As more and more people around the world depend on search engines to find information, products or services, it’s becoming increasingly more important that your potential customers can find you online.

Existing customers probably know your site address already, but the majority of your online business is going to come from people who’ve been searching the web for products or services like those you offer. And that means you need to show up in the search engine results.

What Is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search engine optimisation is the process of improving aspects of your site in order to increase the chances of your site ranking high in the search engine results.

Search engine optimisation involves a number of different factors, both on-site, and off-site. Some of these factors can be addressed at any time, but ideally, some of them should be taken into consideration right from the design phase.

Keywords And Competition

When people are looking for you on a search engine, they’re searching for a specific word or phrase related to their needs. Google in turn searches its index, looking for sites which contain that word or phrase. So your online competition isn’t people who sell the same type of products or services as you do, but anybody online who has those same keywords on their site.

In order to rank high in the search engine results, you need to prove to the search engine that your site is particularly relevant to the search query that users have entered.

How Does Google Determine Relevance?

Google takes many different factors into account when determining which sites are the most relevant to any given search term. Many of these factors involve your website itself. Google checks to see whether the theme and content of your site match what the user is searching for. Factors for determining this include the content, the URL structure, the titles of your pages, and the on-page headings.

Another important factor for determining a sites credibility as far as Google is concerned is the number and quality of the links that point back to your site. The more links you have pointing to your site, the more credible Google will consider your website to be.

The amount of credibility that links bring is directly related to the relevance of the link. If you sell used cars, and the links to your site come from sites and content which is relevant to used cars, those links provide more credibility for you than a link to your site from a site about goldfish would be.

Search Engine Optimisation – A Long Term Strategy

Search engine optimisation isn’t something that you can do just once. SEO needs to be an ongoing process, for it to have a lasting effect on your site. For one thing, never forget that your competition needs to optimize too. And their optimisation efforts will be competing with yours.

For another, Google is constantly changing, refining and updating their algorithm. Last year, for example, Google updated their search algorithm 550 times. That’s twice every 3 days. And any one of those updates might have an effect on what you’re doing to optimize.

Effective search engine optimisation has to be an ongoing process. It needs to be monitored, measured, and tweaked according to performance, and that means you can’t just put in a couple of hours and then never think of it again.

For long terms results, you need a long term strategy.