As a SEO agency that offers a variety of digital marketing services to clients right across Australia, we are often asked “what is SEO?”. We have created this resource for all Australian business owners who want to understand exactly what SEO is and how it can benefit their business.
SEO is the process of ranking your website on the first page of Google for your ideal keyword search terms. Essentially, SEO is a form of marketing that you can do to attract more customers to your website by being more findable in Google.
Already overwhelmed? Don’t worry, we’ll go right back to basics in the below example.
Let’s pretend you are a plumber based on the Gold Coast. Let’s also presume your business name is “Surfers Plumbing Solutions”.
Like most businesses you probably already have a company website designed and developed. Sure enough, when you search for your business name on Google “Surfers Plumbing Solutions” comes up somewhere on the first page of Google.
But here’s the thing: only your friends, family and past customers know your business name. And well, your website only delivers crickets and a few spam emails each week. It isn’t actually delivering you many, if any, new clients.
Meanwhile, if you search something like “Residential Plumbing Gold Coast” on Google, you are met with a number of different plumbing businesses. But why aren’t you there? After all, this is the exact service that your business provides.
The reason you aren’t there is because you have not performed SEO on your website, whereas the other businesses who you see when searching on Google for “Residential Plumbing Gold Coast” have all conducted SEO.
The only way for a business to be on the first page of Google for these competitive ‘keywords’ (see below exactly what makes a keyword a keyword), is because they have completed SEO on their website, and more often than not, they are engaging a local SEO company to get them on the first page of Google.
In short, this is what SEO is. It the process of ensuring your website appears for search terms that are important to your business (i.e. Residential Plumber Gold Coast) on Google.
By appearing for popular search terms, these businesses are able to attract more website visitors and more customers to their business. Better yet, by targeting search terms that attract thousands of searches, your business can be exposed to hundreds of potential customers.
What Does SEO Stand For?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. In its simplest form, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a form of digital marketing.
The ‘search engine’ part of SEO is usually referring to Google (but can also include Bing and other search engines) and the ‘optimisation’ part of SEO is referring to the optimisation of your website.
So, putting it all together. SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of optimising your businesses website to rank higher in the search engine (i.e. Google, Bing and other search engines).
It really is as simple as that. There is no smoke and mirrors here. By performing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), your website will rank higher on Google for your ideal keyword search terms. And by ranking higher for these keyword search terms, your business will attract more customers and website traffic.
What Is A Keyword?
So what exactly is a keyword? If we refer to the above example of “Surfers Plumbing Solutions Pty Ltd” we identified that this business works in residential plumbing, but when we search on Google for “Residential Plumbing Gold Coast”, they aren’t on the first page.
In essence, the example of “Residential Plumbing Gold Coast” is a keyword. But what makes it a keyword?
A keyword is essentially any service or offering that your business provides, and any sort of ideal term you would like your website to be found on Google for.
For “Surfers Plumbing Solutions Pty Ltd”, who work in the residential plumbing space, it makes a whole lot of sense for them to rank (or be found) on the first page of Google for “Residential Plumbing Gold Coast”.
Most customers simply search on Google for exactly what they need and not a specific business name.
If you need a plumber for your home on the Gold Coast, you will be searching for something like “Residential Plumbing Gold Coast” or “Hot Water Service Gold Coast”.
This is what a keyword is. It is a search term that relates to your business, and usually local area, that you want to be found on Google for.
A good keyword will typically be searched hundreds of times per month by your ideal local customers and drive hundreds of new visitors and customers to your business each month.
And, importantly, businesses performing SEO on their website will be optimising for many different keyword search terms. This allows businesses to compound traffic and growth in the organic search results exponentially.
The Basics Of On-Site & Off-Page SEO
Without getting too technical, as this guide is designed as a basic SEO overview, there are generally two major components that go into SEO.
The first being on-page SEO, or on-site SEO. On-page SEO essentially refers to the optimisations completed on your website itself. This can be anything from keyword research, content production, right through to a variety of technical SEO elements.
A comprehensive on-page SEO strategy includes over 100 components that you need for success in the organic search results.
Off-page SEO is the exact opposite. When off-page SEO is referenced, this is referring to things completed off your website that help you rank higher in Google search. Off-page SEO typically refers to things such as backlink building (such as business directory listings), outreach campaigns and other optimisations that are completed off-site.
This is a very basic rundown of on-page SEO and off-page SEO. The linked resources above dive much, much further for business owners who would like to explore on-page and off-page SEO further.
Why Should A Business Do SEO?
So, what does this all mean? Why should a business even bother doing SEO? The answer here is simple. As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to market your business to new customers.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) happens to be one of the best ways to reach new customers. Being found by customers on Google looking for your exact products or services allows you to grow your business rapidly. These are customers who are searching for businesses who solve their immediate problem.
Google is the most used search engine in the world and Australian businesses who are found on Google for their ideal keywords can use this marketing tool to their advantage.
It is not uncommon for a business completing a SEO campaign to receive a 400% increase in enquiries through their website, as outlined in our recent SEO case studies. These case studies show exactly who well SEO can work for Australian businesses and the type of results you can expect to see with SEO.
Any business owner who is looking to reach new customers and market their business, in an affordable way, should be undertaking SEO. It is the single best way to attract new customers to your website and increase your revenue.
Are My Competitors Ranking In The Search Engines?
More often than not, the answer is yes. If your business performs a specific service or offers a specific product, but isn’t found on the first page of Google for this service or product, it is likely your competitors are outranking you with their own SEO efforts.
