A beginner’s guide to using SEO for your business

Confused by SEO? Not sure whether it can help YOUR business? Read our beginner’s guide to SEO by Roisin Kirby from Refresh Marketing

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a term nearly every business is aware of, but not something everyone understands. Indeed, in my experience, many small to medium-sized businesses don’t appreciate the power of SEO.

In a world driven by eCommerce, search engine rankings and website clicks, understanding what SEO does, and how it can help your brand, is vital. Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to help you get started.

Why is SEO important?

If you are not using SEO and your competitors are, they will attract more business than you will.

Why? Because people are finding and engaging with their websites, while yours is virtually invisible. SEO is marketing their brands day and night, keeping them one step ahead of you.

If you have built a website and hope to convert visitors to customers, you can’t just press the ‘Publish’ button and expect business to flow in. You have got to invest in SEO to help people with an interest in your products or services find your website.

Essentially, it is all about using the right keywords, content and links to make your website rank highly in search engine results.

SEO helps people discover your business

So, what is SEO? It is a combination of:

  • A good, well-designed and accessible website that must be mobile-friendly.
  • The words and phrases used in page titles, descriptions (meta data), headings, keywords and internal links.

You can boost your SEO with great content that is both original and relevant, as well as including your target keywords. Regularly updated content is also vital. A website should never be left to stagnate.

What are the best keywords for SEO?

Often companies fail to mention the most vital thing – where the business is located. Because your customers may live or work within a reasonable distance from your business, you need to ensure that anybody using a search engine to find a business in your area finds your website.

So location is a vital keyword if your business attracts customers from a defined area. It should be used in page titles, headings, keywords and meta data.

To help you determine which words and phrases people most use to find a business like yours, you can use a free keyword rank checker, undertake your own research by checking Google’s Keyword Planner, or employ the services of an SEO expert.

However, don’t forget to carry out regular audits of keywords – to check that they are still working in your favour.

Why is good SEO great for business?

SEO is great for your business because:

  • It lets customers find your business when they are searching for your service.
  • It is marketing your brand 24/7.
  • SEO drives more traffic to your website.
  • It is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a business.

Without SEO, your website might as well be invisible. It will be lost in a sea filled with hundreds of millions of other websites, with nothing to make yours stand out from the crowd.

Effective SEO lets your preferred audience find your business easily. It is then down to your content to sell visitors your products and services. Good SEO and great content will increase conversion rates, meaning more visitors to your website will spend money with your business.

Great SEO is particularly important for local businesses. Find out why (and what you need to do) here.

Invest in SEO – it makes sense

If you want to accelerate your business, attract new leads, convert website visitors to customers and increase revenue, SEO is a no-brainer. You need it!

Use SEO to out-rank competitors, increase brand awareness and market your business to new and returning visitors. SEO can help establish your business as a leader in its field, validate your products and services with consumers and give you leverage to expand your ‘offer’.

Websites that are not accessible, easy to navigate and marketed using SEO belong to businesses that are lagging behind their competitors. If you want to stay one step ahead of the rest, you know what to do – invest in SEO.

Read more advice on SEO

Want to learn more about SEO and use it in your business? Read these articles:

Refresh Marketing takes a fresh look at your marketing strategy, and provides creative and effective solutions to help your business succeed.