As I'm sure you've noticed, we live very much in a digital world (and if you hadn't, welcome!). So whether it's looking up Italian restaurant recommendations, software providers or if 'that mole' on your back is just a mole, you and I both know we are going to turn to Ol' Trusty - Google.
But can you remember the last time you spent four hours looking for Italian restaurants near you, and wound up on page 37 of search results, starving, and just wanting a bloody pasta? My guess is probably never.
You need SEO to compete. But it's not like making your bed or Skyping your extended family at Christmas, SEO is something you have to do, that you'll actually enjoy! I mean who doesn't like being ahead of the competition ...
What is SEO?
So while I stand by the fact that it should stand for "Super Exciting Opportunity", SEO is actually an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. It refers to techniques that will help your website rank higher in search engine results pages - increasing the visibility of the brand to the special people you want to help!
So, how do get your content to rank higher? Simple really.
First, you need to build discovery and relevance by creating heaps of high-quality content on the topics you want to be known for (content that matches the search queries of your prospects). Once you've done that, you need to build authority by getting loads of high-quality back-links to your site.
FYI, during the discovery stage, search engine bots crawl through your content, taking note of all your witticisms and interesting points. In the relevance stage, the bots decide how relevant your content is by indexing it, using things like keywords. Then in the authority stage, the bots rank your content in terms of it's back-link credibility.
Tip: balance building relevance with building authority for a healthy SEO approach!
In a nutshell, back-links are hyperlinks from sites that currently link to your website. Backlinks are a signal to Google that your site is a high-quality resource that people want to reference, because at the end of the day - Google doesn't care how interesting your content is, Google cares about how interesting other people think your content is.
Incorporating links to high-quality sources in your content is key to link-building. An established link profile will resemble somewhat of a 'spiderweb' of mutual appreciation, increasing your visibility to customers who may not have heard about your business. Sharing really is caring guys!
So if you've created some bangin' content that features some quality back-links, you'll rank higher in the search results - because you've balanced your discovery and relevancy with authority. I bet you can see now that without back-linking, your SEO effort will be totally ineffective. It's a no-brainer!
Why is it important?
Now you've got that covered, I'm sure you're starting to get why this is so important. Here are a few extra reasons!
1. SEO Improves the User Experience
Customers know what they want when they make a search. If they can't find it, your performance will suffer - bummer! Quality SEO will work in your favour.
2. Users Trust Search Engines
Welcome back back-links! I told you these were important. Quality back-links and positive user behaviour are key to building trust. What i didn't tell you was that you can't build trust and credibility over night. I'd recommend you have your back-links with a side of effort and a whole lot of patience.
3. SEO puts you ahead of the Competition
Newsflash. Without SEO, your competitors will steal your business. But good news, learning from competitors, replicating their strategies and even linking to their sites is guaranteed to move you up the search results.
4. Organic Search is nearly always the Primary Source of Website Traffic
As well as being a major component of the buyer funnel, organic search is critical to your website's performance. With Google being the most visited website in the world, the opportunities really are endless!
Receiving over 63,000 searches per second, Google needs you, a newfound SEO-perhero, to make the search space a better place for everyone. Check out our Resource List if you need a helpful sidekick. Happy optimising!