Author: Graeme Lund
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation and is the art and science of making websites highly visible to search engines.
The most popular search engine in South Africa is Google. Others include Yahoo, Bing and Safari as well as a myriad of lesser known search engines.
Assume you have a business called Joe’s Restaurant and your website url is www.joesrestaurant.co.za. You serve steaks, seafood and pizza as well as craft beer.
There are two ways in which a search engine can find your website. The first is when somebody types in the URL of your website onto the search engine search bar. No problem, your website will pop up on the search engine result.
The problem is, this only works when you advertise your website through other websites that have a backlink to your website or through media other than the internet. So, if your URL is printed on an advert in a magazine a potential client may read the URL off the advert and type it into the search engine and thus find your website.
Needless to say, it costs a lot of money to get somebody to visit your website in this manner.
SEO is vital to any business
The second, and by far the most important manner in which somebody finds your website, is when somebody asks the search engine a question. The question may be “restaurant” or “restaurant near me” because they want to eat out.
In this case, the search engine will place the website with the best SEO at the top of the list of potential contacts.
More than 50% of people with a computer or a smart phone ask questions of search engines every single day. In fact, there are over 50 000 searches a month in South Africa for “restaurant near me”.
If your restaurant is ranked first on the page for a search result for “restaurant near me” or “pizza restaurant near me” or “craft beer” or “best steaks” then your business is guaranteed a constant stream of new business and if even just a few of those first time customers become repeat customers your business will grow rapidly.
SEO gets you in front of your customers
The search result that ranks top of the page gets twice as much business as the second who intern gets twice as much business as the third and so on.
Still, there are over 200 factors that affect your website SEO. Finding the right balance of these factors is a complex and intriguing task.
Thus, SEO is the art and science of making your website land on the top of the first page on a search engine result for your business name as well as the goods and/or services you offer.