SEO is a make or break tool for businesses, but is often misunderstood. Most have heard the term, but they still aren’t sure how to use it to improve their website traffic. Well, don’t you worry. In this blog, I’m going to take you through what it is, how it works, and also how you can utilize SEO to set your business up for success. Let’s start from square one. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Through SEO, businesses are able to optimize the online visibility of their website by using keywords that help them rank on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Keep in mind; the answers delivered by unpaid search engine results are referred to as “organic” or “natural” results. SEO is different from SEM – search engine marketing. SEM or paid search is where you pay to rank for certain keywords.
Out of all of the search engines that exist, Google wins the popularity contest by a landslide. In fact, almost 75% of all Internet searches happen through Google. How many times a day do you usually Google something? Zero? Five? Ten? Maybe more?
Between finding recipe reviews, navigating around Denver’s traffic and searching for my adopted Chihuahua’s long lost twin brother, I easily average over ten Google searches throughout the day. After adding up all of the world’s Google searches at the end of each day, the total is an astonishing 3.5 billion. Yes, billion with a “b!” Per day! Just to put this in perspective, the amount of daily Google searches is almost exactly half of the entire world’s population. Google has given the world of consumer’s extreme purchasing power with every answer being only one click away. We live in a society where every question can be answered in a matter of seconds, which is great news for businesses that provide educational content to their target audience.
As Google has risen to power, businesses have needed to adapt. Being findable online to consumers is a matter of profiting or closing up shop. How often do you think searchers make it to the second or even third page of Google’s results? The answer is rarely. In fact, the first five results on Google garner up 67% of all search result clicks! This is exactly why SEO is an integral part of digital marketing. If you can’t be found on Google, I guarantee a competitor can.
But how does SEO work?
Each search engine has the ability to “crawl” through content on websites to decide the ranking order on each SERP. Think of each website being a house in the neighborhood of websites. Each room within in the house represents a separate page on the website. The kitchen could represent your ecommerce page where viewers browse products while the living room represents your “about us” page. In order to “crawl” through each room, the search engine robots, or “spiders,” utilize web links as front doors. After crawling through each website and document, the search engine spiders copy keywords to store in a ginormous database. These keywords can then be recalled anytime a user makes a search, delivering a relevant website result.
Search engines have the ability to deliver key consumers directly to your website, but you need to know how to use SEO to your advantage. Now that we’ve reviewed what SEO is and how it works, take a look at the three most important aspects of integrating SEO into your digital marketing strategy. With relevance, accuracy and speed, your website link could have an advantage against the competition.
The Three SEO Necessities
Relevant: Create relevant content for your target audience.
One important factor of mastering SEO is understanding your target consumer better than they even know themselves. What questions will they be asking that relate to your product or service? By providing impactful education through blogs and other content on your website, you will be able to draw traffic that both cares and converts. Keywords that apply to both your product and also the questions your target audience will be asking are most important as they make the connection between search engine spiders, your website and possible consumers.
Accurate: Develop correct and professional content.
Google is able to monitor the accuracy of the content being provided on websites by crawling each page for references, titles, labeled images, sentence structure and even grammar. If the content you are posting is not professional and well thought out, you will fall behind your competition and be pushed lower on the search result list. Your business may receive short-term benefits by tricking the search engine spiders into delivering your false content to searchers, but Google is notorious for catching on and punishing businesses that act in this way.
Fast: Make sure your website is both fast and mobile friendly.
If you're not sure about the speed your site is running or if it is built for mobile viewing, work with a trusted web developer. Google will specifically favor well build websites and place them higher on the results pages as they seem more credible and purposeful.
And finally, remember that search engines want to deliver the most timely and relevant content to users. That means that you need to be writing new content as well as refreshing older content that still has relevance. A well thought out content strategy can make sure that you are utilizing the right keywords to target your audience, and that you are also consistently producing quality content. This approach helps your SEO efforts and positions your company as a resource for your customers. How is that for a true win-win?