What is SEO and Why Does your Company Need It?

by : Calum Macleod

This article is for those who may have heard of SEO but are not sure of how it can help their business.

A common scenario for a lot of small businesses is to have a website built to create an on-line presence only to find that their site does not bring in as much sales or interest as they had hoped. In the early days of the web a good website would have had more of chance of attracting some customers just by submitting it to search engines. The sheer number of sites on any one subject now makes it very hard for companies to rank well for what they are selling.

This is where SEO comes in. Search engine optimisation is a process that helps your website to show up or rank for a search term related to your website. Basically if you're selling shoes. You want your site to turn up on the front page of results for the key phrase shoes. This is easier said than done when there are 558 million pages resulting from a search for shoes in the UK. By adhering to website coding standards and by following the guidelines set by the search engines SEO can help your website to rank well for the required keyword phrases.

Search engines used to look at a websites meta tags which would describe what the website was about enabling the search engine to place the site in the right category. However after meta tags were abused by webmasters trying to gain their sites better rankings they can no longer be relied on as a way to correctly categorise a website. Google decided to include the importance of links among other things when evaluating how important a website is. By using this method Google counts a link from website A to website B as a vote for website B. Because of this part of an SEO campaign includes link building. There are different methods of going about this but that's another story.

So if you have a website that is selling a product SEO can get that product in front of a buyer.