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Search Engine Optimisation, or more commonly known as SEO, is the activities that are performed to improve the visibility of a website (or more precisely a web page) in the search engine results. There are three major search engines in the world today: Google, Yahoo and Bing with Google leading the search market processing around 70%-80% of all the searches performed globally. SEO is like the marketing activities of a traditional business but which is done online, where you want as much exposure as possible for your business on the web. This could be through search engines, social media, news portal or other types of online media. Digiweb Media is known as SEO Expert Wollongong businesses can trust and rely on in building effective, measurable and affordable online marketing campaigns.

search-engine-marketingWhy is SEO important? In the traditional marketing world, the more people know about your business/product/service, the more leads you will generate. And the more leads you have, the more sales you will eventually make. It is all numbers game. In the same way, the higher your website ranked on the search engine results page for example, and the more frequently a site appears in the search results list or shared on some social media platforms, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s and social media users.

We have prepared this article for business owners in Wollongong and the Illawarra area, as we would like to help as many businesses as possible to grow their business in Wollongong. You can use this guide as a starting point to manage your SEO campaign yourself for your business, or let an experienced SEO expert help you. Currently the search engine results for product search or service search for people in Wollongong is still dominated by business providers from other cities or even other states. We think that Wollongong businesses should be the main providers of the products and services for Wollongong consumers.

This article will focus on how to help you to improve your ranking in the search engine result page (SERP). There are a number of key factors that we need to be aware of when talking about SEO. This is in order of importance and is also the best practice that what we do for all of our clients:

1. Keywords

If you talk to any savvy SEO experts, you will find that most of them will recommend keyword research as the first step in any SEO marketing campaigns. And this is very true. Keywords are the most important SEO element for all search engines. The rank or position of your website or web pages are “matched” against the searched term that a search engine user types in, which is known as “keywords”. To be able to provide the greatest relevancy to the searched keywords and understand about the market behaviour, we need to first perform a keyword research. Choosing the right keywords to optimise for is the first and most crucial step to a successful SEO campaign. This is because the keywords that we think we should target are not always the keywords that are actually searched by potential customers when they are looking for what they want.

It is pretty much useless to rank number one on Google for a keyword that nobody ever searches for, as opposed to rank #10 for a keyword that hundreds or thousands people are searching for every month for example. The other important thing to consider about keyword research is the competition. Sometimes there are more than one keywords with similar number of searches however one has much higher competition than the other. It is easier (and cheaper) to optimise the web page for the lower competition keywords, however this is totally depending on your marketing strategy and budget.

2. Content

content-is-kingAfter you have decided on your keywords to target, content is the next most important thing to work on to improve the SEO ranking of your website. Even if you have a perfect on-page SEO and the best backlinks (off-page SEO) to your website, if the content is “rubbish” and does not add any values to the users at all, Google will not look at your website favourably and might even consider it to be spammy. Before optimising the on-page and off-page SEO of your website, make sure you have a quality content that can really help and add values to the visitors of your website. This is not limited to the articles only, sometimes users are more interested and more engaged in rich multimedia types of content, such as videos or animations.

There is a very popular adage in the SEO world that says “content is king” and we could not agree more. Quality contents for human readers should always come first before other optimisations. Your website must deliver or add value to its visitors and do it in the most engaging way. Most of the time if the content is of high quality, the SEO would work itself out and you probably don’t need to do much SEO activities at all. This is especially true for a low competition keywords.

3. On-page SEO

After you have written your high quality contents, the next step is to optimise them for the search term or search phrase that you target. This is a very simple and straightforward thing to do and include things such as the title of your page and the metadata of your page (keywords and descriptions). Good and quality contents that are not optimised on-page can be e a waste, and you want to make sure that your web page is fully optimised for your business product/service related keywords.

For example, you might write the best article in the world about how your product can cure a back pain. But if the title of the page does not reflect the exact keywords it would rank much lower. Just by changing the title of the page (eg. from “Amazing invention of the year that will heal you forever” to something like “Effective lower back pain cure”) can make a huge difference in the SEO result. That is how important an on-page SEO is.

4. Off-page SEO

off-page-optimisationFor some SEO marketers out there, this is the holy grail of SEO. Off-page SEO is basically increasing the number of the links back to your website from other websites, which is also called “backlinking”. Why is this important you might ask? It is because the more people link to your website, the more authority, trust and relevance Google will see that your website have for the keywords you target, especially when the links are coming from other high authority websites.

The number of backlinks in the search engines’ eyes is an indication of the popularity and importance of a website. This also means that the website is more relevant compared to others in the results pages for a search query. The important thing to remember is that the quality of the backlinks is actually more important than the quantity of the backlinks.

When backlinks to your site come from other sites which have content related to the content of your site, these backlinks are considered to be more relevant to your site. If backlinks to your site are found on sites with unrelated content, they are considered less relevant.

These are the most important things to keep in mind when doing off-page SEO. You could get as many links as you can from crappy websites. But do the websites that link back to you have authority in the search engine’s eyes? Are they coming from trusted websites? Are the websites that link back to your site relevant to your business/products/services? You will want to make sure that you only have these quality backlinks otherwise Google will frown upon those links and might even penalise you for trying to “trick” the search engine.

The following video from Google gives a good quick explanation about SEO for small business:

If you are a business owner in Wollongong or the Illawarra area and you would like to discuss how SEO services could help you grow your business, we are available to give you a free consultation. Simply contact us here to set up an appointment.