gotten away with putting SEO in the “too hard” basket, now you’re missing out on valuable opportunities for your business. So what exactly is SEO and why is it an essential tool for building your business?
What is SEO and how does it work?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of helping a website or piece of content rank higher in Google searches. Put simply, by utilising SEO you’re creating content that Google can understand and show to the people you want to see it – your next customer.
Google has built its business model on providing users with the results they are looking for. Every time you Google something, you’re relying on Google’s algorithms to provide you with what you need. So how exactly does Google know what you are looking for? There’s a lot more to it than just the words you type into the search bar.
What makes a website or article rank?
Google takes into account two main factors when assessing whether a website or article is worthwhile showing to searchers. These are on-page factors and off-page factors.
On-page factors refer to elements in the direct control of the publisher (that’s you, the business owner!) The top on-page factors are:
- Quality – Are pages well-written?
- Research – Are you using the right keywords that your customers would use to find your business?
- Crawl – Can search engines easily understand the pages and what they are about?
- Mobile – Does your site work well for mobile devices?
- Titles – Do your HTML title tags contain keywords relevant to the page content?
Off-page factors are elements influenced by readers, visitors and other publishers. The off-page factors that will have the biggest impact on your ranking are:
- Authority – Do people link to your content and share it with others?
- Quality – Are your links from trusted, quality or respected websites?
- Locality – What country, city and locality is your content posted from?
- Engagement – Do visitors spend time reading your content, or exit the page quickly?
- Reputation – Do those respected on social media share your content?
Why is SEO content important for your business?
Think back to your last purchase – did it start with a Google search? Without SEO, it will be very difficult for your customers to find you online.
A quality SEO strategy can directly increase your revenue by helping your business appear in the searches of not only more customers, but the right type of customer for your business. This means more relevant enquiries from people who are interested in your products and which are more likely to convert into sales.
But it’s important to remember that Google is smart and there’s no longer a quick or easy way to “cheat the system”. Google will only show your content to your desired customers if it is useful and relevant to them.
Do all copywriters create SEO content?
No, not all copywriters use or understand SEO. Copywriting is a broad field and unless they specifically promote themselves as an SEO copywriter, they probably won’t incorporate it into their writing. For this reason, even if you have a brilliant copywriter you use for all your print marketing, you may want to consider teaming up with a SEO copywriter for your online content.
Every SEO copywriter’s primary objective should be to create great content for a specific target audience. This results in great copy which people will want to read and share – boosting its SEO. However, it also needs to be written using SEO principles. This will give you the best shot of showcasing it to Google so it understands what your content is about and who it should show it to.
If you use a copywriter who doesn’t understand SEO for online content, there’s a slim chance that if they write killer, shareable content, it might find its way to your intended audience, but it won’t be optimised for success. Remember, even if your copy is brilliant, it’s a waste of time and money if nobody is reading it.
Can you overdo SEO?
Yes, you can absolutely overdo SEO! Over-optimisation is when you make so many SEO improvements that your copy no longer reads as natural. It creates a red flag for Google bots and will affect your ranking.
Google updates its algorithms regularly and it knows how to pick up on over optimised content. For example, in the early days of SEO keyword stuffing was commonplace. This refers to loading a webpage with keywords over and over again in an attempt to improve a website’s ranking for that term. This results in unnatural, clunky sentences and a negative user experience. You need to use keywords appropriately and in context, and Google knows how to recognise this.
The best way to protect yourself against changes to Google’s algorithms is to post balanced and interesting content which grabs the attention of your audience.
If you’re posting copy online without SEO, you are missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity. SEO increases your visibility online, allowing new customers to find you and should therefore form an integral part of your marketing strategy. Google is a fantastic tool for building your business and revenue which you simply cannot afford to overlook.