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What does SEO mean for business?

SEO has become the de facto buzzword of the internet era.  The secret, dark art of tech wizards who know how to play Google ( including navigating Penguin updates)  and leave your business ranking highly in searches – but what about those who haven’t been initiated into this mysterious world? SEO expert Kelvin Newman, founder of the celebrated SEO Brighton Conference series shares his wisdom.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, which is really the process of making sure you’re doing all you can to get the most out of the potential customers using search engines. It typically breaks down into two different areas. The first is on-site optimisation, which focuses on small changes you can make to your website to make sure Google correctly understands what your business is about. Secondly, it’s about building your reputation in a way that search engines can understand. Really, you’re trying to send a crystal clear message “My business is the best possible business for these search terms”.

How can poor SEO affect your business?

It’s an opportunity cost really. If you don’t have effective SEO, someone else is picking up traffic, enquiries and sales that could have been yours. SEO is not very good at generating demand for a product or service, it’s about capturing the demand that’s already there. If you’ve not got your SEO right, you’re handing that opportunity over to a competitor.

How can you get started if you have the expertise or budget?

One of the best things about SEO is that so much of the knowledge you need in order to carry out SEO is available online for free. The question is whether you have the time. If not working with a specialist is the way to go.

How much time you need to spend on SEO?

That very much depends on the type of keywords you’re going for. It’s much harder to rank for “credit cards” than “Corgi Register Plumber Salford”. In that respect, most small and medium sized businesses could see a pretty dramatic change in their search rankings if they were able to dedicate at least one day a month to SEO. However the more time you spend the quicker and more dramatic the change is likely to be.

Are there any useful resources that can help me to manage my sites SEO in the long term?

There’s a whole series of SEO tools out there, many of which are free to try. The website All SEO Software  does a good job of collating them all. But it’s not how much you spend on a tool that will determine how successful you are, it’s the hardwork a person has to carry out that makes the difference.

Are there any SEO no-gos?

With search marketing if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. There are  a lot of companies offering miracle tools or processes to help your search marketing performance. Unfortunately a lot of them are cons. Either they don’t achieve the results they promise or they charge you a lot for relatively little. Real SEO is a slow burn that takes time and delivers incremental improvements not miracles.

Read our next piece ‘5 ways to boost your business’s SEO‘ where we’ll share step by step tips for improving your business’s SEO.



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