SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it entails the use of several strategies to make websites become more visible through search engines. Because there are hundreds of millions of websites online, it can be extremely difficult for new websites to get noticed. Due to this fierce competition, it is vital that websites stand out from the crowd if they are to succeed.
A good SEO strategy can give websites that must needed advantage in this respect, allowing them to generate more traffic. For many business start-ups, a large amount of custom can come from those finding them online.
If new businesses want to stand out from the crowd online, search engine optimization is an important step. Here is a guide to SEO for business start-ups, and how SEO can generate much-needed online traffic.
SEO is a must for business start-ups.
Why is SEO so important?
For many, the first port of call when they use the internet is a search engine, such as Google or Bing. No matter how great a website may be, if it suffers from poor search-visibility, it isn’t going to get much traffic. Business start-ups can spend large amounts of money on an excellent, professional website, but without a solid SEO strategy it simply won’t be seen. If an SEO strategy is not executed, websites can end up at the bottom of the pile when users query search engines. As a result, websites can be missing out on large volumes of traffic, potentially losing a substantial amount of custom.
When users query a search engine using specific keywords or phrases, a list of relevant websites will be returned. Those sites with strong SEO will appear in the first handful of results, meaning they will benefit from many visitors. Websites that aren’t near the top of the pile in search results will most likely be ignored. If business start-ups want to be seen by potential customers, SEO is vital.
How are websites found and ranked?
Search engines rely on complex algorithms, known as ‘web crawlers’ to find and index websites. These web crawlers systematically access web pages across the internet in order to add them to search engine databases. Websites are categorised based various criteria, such as the information they contain and their metadata. When users query a search engine with specific terms, all of the corresponding websites are then returned.
The order that websites appear in search results (their rank), depends on a number of factors, Websites with many inbound links tend to be ranked high, as well as those will the relevant metadata and content. SEO simply helps to bump a given website’s rank so it appears higher on the list. For business start-ups, having a website that appears in the first few results when the relevant keywords are entered can lead to a massive boost in traffic and profit.
SEO can increase traffic from users around the globe.
One important aspect of SEO is configuring the aforementioned metadata of a site. This data provides websites with context, enabling them to be easily recognised by web-crawlers. Through the use of metadata, websites can associate themselves with specific words and phrases, increasing their chance of appearing on relevant search results. This is clearly beneficial to start-ups who want to appeal to a target audience.
A websites perceived credibility is also taken in to account by search engines. Websites with more inbound links are considered to be more credible, and will therefore have a high search rank. However, websites that simply have ‘spam’ links all over the internet are usually penalised, having their rank severely dropped. Inbound links must be both relevant and of a high quality. SEO strategies take into account these factors, amongst others, to provide websites with the best chance of being noticed.
For any business start-up that requires an online presence, a good SEO strategy is a must. From having a quality website to making life easier for the web-crawlers, there are several ways in start-ups can improve their visibility online.
Tom Shurville, managing director of Distinctly Digital, the leading SEO agency in Hertfordshire helps small and medium sized businesses to achieve higher ranking by providing them with SEO and PPC services. Distinctly Digital also has a blog, where the visitors can find the latest news, trends and analysis of the SEO world.