SEO stands for SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION.
This is really just a fancy way of saying: getting on the first page of Google when someone searches for a particular thing.
What is a Google rank?
Your ranking on Google is essentially how high your website appears in search results when your preferred keyword or key phrase is used.
So if I type a phrase like “yoga classes near me” then if my Yoga website appears in the first page, or better still, in the top few results, then I would be considered to have a high ranking for that phrase.
If my website doesn’t appear until page 5 or 10, or 20, then I can pretty much forget about ever getting web visitors who are searching for that phrase (more than 90% of people only look at the first page of results).
Why does my site have such a low rank?
This is not an easy question to answer and every website will have a unique set of circumstances that shape the answer to that question.
Google uses algorithms – basically computer robots – to determine your Google ranking for a given keyword or phrase. And they won’t disclose the precise criteria 9and they frequently change it) so web experts can only really guess what things will help.
That said, there are a few things that can definitely have a bad impact on your ranking and there are always things you can do to improve it.
You may have a lot of competition for your subject where other websites already have good Google ranking. Or you may have some technical aspects that set you at a disadvantage.
So, I need SEO to ensure my website gets higher on Google
In a nutshell, yes!
Most businesses and organisations spend lots of time and energy building a beautiful and highly functional website.
And then are shocked when they switched it on and have little or no website traffic.
If you have a big strategy on social media, sending your website to a large mailing list or are mentioned in the press and media then you likely will get plenty of traffic.
But if you have done none of those things, you might just find your website is just not getting seen by anyone.
This is where doing a little bit of SEO can really help to improve your Google ranking and therefore the amount of visitors on your site.
What can I do to improve my website?
Firstly, you can run your website through an SEO analysis programme and see if there are any obvious technical or structural glitches that might be having a negative effect. SEO Optimer is a nice easy one that looks at your front page and gives you a quick score using traffic light colours and easy-to-action suggestions.
Second, make sure you have covered all the SEO basics. I have put together this comprehensive checklist in my other blog post “Google Juice: 16 Top Tips to improve your website SEO“. You can do all this stuff yourself but feel free to get in touch if you need some help with it. Once you have done all this stuff your website will definitely get an SEO kick-start.
Third, Keep checking your ranking with different keywords and phrases to see what improvements are being made.
Fourth, you may want to consider splashing a bit of money on Google Ads. It is a quick and fast way to increase your website visibility, although can be expensive if you don’t carefully watch the spending.
SEO is more of an art than a science, but there are many things you can do before giving up!