Do I Really Need SEO
No SEO and no matter how wonderful your website is, you may be the only one admiring it because no one else can find it.
A website without good SEO
Is like a shop without windows sitting in the middle of a wood
People want what you sell but they don't know your selling it & can't find you if they know you are.
The Bottom Line
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is what we call making a website comply with the requirements of search engines so it can get listed in the search results.
Do I really need SEO? Is the most common question I get from clients, maybe I should put this in the FAQs... (update: I have with an answer of YES and a link to this article).
Our clients are mostly small business people, small start-ups, sole traders and trades people, many are juggling all aspects of running a business, usually by themselves or with little staff.
They have little or no knowledge of SEO or why it is necessary for their website, most feel it is an unnecessary added cost and too complex for them to take on themselves on top of everything else.
After speaking with SEO agencies one client told me:
I asked them "Do I really need SEO?" They tried telling why I did but within 5 minutes It was like being back at school and being shown calculus for the first time. You know all those complex looking equations mean something and my teacher said "your going to understand this" and I went, like, "Arrrgh".
Less than 0.1% of people actually understand Calculus so if people think that SEO is that difficult how many are going to even try?
Yet the basics are simple and anyone building or managing a website or writing content should do basic SEO.
Why you really do need SEO in Jargon Free English
- There are over 6.5 billion searches made every day, that's about 1 search by everyone over 10 years old on the planet.
- Over 60% of traffic to your website is going to come through search engines. If the search engines can't find you, you're not reaching over half of your potential customers.
- Google accounts for between 77% & 89% (depending on whose statistics you use) of all search engine traffic.
- While you cannot ignore Bing, Yahoo, Ask etc... Google is King, if you please Google you please them all.
- Search Engines make money by attracting visitors so they can direct people to the best possible websites for the search term they enter.If they didn't people would stop using them, then advertisers would stop placing ads and buying keywords.
On the day I am writing this it's 17.46 GMT and Google have already had 4.023 Billion visitors since midnight.
- Search engines use pieces of software called spiders to examine (crawl) websites, the spiders obey a set of rules called algorithms, these rules instruct them to look at over 200 aspects of a website, everything from page loading speed to how easy it is to navigate around the website.
- After your website is crawled it is indexed on the search engines, all the content the spiders have found will now be available for people to find. Only the pages the spiders have access to will be indexed.
- Keywords are the search terms people enter into the search bar. Because most people enter the same word or set of words when looking for the same thing, these are called common search terms. To find out more about Keywords see our article on Keyword Planning
- Keywords are important in SEO because those are the words people are using to search for your product or service. You need to put them the content of your website so your pages will appear in the SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages).
- If the keywords someone has entered in the search bar match words on a page of your website it will list that page in the SERPS
- The better your website complies with the search engine 'rules' is the better chance it has of appearing on page one of the SERPS when someone enters keywords that match those included in the content of your website.
- between 79% and 91% of searchers do not go beyond page 1 of the SERPS, the No.1 result on page 1 (excluding the ads) gets 33% of all the traffic, No.10 gets 2.4%
- The search engines constantly tweak the rules (Google do 500 - 600 times a year) to stop people cheating (like putting loads of keywords on a page and little else).
- You do not need paid for campaigns (Artificial SEO) to get on page 1 of Google.
- Searches generated by Artificial SEO using paid for searches (PPC, ads etc...) account for just over 5%.
- Organic SEO is making your website comply with the rules by following the guidelines without paying for ads, links etc...
- Searches generated by Organic (Natural) SEO account for nearly 90% of all website traffic.
- You can do your own basic Organic SEO, it is not difficult see our article on how to Do Your Own SEO For Free and get started now.
How Do Google Help?
Google want good websites to direct searchers to, so they are extremely helpful and have lots of free tools and guides to help Webmasters produce high quality websites. The most useful of these are:
- Google Webmaster Guidelines. This is a Google help page from the Google Search Console that advises you on how to build and maintain your website to give your visitors the best experience and to give it the best chance of being listed highly in their SERPS
- Google Search Console. (previously Google Webmaster Tools). This is a free set of tools that helps you to maintain and optimize the visibility of your website in Googles SERPS
- Google Analytics. The free suite of tools which monitors your websites traffic, trends and performance. This is the most used web analytics service on the internet.