Search Engine Optimisation

What is SEO? 

 

For many businesses, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can hinder your business or take it to the next level. 

If you have prospective customers or clients looking for your products and services online, the chances are SEO is a critical marketing channel you should be dominating.

But let’s start at the beginning. 

The digital world is primarily run through Google. Whether it’s for work, shopping or recreation, we hop onto Google (and sometimes other search engines), and we search for what we are looking for.

Google displays the most relevant results for our search, and we usually pick one of the top 10 options found on the first page of the search results.

In fact, we only bother to look on page 2 of Google’s results about 1% of the time.

That means that as a business if your website is not on page 1 of Google, there’s barely any point in being on Google at all. 

So, websites of all kinds want to fight to be found in the top 10.

To get an advantage over our competitors, we look to better understand how Google decides which web pages are shown in the top 10 for each search.

If you can understand how Google goes about deciding which sites get shown on page 1 of the search results (we call it getting ranked), and you give them what they are looking for, it’s like unlocking the keys to the kingdom.

    as a business if your website is not on page 1 of Google, there’s barely any point in being on Google at all. 

    Calculating the value of SEO

    Let me give you a real-life example.

    You own an accountancy business in a medium-sized city. 

    • We know that 1000 visitors search for words related to accountant-type services each month. In theory that means 1000 people are interested in your services.
    • 30-35% of those 1000 searchers will click the website found at the top of the organic search results. We mean the top 3 places.
    • That’s 350 monthly visitors who are looking for your services, that will find themselves on your website.
    • 10% will pick up the phone or send you an email because they like what they see. This conversion rate is high because searchers are looking for accountancy services already, they are pro-active.
    • That’s 35 leads each month. 35 potential clients who are interested enough to make contact with you.
    • You convert half of those leads into clients, paying £150 per month on a 12-month contract. That’s a contract value of £1800
    • 17 sales @ £1500 is £25k in new business each month.
    • This is assuming that each visitor is a micro-business needing entry-level accounting services, that’s unlikely. The amount is most likely higher.

    In this example, we’re talking about £300k or additional revenue each year. But I imagine a percentage of clients stay 2-3 years or more, plus some services will be more complex. 

    There’s an easy argument to make that SEO can generate £500k of sales a year. 

    We know why SEO is essential, but how does it work?

    That is the million-dollar question. In some cases, literally. 

    The truth is, it’s a closely guarded secret. Google doesn’t tell anyone exactly how the search algorithm works because then, they don’t want people to try and manipulate their search algorithm.

    If it’s a secret, then how can companies sell SEO services?

    Because we spend all our time trying to figure it out, and we do this in 3 ways.

    1 – Google’s algorithm patent. Google has a patent for its algorithm, which gives you an idea of how the algorithm works. It doesn’t actually tell you everything, but it shows you what they are focused on so you can reverse engineer the process from there. It’s a great starting point.

    2 – We test and test again. SEOs have tested millions of theories over and over until we see patterns. Eventually, we have stumbled upon changes we can make that are effective and improve search results.

    3 – Trial and error. Experience matters a lot. Having success and seeing how changes to a website impact SEO play a major role in future SEO success. 

    Through trying to interpret Google’s patent and then testing, we have worked out there are over 240 different factors Google takes into account when they decide which website to show first, and which to hide out the way on page 10. 

    Don’t worry, you don’t need to learn the whole 240 ranking signals to be able to understand SEO. They are broken down into 3 core sections. 

    • Technical
    • Onsite
    • Offsite

    They all have a number of ranking signals within those sections, some important others less so, but together they are what we have figured out are critical, and over the years Google has admitted that most do, just not how and by how much.

    So that’s SEO in a nutshell. For many businesses, it can be the most important marketing channel to invest in. 

    If you’re not sure of the size of your online audience and whether SEO is worth investment, it’s pretty easy to calculate the potential value. Just speak to us and we’ll happily sit down and figure out the real value of SEO to your business. 

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