The importance of Search Engine Optimisation

When planning digital marketing campaigns, search engine optimisation (SEO) is too often the poor second cousin. But it really should be this way.

What is SEO?
SEO is performed on your own website be developing professional, quality  content that answers a question or solves a problem for a search engine user. Well written copy on your website begins with relevant keyword selection. Then you develop a range of pages that help search engine users answer a question or solve a problem. Page title, heading, meta-tags and the actual copy on the page are all important pieces of the SEO puzzle.

An important point to remember is that most people search for needs, not for brands, therefore you need to understand your consumers in order to be able to anticipate their needs, which will better inform the optimisation of your site.

Why is SEO so important?
According to ComReg there are over 3 million adults online in Ireland, 81% of the adult population and the most popular website in Ireland is www.google.ie. Obviously, we all know that people visit Google to search for ‘stuff’ and there are a multitude of studies demonstrating how page-ranking on Google search results impacts the traffic to your site. Studies have shown that the first 3 search results attract almost 55% of the clicks, with the first result getting twice as many as the second. So without a shadow of a doubt, the answer to this question is yes, SEO is important, in fact it is vital.

So you understand SEO and its importance and have decided to undertake a SEO strategy. But don’t expect results overnight. It takes time for SEO work to take effect and is a gradual process of improvement that requires ongoing work. Not only must you constantly monitor your own performance and react accordingly, any shift or change in a search engines algorithms can majorly affect your performance.

There is also a misconception that SEO traffic is ‘free’ traffic. This in fact couldn’t be further from the truth. You are not in competition with Google but rather the price for SEO is set by a companies competition. Its a battle against every search result ahead of you and if they’re winning, you’re losing.

But these issues aside, an effective SEO strategy is not impossible and is worth undertaking as the rewards are so great. Educate yourself about your consumers NEEDS, have PATIENCE, invest in RESOURCES, constantly monitor performance and have a dynamic and flexible strategy and SEO has the power to be the most important element of your online campaigns.

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