Day 103 - What Is SEO And Why Do I Need It?
OK time for a big one! This one can get a bit overwhelming so please bear with me as I break it down into some very simple steps over several posts so that it is easy to digest. Today I simply want to explain what SEO is and why it is so important then later I will tell you many of the tips and tricks in what seems like a black art but is quite simple and logical really when you break it down although to do it really well you will probably spend many more hours on it than you did creating your website.
With all the competition it isn't enough to create a website and hope people will find it. They will if you tell them where it is but what about all those people all over the world that you haven't? A huge way to help them find it is by including it in search engines like Google. But type in 'Art' in Google and you will see there are 25 thousand million results! You don't stand a chance of being seen or do you?
SEO stands for search optimisation. This is the practice of optimising your website so that it is more likely to come up for specific words and phrases and come up ideally on the first page of results or in the first 2 or 3 that people often look at.
To achieve that you need to be really selective about your words and phrases. 'Art' is a really popular word and could potentially bring so much traffic (visitors) to your website but there is just so much competition it would be almost impossible to get a first page listing using it on its own and if you did art is so varied most of the visitors will have such varied tastes in art it is unlikely they are looking for your specific type of art.
SEO starts with identifying words and phrases that are more specific to your work, what you do, your location and so on so that there are fewer results (and therefore less competition) but your website will be much more relevant to what people entering those words or phrases are looking for.
With each webpage you can target a small number of keywords and phrases therefore the more webpages (think products, services, ranges etc) you have the more keywords and phrases you can target.
As a typical example for my partner Lucy Gell I might optimise for 'animal art' instead of 'art' and then perhaps add in descriptive words such as 'fun animal art' (at time of writing she comes up on page 2 of 3 thousand million results!) then break things down and identify each of the animals she prints and optimise different pages for different subject matters, interchange 'fun' and 'humourous' for 'funny' (which is searched for more according to research tools) on different pages and so on. Ultimately I will end up with a list of 100 or more keywords and phrases and lots of ways to find Lucy!
Over the coming posts I will show you how to submit your site to Google then how to identify which phrases and keywords to use and which to ignore and why using tools that help you to estimate demand for them. I will show you what elements of your website to tweak to use them and then I will show you how to track your results so that you can see the improvement week on week. You won't want to miss anything!