Search Engine Optimisation for Darwin WebsitesPosted by Hedley Swann on 14 February, 2013 in
Like most small business owners, you have probably heard of Search Engine Optimsation (SEO) and that it is used for improving a website's rankings on major search engines like Google or Bing. However, what it actually is and how it works can be something of a mystery. Let's discuss SEO for small business and how Darwin small business can use it.
How do search engines work?
Let's say we want to go skydiving in Darwin. We do a Google search for the phrase "skydiving darwin" hoping to find a Darwin based skydiving business. Google looks through all the websites it has indexed and tries to return a list of websites that it thinks we will find the most useful. Google themselves have said that there are over 200 factors that go into deciding how websites are ranked for any given search phrase, but what it boils down to is does the content on your website appear valuable to someone searching for a particular phrase, and do other websites link back to yours (suggesting that your website has valuable content). So, if I search for "skydiving darwin" Google will return a list of websites it believes have valuable content for someone looking to go skydiving in Darwin.
How can a small business improve their search results?
There are two options for improving the search engine rankings of your website; organically or through paid advertising. Whichever option is used, we first need to identify what search phrase(s) we will be targeting. For example, if I happened to own a skydiving business in Darwin I would likely want to rank highly for phrases such as "skydiving darwin" and/or "skydive darwin".
The organic option
By tweaking the content of your website to help Google figure out what it's about, a small business website can improve its rankings. This is especially true for local search results (e.g. search phrases with the word "Darwin" in them, such as "skydiving darwin"). This is because the Darwin market is significantly smaller than say the Sydney market, which is much larger and has far more competition for the top spots on Google. For many Darwin industries, simply by having a well built website, with well crafted content, many businesses can achieve a ranking on the first page of Google for their targeted search phrase.
On top of having great content, a small business website can improve their backlink profile. This is the number, and quality, of websites that have a link within their content back to your website. In Google's eyes, this essentially counts as a "vote" for the popularity of your website and improves your website's rankings.
Every time you complete a search on Google there are a number of advertising spots on the search results page for displaying websites that have paid to be featured in a more prominent position. This paid advertising typically works on a "Cost Per Click" billing model. To illustrate this, take the following example:
There are three skydiving businesses in Darwin who all want to have their website featured at the top of the Google search results within the advertising space on the search results page for search phrases relating to "skydiving darwin". Each one nominates how much they are willing to spend for a click through to their website. The first business has bid $1, the second $0.80 and the third $0.60. When someone does a search for "skydiving darwin" (or other related skydiving darwin search phrases) Google looks at who is bidding for the advertising space relating to that topic and then displays the advertisers according to their bid. In our example, that means that if there were three advertising spots the top spot would go to the skydiving business who bid $1, with the other two underneath it. If, and only if, the user then clicks on that advertisement will the advertiser be charged. It's important to note that just because the top bidder bid $1, doesn't necessarily mean that they will pay a dollar for each click. As the the second highest bidder nominated $0.80, it is likely that the top advertiser will pay somewhere in between $0.80 and $1 for a click.
We now have a good overview of how Google ranks websites and how Darwin small business can improve their search engine rankings. SEO is something that most small businesses can benefit from and, as the Darwin market grows, will become increasingly important to continually drive traffic to your website.