If you’ve ever done a search on Google for something, you may have noticed that some websites will always appear near the top when you search for things on a specific topic. You may have asked yourself why some websites appear more than others do when looking at the results that a search on Google or Bing has given you.
This is the classic age-old question, well old in terms of the digital age, and one that is answered with three words – Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. SEO is the lifeblood of any website. Without it, the website will never be found by anyone unless they know the URL and are going straight there.
There are millions of websites online that are about virtually every topic you could possibly imagine. Whether you are looking for a simple recipe for chicken soup, or want to know the history of bread making in the outer regions of Northern Asia, there will be a website that will have the exact information that you are looking for.
As there are so many websites competing with others to be on the first page of results in Google, it is vital that websites are properly optimized for the search engines and the best web hosting service for SEO. Without it, your website will be like a needle in a haystack – extremely difficult to find, you can learn more here.
Why is SEO Important?
First and foremost, without good SEO, your website will never be found when someone is searching for what your website is about.
For example, if you have a website about the best restaurants in Paris, then anyone searching for any relevant terms about restaurants and Paris will never find your site. Your website may be exactly what they are looking for, but due to poor or non-existent SEO, they will never find it.
Unless you have strong SEO of course!
SEO is to your website, what oil and gas are to your car. You might have the most beautiful and stunning car ever built, but unless you fill the tank with gas, you aren’t going to go anywhere. It’s the same with websites. Without proper SEO behind the site, it’s not going to move.
Is SEO Difficult?
This is another of the most asked questions about SEO, and in classic SEO terms, the answer is nearly always “it depends”. SEO consists of lots of different elements, and there are lots of different SEO that can be applied to a website.
Some parts of SEO are easier to apply than others, but before you start doing any type of SEO, you will want to perform an audit of the website, and check various things such as the quality of the content, if there are any existing backlinks, is the code and site structure clean, and what is the page speed like.
All of these are very important factors in formulating an SEO plan for a website. Some parts might require a little work such as rewriting some of the content on your website or properly optimizing images so that the file size is greatly reduced. Other things might be a lot more technical, and in those instances, it is advisable to speak to a professional, rather than attempt to fix everything yourself.
Does SEO take long?
How long is a piece of string? SEO takes as long as it needs. Some elements of SEO, such as on-page SEO, may take up to a month or so depending on the website, but once that part of the work is completed, you won’t need to do anything with it again. Other aspects such as link building are something that needs to be carried out continuously and is an ongoing part of your website.
If you operate an E-Commerce website, where you are selling a variety of your products, then SEO work on such a site can take a lot longer than if you have a small five-page website about your pedicure and manicure business. It all depends on the type of website, the audience that they are looking to reach, and the competition in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
A lot will depend on your competition. If the top 10 results in Google for your main keyword or search phrase have about 2500 words of content on their pages, and yours only has 325, then you are going to need to greatly increase your own site’s content.
Equally, if the top 10 pages all load within 2 seconds and yours take over six seconds to load – which may not sound like a long time, but in terms of page speed is very large, then you will need to get work done to bring your loading time down to those you are competing with.
What to Avoid in SEO
If you run your own business and have a website, then it’s more than likely that you’ve received emails from so-called SEO experts who are promising that they can get your website to the top of Google in just one month for a one-off price of $75. You will want to avoid these services like the plague. They will most likely be using blackhat or outdated techniques that are going to do you and your business more damage in the long run than any short term gains they may obtain for you.
Getting to the top of Google isn’t difficult. Getting to the top of Google when people are searching for a highly competitive keyword is. This is the difference, and this is why some of these SEO experts are promising that they will get you to the top in 30 days. They may very well do so, but you can bet your bottom dollar it will be for keywords or search terms that absolutely no one is searching for.
SEO is an important part of any online business and website. It is what helps visitors find your website. Without it, you are going to find it very difficult to bring traffic to your website, especially traffic that consists of people that are actually searching for what you are offering. It is vital that you understand that SEO and websites go together, and are not two completely separate entities. Most websites without SEO will struggle in the search engines, no matter how great the website actually is.