Business Tip of the Month: Search Engine Optimisation

This month’s business tip is supplied by Mark Rouvray of Activ Web Design Kingston. Mark has plenty of valuable tips on online marketing for your business. Please read on for advice about SEO and how to get in touch with Mark. 

SEO is dead! Really? 

SEO tag cloud

Many theorists have reported the demise of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as a method for improving website rankings on Google search results. However, in practice, many small businesses are still finding that SEO is clearly working to give them substantially better rankings than their competitors. Although the methods employed for search engine optimisation have changed over time to keep up with Google’s latest algorithm for indexing, the reported death of SEO seems somewhat premature.

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search engine optimisation is comprised of two parts: on-site and offsite. On-site SEO is all about making sure the website has been built correctly in order to promote the key marketing search terms. Those terms need to appear in all the right places and be coded in a way that gives the correct emphasis for Google. The on-site SEO is about 30% of the overall battle to improve rankings.

It is essential that this is done well or all other efforts will be ineffective. The other 70% of the effort is known as offsite SEO and is about promoting the website across the Internet for those key search engine marketing terms – helping you to build a wider online presence.

How important are search engine ranking positions (SERPs)?

Research shows that on average, the websites on the first page of Google for particular search term get 99% of all clicks. That leaves a very poor 1% for all the other website on the rest of the Google search results. In fact, the higher you get on that first page of Google makes a significant difference.

The top three websites will get 65% of all clicks and the no.1 website will get 40% of all the clicks – so every extra improvement in rankings really counts. In addition, the natural search results tend to be trusted over the paid ads (Pay Per Click) with 40% of people saying they never click on paid ads.


Determining your key search engine marketing terms

The starting point for any SEO work is to determine the most relevant key search engine marketing terms for a business to target. There are three key factors to take into account.

1) The search demand for that particular keyword. There is no point in putting a lot of effort into keywords that rarely get searched.

2) The competition online for those specific keywords – often competition will be high if the search demand is also high. Sometimes you might be lucky to find an opportunity where demand is reasonable for a search term and yet online competition is not as high as some of the other search terms.

3) You need to assess the likelihood of converting any interest generated by that search term into business and the value of that business to you. Search terms that more specifically relate to your services\location and also imply an intention to look for paid goods or services (e.g. consultant, services, advisor, buy) are likely to be better.

The most common mistake people make is to target the home page of the website for their key search engine terms when in fact they should structure the website so that individual pages are focused on different search terms. In general, it is best to have a page focused on just one or two key phrases rather than all your phrases. That way it is easier to optimise the page for Google and it provides well written, targeted pages that will be presented to potential clients who search for your services.

SEO can seem complicated and daunting for a small business and engaging a supplier can seem even more confusing. However, ultimately it is quite simple – it’s results that count. Any reputable SEO supplier should be able to show you clear results achieved for other small businesses like yourself and you can then determine whether they can do the same for you.

Don’t be influenced by false promises of guarantees for number one positions because logically there can be no guarantees. Nobody can control your competition who may spend more money on SEO than you and nobody can control Google. Don’t let anyone tell you they can fix your SEO in a one-off exercise – it requires ongoing work over a long period of time.  Ultimately, it is a worthwhile investment in your number one marketing asset – your website.


Mark is owner of Activ Web Design (Kingston & Wimbledon) and provides a personal dedicated support for small local businesses that want to grow through professional online marketing, including web design, SEO, mobile sites & apps and email marketing.

Mark Rouvray – Online Marketing for small businesses
Activ web Design (Kingston)
Mob: 07813 935955

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