You might have heard of it or came across it many times before, but it is an area of digital marketing that few have managed to grasp and employ successfully. Search Engine Optimisation has been hailed as a game changer by its supporters and criticised as a waste of resources by its critics. But what is really this phenomena commonly called S.E.O? Is it a fad that will disappear or is it an avenue for businesses to gain competitive advantage? First introduced in the mid-1990s, search engine optimisation is the process of influencing the visibility of online platforms; websites or web pages on web search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo search. This optimisation ranks the various websites organically (no payment made) based on set out criteria which the search engine algorithms recognises. Over the years, online experts have managed to modify and improve on the efficiency of these software which has seen the improvement of results.
Search engines nowadays not only rely on ad words or other forms of paid optimisation, but they also draw from the quality of work carried by a website in its content. It has become increasingly important therefore for any business interested in reaping the most out of its website and online presence to develop relevant, informative content that offers real value to its audience.
Search Engine Optimization
HOW DOES S.E.O WORK?
In reality, S.E.O is not a complicated issue to implement as it generally relies on the quality of content a website bares. The process involves the use of various website aspects such as;
These are words of significance or importance which most users utilize when searching for information online e.g best shopping malls in Kenya.
Internal linking to other notable sites:
Websites can be linked with other similar more reputable sites to leverage on their exposure to attract more traffic towards it.
Quality dynamic content which interests the audience:
Content should be made of various variety. Pictures, videos, blog articles or video blogging can and should be used interchangeably. This variety enables a site to maintain high ranking.
How timely is the information on your website, is it useful? Are people interested about the topics of your content? Having content that resonates with the audience makes it relevant and valuable which improves search engine rankings.
The faster the speed of a website the more efficient it is perceived to be and the higher it will appear on search results. Ensuring your web speeds are at optimum is hence critical in S.E.O.
How easy is it to navigate through your website? Are the tabs clearly shown and of a good number? Do you have chatbots to guide prospects? Once a site has put in place measure to make the user experience easy and enjoyable its ranking in search engines can significantly go up.
For effective ranking in search engines, it helps when the site can be used effectively by a variety of devices. A good website should be compatible with computers, phones or other mobile devices. The more compatible it is the more it is deemed useful to many users hence the ranking on the search results can be improved.
It is not sufficient just to have content, it should also be considered factual and authoritative by the consumers. Authority is developed through comments, sharing and review of the website and its contents by users.
Meta data description and title tags:
Meta data description is a short description (about 155 words) summarising the content of a page. Coupled with titles, this is critical as they are mostly the words which surfers will use to search for content online.
Linking to social media sites:
one of the primary sources of traffic for a website are social media platforms. These platforms can be used to create awareness and drive audiences to the site for use. Linking the website to social media handles can result in to better ranking in search results.
How search engines do selection?
Once these measures have been put in place, search engine ‘crawlers’ analyse these dynamics and rank your website on the search engine results. The better your key word placement and web linking for instance the higher you will rank on the organic search engine results. For example, if you are an online shoe selling company, you may want to incorporate words such as; best shoes, quality, Nairobi or affordable. These phrases are the ones most likely to be typed by a prospect looking for ‘the best affordable quality shoes in Nairobi’ which will help the site rank high in the results of that search process.
However as you may be aware most websites are also in on this secret hence you should seek to find an edge through other avenues such as linking the site to your vibrant social media platforms or paid forms of advertising such as google adwords and pay per click (PPC) initiatives. If well employed S.E.O can help take an organization to a new level by expanding its digital presence.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF S.E.O?
Like all other investments search engine optimisation comes with a cost element and many managers have had a hard time in proving their return on investment. This has been one of the major reasons why firms have been sceptic about the uptake of S.E.O. However, S.E.O has numerous benefits to an organisations’ online presence which include:
Increased awareness and traffic:
what search engine optimization does is primarily to ensure that your website shows up among the first when a potential client does a web search. Studies have shown that most information searchers (almost 80%) choose past the first result of search and an even lower percentage scroll past the first page. It hence goes without saying that the higher the ranking of a website among the search results the higher its likelihood of attracting prospects. Search engine optimization thus plays a key role in creating awareness for a website and increasing the traffic that is channelled towards it.
Increased levels of click through rates
With higher traffic comes higher click through rates. The mathematics is actually very simple. If for example your base click through rate is at ten percent with a traffic of 100,000 per month that means 1,000 people will click on your website for more information of purchase. As the traffic increases therefore this figure will rise proportionally. Click through rates are also highly influenced by quality of content, authority of the website on its sector matters and security of the website from cyber-attacks all these factors are considered when doing search engine optimization meaning that click through rates will be improved with efficient search engine optimization.
Higher brand credibility:
Credibility is the cornerstone of any successful business. With search engine optimisation this credibility is achieved by ranking above peers within the same business sector. If done right, search engine optimization can work well to back a brands promise and offer support to other traditional marketing initiatives geared to establish a relatable, reliable brand.
Better return on investment:
Than most paid ads have a 2% conversion rate which is half the figure if compared to the conversion rates of search engine optimisation conversion rate which stands at 4%. S.E.O can be said to be a more effective way of attracting and converting prospects than targeted paid advertising campaigns. Investing in optimization is one of the best decisions a firm can make as it not only establishes a brand but also has higher customer attraction at no additional costs involvement.
The results are more permanent:
Vis-à-vis advertising campaigns, search engine optimization activities have a more permanent outcome. Content such as informative blogs with effective key words can still rank high in search results even years after their publication. The permanent effect of S.E.O literally makes it a gift that keeps on giving. If done right and organically, S.E.O can ensure a website and to a great extension a business stays relevant online with little effort needed to maintain it there. S.E.O value lies in this unique capability.
Cost effectiveness in formulation and execution:
Overall, compared to other advertising avenues such as paid posts, google ad words or use of online influencers S.E.O has a relatively low cost of involvement. While it might take some time and dedication to get the factors right, the financial cost of doing S.E.O is relatively low. All one needs is a keen understanding of the important search word involved in their industry and infuse this in to content being developed for website use. Other factors of S.E.O though might need professional help from entities such as deepAfrica to guarantee the tactics to work.
How can deepAfrica help you with S.E.O?
Despite its complicated nature, search engine optimisation cannot be overlooked by any organisation. Not taking advantage of it places a firm at an open disadvantage as the competitors might implement it and reap the benefits of high website ranking. Its low cost of investment and high permanent results make S.E.O an ideal start in a digital marketing campaign.
At deepAfrica, we have the expertise and experience in search engine optimisation that ensures your business website always ranks high in search results. Our proven track record of optimising website speaks for itself as our website ranks among the top in the Kenya online solutions search. Call us today on 0712-500 500 and take advantage of S.E.O for business growth and optimum results.