• Juvo • July 30, 2020
SEO is one of the most discussed aspects of website design. Opinions vary from ‘it’s a waste of time’ to ‘it’s the most critical aspect’. If you understand SEO it’s easy to understand why there are so many opinions and self-proclaimed ‘Experts’ floating around the Internet. However, SEO is really one of the most important parts of your website if you want to attract new traffic to your website from search engines.
The variety of opinion can muddy the waters to some degree, and there is no shortage of horror stories from people that threw money at SEO and got nowhere. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in SEO, just that there are things to be aware of before putting your hard-earned money into someone else’s bank account.
SEO can be even more critical for a new website, as you’ll have no existing traffic. Your website can have the best design in your sector with the best deals, but if no one finds them it will mean very little.
The truth is, SEO is an Octopus
Well, an Octopus might be an understatement, as there are far more than eight legs to SEO, but the real skill is in prioritising the ones your business needs the most. Some businesses want to trade all over Europe, others the world, but many just want to attract local customers. Some businesses want an e-commerce site to sell their products while other businesses just want to raise brand awareness and generate leads.
These are just a couple of factors that should be considered and can provide a number of different routes. In reality there are closer to a hundred considerations when designing a website for SEO, and many of them are universal and will be carried out by any competent web design business, but the real value is added by understanding the specific goals of the business and tailoring the non-standard elements to maximise your budget.
There are no shortcuts
Chucking money at advertising will help to drive traffic towards your site, as long as you keep throwing money at it. The aim of SEO is to provide a high flow of continuous traffic for free from search engines. While many search engines are used, most people use Google as the benchmark as this is the most widely used and popular search engine.
Thankfully, Google understand the importance of SEO to businesses and provide clear guidelines that help professionals help you. Despite this, there is still a large disparity between the success different companies have with SEO. This can be for several reasons. Google update what they believe is acceptable (white-hat SEO). It’s best to avoid attempting any SEO shortcuts that might fall into a grey area, as today’s grey area is tomorrows black-hat SEO and will damage your site’s ranking.
Lots of people will tell you about supposed shortcuts, but the truth is SEO requires a time commitment. Even when you use advertising campaigns to help bolster your results, organic growth is a gradual process, and you need to commit to it now if you want to start seeing results in 3 to 6 months and beyond.
What does SEO involve?
Successful SEO requires a thorough understanding of your business. It’s a multi-dimensional skill that is hard for a single person to complete to the highest standards, as such a variety of skills are needed, such as (but not limited to):
- Website design
- Domain management
- Research and analysis
- Information architecture
- User experience (UX)
- Countless hours on Google
- Keyword research
Many other skills could also be a factor for your business, such as social media marketing, software development etc. depending on your business. Professionals will select the tools relevant for you and have a proven track record of doing so.
It’s not simple
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can add some keywords, page titles and meta descriptions and the following week you’ll be on the first page of Google. Successful SEO is complex, and while we could provide a step by step guide for someone just starting out, it would take us a year to write it.
A further level of complexity is added by the fluid nature of SEO. Every time Google updates its guidelines professionals adjust accordingly. If they’re good at their job it won’t require too much work. However, the 5 million articles that have been written about the old requirements are still floating about on the Internet giving people out of date information.
SEO can be simplified, as Google is primarily looking at a four main points:
- User Experience – Is the site easy to navigate? Does it do everything it should? Is it safe? How high is the bounce rate?
- Performance – How quickly do the pages load and does everything work as it should?
- Authority – How many authoritive sites link to your site? Is the content useful and high-quality?
- Content – Content is still king. Is it relevant to what your potential customers are looking for?
This is about as simplified as SEO can be made, as each of these sections requires several skills to address. For example, a good user experience requires genuinely unique and useful content, page and website design that follows all the best practices that engage users (avoiding confusion or annoyance that creates a high bounce rate), optimised to appeal to your ideal customers, have a responsive design so the user has the desired experience no matter what device they use, use Google Webmaster tools to geotarget your site accordingly if required, perform keyword research and ensure you use relevant keywords and phrases that are highly relevant while maintaining the quality of the content. The list could go on and on and on…
SEO is a crucial part of any website that wants to be seen. However, while complex, it doesn’t have to break the bank or fry your brain. Using professionals like Juvo ensures you have a team of specialists on your side to ensure every aspect of your website gets the specialised attention it deserves.