Meg Thornley Social Media and Project Manager SEO Search Engine Optimisation Search Engine Optimisation is an internet marketing strategy used by a lot of companies in order to become more visible to potential customers on search engines organically (ie. Without paying). Effectively, it’s a way of changing your website so that Google, Bing or Yahoo list the link to your site higher when people search for certain terms or keywords, or include your link on more search results, as the earlier users tend to see a result, the more often it tends to be clicked on- and more traffic means, statistically, the more customers you should gain. You can make many changes to your website to improve your ranking on search engines, such as: Using more keywords in your content (your post titles, if your site is a blog for example). This means Google associates your site as being relevant to more search terms. Then, when people search for these words, it can add your website link to the list of pages it shows users they should click on. Promoting your site link. The more times the link to your website appears on the web, the better. Obviously exposure increases the amount of clicks to your site from users, and this also reiterates the relevance of your site on search engines. Introducing a site map. Site Maps are pretty much what they say on the tin- they create a map of your site so users and search engines know how many different pages your website contains and what routes you take to find pages. For SEO, XML Site Maps are recommended, as they are URLs with optional meta data used for bots and spiders (robots that search engines send to scout out information about websites). Search Engine Optimisation obviously has its advantages- the fact that it’s free being a large one for many businesses. However, it must be noted that it can’t always be reliable, and especially if the business in question is small, it can be difficult to rank highly on search engines as larger companies may be posting under the same keywords and are therefore deemed more important by Google, Bing and Yahoo. Another disadvantage can be that if a company uses only techniques to improve their search engine optimisation, users may never become customers as their website may be poor. It is usually recommended to use a combination of SEO techniques to draw users in, and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) techniques to generate more users, and then turn more users into customers.