08 Aug 2014By Sarah Jane
In the start of a new series, we catch up with Fiona Pullen as she gets to grips with Search Engine Optimisation, and explains how you can better improve your ratings on Google
Part one – What is SEO?
This is the first of a new series on SEO for beginners so the best place to start is discussing what SEO is and why you need to be aware of it. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which although it may sound like gobblygook essentially means making sure your website ranks well in the search engines.
The way search engines such as Google work is they look over each website and determine where it should be placed in the search results for the keywords contained on the site. Then when someone types something into the search engines it brings up the sites it considers to be most relevant to that search, based upon those keywords. They use a formula called the Google algorithm to determine which orders those relevant sites should rank in.
So why is this important to you?
According to a study by Sling Shot SEO, a first place result in Google will get 18.2 per cent of all the traffic, once you drop to fifth place you are looking at getting less than two per cent of the traffic. So a high ranking can make a huge difference to the amount of people visiting your site.
A study by Search Engine Journal found that 75 per cent of people never look beyond the first page of results. So if you rank lower than 10th position in the search results, you will get very few click throughs.
So ideally you want your website to be on the first page of Google for the keywords which are relevant to your site. Preferably you want to be at the top (wouldn’t we all love that!) but even being on the top half of the first page should guarantee a decent amount of traffic, depending on the popularity of your keywords. With more than five billion searches being done on Google (the biggest search engine) per day; that is definitely a pie you want a piece of!