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The importance of search engine optimisation (SEO)

According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, search engines are being used 3.5 billion times a day to obtain information online. Moreover, 85 percent of users only look at the top 20 search results, so high ranking is extremely important.

Nowadays, simply having a well designed site is not enough. There is so much competition for high rankings that your site must be designed to be 'search engine friendly.' Basically, you can have the most impressive site, but if it achieves low rankings, nobody will see it. And with over 4 billion sites existing on the internet as your competition, and 90 percent of people using search engines to find them, if your site does not rank near the top, you simply will not be seen.

Many businesses are realising the importance of SEO and taking one of two routes in pursuit of a top 10 ranking. Option 1 is to pay a professional to help - a quick web search will reveal what's on offer. Option 2 is to invest some time and effort and do it yourself.

Don't be led into a false sense of security thinking you don't require SEO just because your website is listed on the first page when you search your company's name. That's fine for people who know your name, but what about people doing generic searches for your product? If your site ranks low when your product is searched you should consider SEO.

Organisations that optimise their websites for particular search terms are able to attract traffic from people who are specifically looking for their products. Consequently, the business will receive more focused leads and increased sales.

The importance of an optimised website is unquestionable in a world where online business activity is increasing. Statistics show that the majority of people use search engines when locating a website and most of them only look through the first few results pages. So if you're looking to improve your business, invest in SEO.