Welcome to the fourth instalment in our five part series covering the Digital Spectrum. This time, we discuss Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the difference it can make to your website and your business.
We will talk about Google algorithms and how they affect your rankings online. Read on and find out more…
Some 89% of consumers use a search engine to find information on products or services before buying, while 70% of purchase decisions begin with a search.
Google wants to categorise the content of the internet, including your website, and make searches as simple as possible so that the user is happy.
While keywords are important, it is about more than just keywords. Relevant content that is regularly updated makes sure your website is read by the people you want. Website visibility is everything.
Gain favour with the search engine robots
In our previous content marketing blog, we discussed how to please Google algorithms, be it Panda, Pigeon or Hummingbird, and other algorithms from search engines such as Yahoo, which determine a website’s ranking on the search engine. Google rewards websites with regular, helpful content that is targeted at your audience. It also looks for social signals from regular sharing and engagement. The search engine looks favourably on signs that your site is alive and growing, and signs that you are increasingly an expert in your body of work.
The newest Panda update, released in September this year, means the quality of your content matters more than ever. Thin or poor content, which is for example copied and pasted, badly written, or keyword stuffed is penalised to prevent it from ranking well.
SEO analysts believe algorithm changes will now continue to be released quarterly, based on trends since 2011. This means keeping a close eye on your traffic and make sure you consider the latest changes when shaping your content strategy.
Display your contact information
Search engine success depends on displaying the most relevant information, and Google’s Hummingbird algorithm endeavours to return local results. Display your contact information accurately across a number of platforms, including social platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Google Plus. This helps localise search results for the user.
Which search engine?
Google is not the only search engine but it does trump others like Bing and Yahoo. Google had almost 6 billion searches a day, over 2 trillion searches and 67% of Internet search engine market share in 2013. Yahoo and Bing combined had just under 29% of the market share, which amounts to billions of searches.
Given that over 90% of Irish internet users use Google as their preferred and only search engine, you should optimise your website for its Search Engine Results Page or SERP. However, it is best practice to optimise for other SERPs too.
Yahoo search is powered by Bing, so you just need to spend time optimising for one more search engine. Their algorithms are similar to Google’s, however changes in algorithms are more likely to be made to Google first.
So if Google changes its algorithm, your previously strong result that showed up in the first or second SERP might disappear completely. However, it will still remain a strong result on Yahoo or Bing.
Ireland has about 0.6% of the total internet users in Europe. In 2009, Ireland was the 10th biggest online shopping nation in the world. Google’s market share in Ireland is 95.23% trailed by Bing with 2.22%.
If you are a smaller company, Bing might be a more favourable option to optimise for. Local searches on Google usually show larger, more established companies while Bing or Yahoo show smaller businesses.
Now that we’ve taken a look at optimising your organic results, the next step is discussing whether you need paid advertising to increase traffic and convert sales.
If you would like any pointers on SEO, please feel free to contact us.