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Why SEO is so Important for your Online Business

SEO is the term used for website Search Engine Optimisation. This refers to making your site easily found by Search Engines, in relevant searches, performed online by potential clients or customers. This is so important to the success of your site. Everyone knows advertising and marketing of a business is important. Year on year internet usage continues to grow. More and more people are finding a business or service based on an online search rather than traditional methods such as phone books or paper based advertising. Sure, we admit, these methods still hold relevance for certain businesses or events but when you consider average Australians are now spending more time on the internet than they are watching television you can see what a huge audience you are missing out on if your site is not ranking well online. In a recent report, ranked on internet users as a percentage of total population, Australia has the 5th highest level of internet penetration in the world. Without ranking in a search for products you sell or services you offer your site is like a needle in a haystack and difficult to find. If you want people to be able to find your site online and increase your customers and traffic to your site, whilst insuring they are coming to your site through a relevant search performed you need professional SEO. A recent example of a poorly ranking site I came across the other day echoed the importance of SEO... I wanted to find a particular online shop I knew of that a friend had bought an item I also wanted. I typed the name into www.google.com.au to find the online store. I found many links that related to other people selling similar products but none for the specific store I was looking for. I added more terms to the search engine and searched again. After considering they might not actually have a website I finally found it. The site itself was very well designed and looked fantastic, however without it being found in online searches have the site owners wasted their money? What potential client would spend so long searching for their site in particular when they can buy similar product on other easily found sites? Sure regular shoppers or repeat customers will find the site as they know where to go, but building their business and increasing their customers will not happen through online searches for this site. So why doesn't this site rank well and what can be done to improve its rankings? Search engines constantly change the way in which they search for sites, and this is generally not information that is readily available or released by Search Engine owners. They do this to insure relevant websites are displayed in online searches thus increasing their popularity by end users. Search engines rank your site using ‘robots’ or ‘crawlers’ that are constantly going through the entire web to read page content and index sites. Higher ranking sites hold the key to what a search engine considers being a relevant search result. By looking at these sites and analysis on your site, teamed with research on information released by search engines we can implement a strategy to improve the ranking of your website. This is done through content analysis, slight alterations to onsite content, but also through many other ways not always visible on your site such as back links, blogs, meta tags, keywords and page descriptions. Site owners can be forgiven for thinking ‘That’s easy! I will just add tonnes of keywords, hidden text, duplicated information or other methods to ‘trick’ search engines into ranking my site high in lots of search results.’ This is not wise.. It is through these methods search engines will often remove your site from their indexing. People landing on your site that have not been looking for your services will not buy. There is no point in these practices that often can cause your online reputation and business more harm than good. A great, simple way to see where you are ranking is by searching for a keyword or key phrase people would use to find your product or service. If you’re not coming up in search results chances are your site is not optimised and doesn't have a SEO marketing strategy. There are three key elements to having a successful online presence. The first important element is your website design, second it its functionality and third is the marketing. SEO is the final ‘piece in the puzzle’ or 3rd necessity in your online journey. Without SEO even the most beautiful and functional site may fail. Should you consider SEO for your site? We highly recommend it! Danielle Butler - Marketing and Design Consultant Web Ninja Pty Ltd

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