As of January 2020, there were 1.74 billion websites on the Internet. The competition from others within your industry is rife and this will continue to rise year-by-year. Increasing visibility and reaching a wider audience is vital to both business growth and the success of your digital activity. And to do this, you need to understand and optimise your SEO. Here at Media Orb, we have a team of experts to help support businesses with their search engine rankings and they’ve pulled together to bring you this short guide to SEO for businesses in 2020.

What is SEO

Known as Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is the act of improving the traffic to your website that comes from organic search engine results. It focuses on achieving high-quality traffic, large quantities of traffic and traffic that is unpaid for. Search engines, such as Google and Bing, use crawlers that go out into the internet and collect information about the content they find online. This is then pulled together into an index which is fed into an algorithm and this is what makes the decision as to which URLs are returned on every single search query.

Why is SEO so important?

As we mentioned above, the internet is saturated with websites. And, regardless of your industry, it’s likely that your competition is already there speaking to and engaging with potential customers. In our digital world, it is imperative that you have a strong online presence and one that is visible to as many people as possible. For you, SEO is a factor that cannot be passed aside in business growth.

For the user, SEO makes the search engine results more relevant to their question or topic of interest. It minimises the need to scroll endlessly through pointless websites before finding exactly what they’re looking for. Engines such as Google and Bing use SEO to determine which websites rank highly without allowing those in the know to manipulate the system. It makes these results fair, allowing websites to rank highly when they deserve to.

As a result, search engine users tend to trust these websites and use them to rank the credibility of businesses.

What factors are important to good SEO rankings?

The individual factors that determine credibility for each search engine vary in terms of how the algorithms read them. However, some of the most important ones are as follows.

By 2025, estimates state that 72.6% of internet users will access the web solely using their smartphones. Information like this tells us how important it is to have a website that can be used freely on mobile, without technical or aesthetical issues. A mobile-friendly website (also known as one with a responsive design) means that users are more likely to spend longer on each page. They are also more likely to find the information they’re looking for with fewer clicks and return again. These factors all tell search engines that your website is credible and help to improve your rankings.

We published an article earlier on 4 Ways To Boost SEO in 2020 that referenced a study from Google. It stated that 53% of mobile website users will leave a webpage that doesn’t load within 3 seconds. Your bounce rate refers to the number of users that leave your website after only viewing 1 page. Search engines use this information to tell them how relevant the information available is to the search query. If your page takes a long time to load, you increase the chance of a high bounce rate.

Content that is of high quality and rich in information is more likely to keep users on your website, increase shares and show your expertise. Because search engines want to deliver the best information to their users, well-research and long-form content tends to be prioritised. In addition, uploading quality content regularly and keeping topics topical can help the crawlers to identify new value and increase visibility.

If you’ve done any research into SEO, it’s likely the importance of keywords has been highlighted to you. As part of your marketing strategy, keyword research helps to identify the terms and words potential customers are using to find information within your industry. Knowing this, allows you to create content surrounding these topics, increasing your visibility. In our modern world where voice search is continuing to rise in popularity, long-tail keywords should be a key focus. As should understanding keyword search engine intent – knowing why someone searches with specific words. And, you need to look for keywords that are within your own competitive range and not focus on those that will be difficult to rank for.

Any seasoned SEO expert will tell you that each webpage will need to be optimised to achieve the best results. Choosing the right keyword and targeting the copy accordingly will have a strong, positive effect. It’s advisable to allocate a single keyword to each page. Try not to duplicate these as you’ll end up creating confusion for the search engine crawlers.

SEO isn’t something you can achieve one and then leave to the side. It needs to be constantly improved and your techniques should be adapted to meet the ever-evolving needs of your target customers. However, as with any activity from your marketing department, you need to understand the success of your work. There are a variety of ways to determine this, but let’s look at some key KPI’s to look at.

Good SEO activity should boost organic search traffic. This will be the way you acquire new customers and shows that your activity didn’t need boosting financially to achieve the right audience.

Each website will have a keyword ranking which helps you to understand how successful your activity has been. The right keywords will help you to improve brand awareness and the possibility of being found by potential new customers. This KPI should be tracked and measured regularly to allow you to make changes to your strategy as you deem fit.

Information that is rich, well-researched and relevant is more likely to be shared. And, the most popular way to share this content is through social media. If you notice a peak in social shares, it’s likely that your SEO activity is working. This is because your website is reaching a wider audience, without the need for financial boosting.

SEO is something that every business can take control of and something that can have significant benefits for corporate growth. If you’re looking for help boosting your SERP, adjusting the existing marketing strategy or simply reaching a wider audience, get in contact with the team here today.