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What's SEO and Why is it Important?


So, you've spent your hard earned cash on a new website, it's live and looks fantastic but you're not generating any new customers - What a waste of time, money and effort!

There's much more to generating business online than having a pretty website and it starts at the very beginning, when you're still planning your website.

For your website to appear in search results the search engine, mainly Google, needs to understand what your website is about. to help Google, it is worth spending time doing some keyword research to understand the terms that people use to find the product or service that you offer. There are loads of free tools out there that will help you get started. This research will throw up words or phrases that you won't have thought about and others that aren't relevant and you need to avoid.

Once you're happy that you have sufficient relevant terms you need to build these into your website: the page titles, headers, text, image names (alt tags) and the page descriptions (meta tags). Do not just repeat the keywords over and over again -you get penalised for doing this! Google want to showcase 'experts', the keywords should appear naturally in the text and you should consider adding a blog where you can display your knowledge and expertise. Blogs and other social media take time, so set some time aside each week or month, write your blog or other posts and schedule them in.

All this is not enough, without you monitoring the results. Add Google Search Console and Google Analytics to your website. This will allow you to see how many visitors your get to your website, what they view, how long they stay, hove the found you and so much more. If you're a local business, say a plasterer or dry cleaner (like two of my clients) then you want to appear in local search results rather than national or international.

You must tailor your keywords to the area that you cover, for example 'middlesbrough plasterer' rather than 'plasterer'. Why? If you key in plasterer, it will throw up results from all over and they won't be coming 300 mile to skim your ceiling! Once someone searching has done that, they will quickly move to adding their town to the search, to find more relevant results and this is where you want to appear.

It might be difficult to rank high for popular search terms, but the terms with lower search volume are probably the ones that will be most relevant to you and make more money!

My clients, the plasterer and the dry cleaner, both rank in the top 10, so will appear on page 1 of search results, for over 20 different search terms. By looking at Google Search Console and seeing the terms your website appears for and where it ranks you can make adjustments to the keywords and phrases to improve the performance of your website. It won't happen overnight but as long as you can see things improving, then you're on the right track.



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