Why Is SEO Important To Your
Business and Your Website?
SEO is one of those acronyms you've probably heard used in connection with websites and internet
marketing, but what exactly is it? Why is SEO important? And why would having an understanding of it
benefit your business?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it basically means optimising web pages so they perform
better in the search engines. Every time you search for a topic on a search engine, it looks through its
directory and delivers a list of relevant pages. These pages are ranked by order of importance and
relevance in the hope that the first site or two it shows you will give you the information you need.
So at its heart, search engine optimisation means setting your web pages up so the search engines know
exactly what the content is. But still, why is SEO important?
It's quite simple - there are millions and millions of web pages out there and you need to do everything you
can to make sure that the search engines know exactly what your pages are about and include them in the
list they deliver. It's a well known fact that people rarely look further than the first page of results, and that
they are most likely to click on the top three sites, so you need to make sure your website is on that first
page to have any chance of being visited. It doesn't matter how good your website looks, if you haven't got
the optimisation of your website right you'll never be found.
The trick is to understand what each page's main topic is and then think about what people would type in if
they were searching for that topic. Those words will become your keywords, and they act as signposts to the
search engines to point to what your page is about. Careful use of those keywords in the right quantity and
the right places within the page will help the search engines to understand what the page is about and
include it in the list of results it delivers.
It's not as easy as it sounds though. It's actually quite difficult to get the balance right. You need to include
enough keywords to tell the search engines what your page is about, but you also need to ensure that your
text reads well because ultimately it's people who visit your site, not computers!
SEO goes further than keywords though, and there are other ways you can improve your website's SEO.
One of the factors that the search engines use is the number of inbound links to your site - that's where
other people link to you. Both the quantity of external links and the quality of the sites where the links are
placed plays a part in determining where your site will rank in the search engines. Article submission is
another useful tool in the SEO armoury, but knowing where to place articles is not so easy, as not all article
sites are equally useful. Blogging is a great way to improve your search engine optimisation, both through
letting you use very focussed keywords in your posts, and by increasing the size of your website quickly.
And though meta information is not so important to Google these days, making sure your metatags match
your keywords and the page content is a worthwhile exercise.
Ant Hodges is Managing Director of HodgesNet Ltd, an Internet Marketing and SEO company in Swindon,
UK. After working in the industry for some time, HodgesNet was born to help it's customer to use the
POWER of the Internet for MORE profit.