Since Search Engine Optimisation is such a valuable way to grow a business, a lot of savvy business owners are using SEO to grow their businesses. As we often say here at Australian Web Experts, the best time to start performing SEO on your website was yesterday, but the second best time is today.
If you work in any type of competitive industry in Australia – anything from medical, legal and trade services – it is highly likely your competition is using SEO to outrank you. These businesses are all benefiting hugely from hundreds of customers finding them each and every month.
With that said, you will find most industries have competitors who are conducting search engine optimisation, and this doesn’t mean you can’t outrank them by deploying your own SEO campaign. Google updates its organic search results, and algorithm, every single day. By establishing a robust SEO strategy for your business, you will be well on your way to outranking your competitors.
Does Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Really Work?
There’s no denying that SEO can have a major impact on your business. As reported in our local SEO statistics study, 98% of Google users searched online to find a local business.
To wrap some further context around this, 94% of Australians use Google each month, so that means the majority of the Australian population are using Google each month to search for a local business.
Based on this, if your business is at the top of Google results for your ideal keyword search terms, you are exposed to 94% of the Australian market share.
This goes to show how many more customers your business can be exposed to through a highly targeted, comprehensive SEO campaign. By leveraging the power of Google search, you are able to rapidly grow your business. There isn’t a single other way to have the majority of the Australian population in your local area discovering your business in an affordable way.
Timeframes of SEO For Australian Businesses
Search Engine Optimisation definitely isn’t something that can be switched on overnight. SEO is a complex process that can often take 3-6 months to start showing benefits. With that said, this timeframe is if you are working with an experienced SEO company who has experience in the SEO space and a proven track record.
We usually recommend businesses who are established with a steady amount of work to undertake Search Engine Optimisation. For new businesses, or start-ups, there are more effective ways to get immediate jobs and work. SEO is a time consuming process, but for businesses who have the patience, the rewards of SEO are worth the time and effort.
In one of our recent posts, we cover exactly how long SEO can take for Australian businesses. This explains all things SEO timeframes in greater detail. When you engage a SEO company, or start doing SEO for yourself, you should start to see an upward swing in keywords within 90 days, however this can vary and there are a number of ways you can monitor this.
For businesses who are looking to rank on the first page of Google for very competitive keywords, it can take longer to get the first positions. Another aspect that you have to consider with SEO timeframes is the level of work already completed on your website and how well your competitors are ranking.
There are a large variety of factors that go into SEO timeframes and no project will be the same.
What Are The Costs Of SEO?
If you choose to work with an SEO agency in Australia, the total cost of your SEO campaign will vary. Once again, it will depend on a variety of different factors such as your competition, your industry and the level of work already completed on your website.
There are other factors that can go into the total cost of your SEO campaign, such as the cost of outreach services, producing and writing content, along with other key cost factors. On average, a comprehensive SEO package in Australia will cost a business between $500 and $1,000 per month.
Obviously, there are much cheaper overseas providers, however as with everything – you really do get what you pay for. An Australian business looking to grow their overall marketing and business should expect to invest in SEO for the long term.
A flip on this would be, what is the cost of not doing SEO?
In today’s digital landscape, things are becoming more and more competitive. Jobs can be harder to win and referrals aren’t always reliable. By investing in a quality SEO campaign for your business, you are constantly exposed to new customers looking for your exact product or services.
And, as established by an independent SEO review by our agency, the return on investment for your SEO spend can be 25x. This means that for every $1 dollar you spend on SEO, you are getting $25 back. So when this is broken down, it is often costing you money to not be investing in SEO.
Can I Do SEO Myself?
For business owners who have more time than money, it can be worth conducting SEO for your own website. There are a number of quality SEO resources for beginners that can point you in the right direction and help you along the way. There are also a number of great free ways that you can do SEO for your Australian business, outlined in one of our recent articles.
With that said, if you are a business owner who is busy running your business, we always recommend engaging a professional SEO agency to handle all of your SEO needs. An agency like Australian Web Experts will have a dedicated team to handle your entire SEO project, so you can spend the time doing what you do best.
Working With A Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Company
If you are considering hiring a SEO company to handle your SEO, you need to ensure you make the right choice. There are hundreds of different SEO providers and you need to ensure you choose the best team to assist you with your needs.
We recommend asking any potential SEO company a number of critical questions so that you can make the right choice before hiring them to manage your SEO. A quality SEO agency will have no problem answering your questions and we always recommend reaching out to a handful of different agencies to see who is the best fit for your business.
As we have outlined above, if you are a business owner who is busy running their business, it always makes sense to outsource your SEO needs to a trusted SEO agency. For the average budget spend of $1,000 per month, you are able to have an entire SEO team with decades of experience handle your search engine marketing needs.
For business owners that are curious about working with a SEO company, we highly recommend doing some research on SEO packages and what SEO packages are. An SEO package can be a highly effective way to maximise SEO results.
The Clear Benefits Of SEO For Australian Businesses
So, there you have it. We have outlined exactly what SEO is, why you should consider doing SEO for your business and some other key pointers surrounding Search Engine Optimisation for Australian businesses.
As we move into 2022, SEO is clearly the best way for businesses to attract new customers and website traffic. With the single highest ROI (return on investment) for marketing spend, SEO is a no-brainer for any serious business owner who wants to grow their company.
We hope we have been able to provide you some insight into exactly what SEO is and clear up any confusion you have on Search Engine Optimisation.
If you would like to have a chat with our SEO experts, please reach out to our digital marketing team. At Australian Web Experts, we love helping businesses achieve business success online through SEO.