Search engines are the gatekeepers of the internet.

No less than 68% of all trackable website traffic originates from paid or organic search. Ask yourself: even when you know exactly where you want to go, when was the last time you typed out a URL in its entirety?

Search engines – whether Google, Yahoo!, Bing or any other – have the power to make or break your online efforts. And because of this, you need to ensure that your site is search engine optimised.

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym that most business stakeholders have heard. It stands for search engine optimisation.

GET GOOGLE TO CHOOSE YOU: Using a variety of techniques and strategies to enhance structure and content, SEO makes your website easy to digest for search engines. The more a search engine likes your site, the higher it will place you on the search engine results page (SERP.)

MORE TRAFFIC, MORE BUSINESS: SEO allows you to increase both the quantity and the quality of the organic search engine traffic to your website. With SEO you can focus on ranking high for specific keywords and phrases, increasing the likelihood of the relevant audience seeing and clicking on your link.

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How does SEO work?

SEO is one of those subjects that is both simple enough to understand, yet incredibly complex when you dig deeper.

CRAWLERS AND INDEXING: At a base level, every search engine, be it Google, Yahoo! or Bing, works in the same way. They first send out ‘crawlers’ that collect all the data from your site. That information is then organised, creating an ‘index’ that is fed through a secret algorithm whenever a query is typed in. This process creates a list of results ordered by relevance, which is displayed on the SERP.

MAKING GOOGLE’S JOB EASIER: SEO enhances the structure and content of your website, which does two things: it makes it easier for the crawlers to collect data from your site, and it makes your site as enticing to the search engine algorithm as possible (while no one knows exactly what the secret algorithm wants, we have a good idea).

Why is SEO important?

SEO is important because your website is important. For most businesses a digital storefront is far more important than any physical storefront could be, and good SEO places you on prime internet real estate.

GET MORE CUSTOMERS: 87% of consumers start their search for products and services online. At the same time, 91.5% of Google traffic is funnelled through the first page of Google, and 75% of internet users never scroll past that first page. By pushing you up the rankings, SEO gives you access to that huge audience.

GET BETTER CUSTOMERS: SEO allows you to target the exact customer you’re looking for. If a mechanic in Auckland optimises their website for keywords and phrases like ‘mechanic in Auckland’ and ‘Auckland mechanic,’ their name will be consistently served up to those who are looking for their specific service.

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How much does SEO cost?

SEO is less quantifiable than other forms of marketing, where you pay per view or per click. But when done well, it is far more effective.

A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT: SEO is the process of building out and maintaining your website in a way that earns the trust of Google, and that eventually sees you travel up the search engine rankings. It is a process of constant improvement, not instant gratification. Results come to those who are patient and consistent.

A HEALTHY RETURN: This patience is paid off though. Because of the sheer amount of traffic that funnels through the first page of Google, investments in SEO are paid back.

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