SEO Explained & Why It’s Important
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) sounds a bit like rocket science if you don’t know a lot about the subject. As a website owner, we have to know why SEO is important to the website and what makes the website rank better on Google.
SEO is a marketing practice focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO bounds both the technical and creative elements needed to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines. There are many facets to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to you on the web. Sometimes SEO is simply a matter of making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand.
Why do we need SEO?
You need to show up when consumers search for your product or service on Google, when you are spoken about on social media, or when you receive a review or a comment.
Why? Because showing up equals cash:
- 80 percent of consumers search for a product/service before purchasing it
- 70 percent read online reviews before making purchase decisions
- 68 percent of consumers begin their decision-making while searching for a keyword
- Websites that blog regularly receive 55 percent more traffic and over 80 percent more leads compared to websites that don’t
- Over 70 percent of search clicks are organic
We all turn to Google, social media, review blogs, and other places on the Web when we make most decisions in life in 2015, including purchase decisions. It’s a fact. Yet, many brands still miss out on the vast opportunities search engines, blogs, and social media have to offer. They fail to show up when consumers search for or talk about them.
Are your sales falling despite skyrocketing investments in ads? Less than 1 percent of people click on banner ads today. So the ad industry counts and charges for ‘impressions’, a third of which are not even seen by humans. About 86 percent skip TV ads, and 44 percent of direct mail never gets opened. The list goes on.
There is just too much going over the Internet for consumers to ever enjoy being interrupted. Marketing is not about interrupting consumers when they enjoy the content. It is about ‘being’ that content.
Do a quick test, right now and right here on your mobile phone. Search a couple of keywords that best describe your product or service. Not your brand keywords, but more generic terms.
If they can’t find you, you don’t exist. If you don’t talk to them, you are not relevant. Without great content, you are nowhere.
So, what can I do to get a better ranking?
Optimize for mobile search
Nearly 50 percent of all traffic is mobile. Your mobile site, now more than ever, needs to be equal in presence, content and searchability as your desktop site. Plus, having a mobile-friendly site boosts your ranking slightly.
Focus on a variety of keywords
SEO has evolved over the years to consider more than just singular keywords. Take the yesteryear approach to applicable words and add in the users’ intent behind the search. Ranking the appropriate keywords can be the dealbreaker for top of search placement.
Don’t ignore social media
Search your company on a variety of browsers in a variety of locations. Note if your active social media pages – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – come up. Maintaining and growing a social media presence can envelope the main page nicely in rank.
Keep content fresh
When people conduct research, they want up-to-date, accurate information. That’s why it’s important to keep content updated. Recency is becoming an increasingly important ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm and for good reason—your audiences don’t want to waste time reading dated content.
“Link building” is a term that SEO practitioners use to describe the process of building credibility. The idea is simple: people link to your website when they perceive your brand as a source of authority. One tactic that has not shifted in the wide world of SEO is inbound links back to your site. This aids in creating the golden twins of referral traffic and increase SEO.
To acquire these priceless links from top quality sources you need to be bold. Actively pitch your products and services to journalists who write about your industry. Keep it simple and explain the value of why people need to know about your brand.
Don’t just ask for links, earn them. Produce valuable content related to your industry with keywords used appropriately and tagged efficiently on your webpage to establish the brand as an expert in the field.
The biggest challenge with SEO is that its ambiguous territory—but you shouldn’t let the uncertainty get the best of you. Understand that almost every marketer is exactly where you are now. Everyone’s trying to figure out SEO’s ‘hidden secrets’ with little direction.