What is SEO and Do I need it for My Business?
In today’s digital age, having a website is just the beginning. You can have the best website out there and nobody will ever see it. Would be a waste of time, energy, and money! To make sure people can find your website, you need to optimize it for search engines like Google, Microsoft, Bing, etc. And that’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
SEO is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). When someone searches for products or services you sell, information on topics you’re an expert in, or anything related to your business, you want to make sure your website shows up on the first page of results. But why does this matter? The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely people are to find and click on them. Ultimately, the goal of SEO is to attract website visitors who will become customers, clients, or an audience that keeps coming back.
So, how do you improve your website’s visibility in search results? There are many different factors that search engines use to rank websites, including the content on your website, the technical setup, the user experience, and the links pointing to your site from other websites.
SEO is an ongoing process that requires a lot of time, effort, and expertise. But the benefits can be enormous. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can attract more visitors to your site, increase your brand’s visibility, and ultimately grow your business.
SEO is a critical component of any digital marketing strategy and by improving your website’s visibility in search results, you can organically attract more visitors and ultimately grow your business. If you’re not already investing in SEO, now is the time to start!
The Importance of SEO for Businesses: Driving Real Results
If you’re running a business, you want to make sure people can find you online…And let’s face it, if you’re not showing up on the first page of Google, you’re basically invisible. This is where SEO comes in. SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Why is SEO so important? For starters, organic search drives over 50% of website traffic. That’s right, more than half of the people who visit your website come from search engines like Google. So, it’s essential to make sure your website is search engine friendly, no matter what platform people are using to find you.
In addition to driving traffic, SEO is the foundation of holistic marketing. By understanding what your users want, you can use that knowledge to inform your paid and organic campaigns, website content, and social media properties. SEO is a sustainable marketing channel too, unlike other channels where traffic ends once a campaign ends or social media algorithms change.
With all that being said, it’s not just about getting more traffic. SEO builds trust too. A website that ranks well is generally seen as authoritative or trustworthy. And when people trust your brand, they’re more likely to convert, visit, and buy from you.
Optimizing for SERP features is also essential. SERPs are highly competitive, and there are a lot of different features to consider. Knowledge panels, featured snippets, maps, images, and videos are just a few examples. By optimizing your website for these features, you can increase your visibility and stand out from the competition.
As you can see, SEO is a very critical aspect for businesses of all sizes. It drives traffic, builds trust, and helps achieve key business goals like conversions and sales. By implementing a solid SEO strategy, you can outrank your competition and drive real business results.
Three Types of SEO
There are three types of SEO: technical, on-site, and off-site. Let’s explore what each type entails and how they can help you achieve SEO success.
Technical optimization is the first pillar of the SEO trinity. It involves optimizing the technical elements of your website to make it more crawlable, indexable, and user-friendly. Technical SEO is about laying a solid foundation for your website’s content to be discovered and accessed by search engines.
Some key technical elements to focus your technical SEO on are:
URL structure: Creating a URL structure that is easy to navigate and understand.
Navigation: Ensuring that your website’s navigation is clear, logical, and user-friendly…make finding things easy for the user 🙂
Internal linking: Creating internal links that help visitors find related content on your website.
Mobile-friendliness: Ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly and that it provides a good user experience on mobile devices.
HTTPS: Using HTTPS to provide a secure browsing experience for your visitors.
Structured data: Adding structured data (also known as schema markup) to your website to help search engines better understand your content.
Site speed: Ensuring that your website loads quickly and provides a good user experience.
Content optimization is the second pillar of the SEO trinity. It involves optimizing the content on your website for both search engines and users. Your content needs to be informative, engaging, and helpful to your visitors. To optimize your content, you need to:
Research keywords: Identify the keywords that your target audience is searching for and use them in your content.
Create high-quality content: Produce content that is unique, original, and informative.
Use headers and subheadings: Organize your content with headers and subheadings to make it easier to read and understand.
Use multimedia: Incorporate images, videos, and other multimedia to make your content more engaging.
Optimize meta tags: Optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags to make it easier for search engines to understand your content.
Off-site optimization is the third and final pillar of the SEO trinity. It involves building your website’s reputation and authority through activities that take place outside of your website.
Some key off-site optimization techniques include:
Link building: Acquiring high-quality links from other websites to improve your website’s authority and credibility.
Social media marketing: Promoting your content and engaging with your audience on social media platforms.
Content marketing: Creating high-quality content and promoting it through guest blogging, influencer outreach, and other techniques.
Brand building: Developing your brand identity and promoting it through various channels.
Local SEO: Optimizing your website for local search to attract customers in your local area.
SEO is a complex process that involves many different elements. By focusing on technical optimization, content optimization, and off-site optimization, you can create a solid foundation for your website and improve your chances of achieving SEO success. By continually and often optimizing your website and staying up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and best practices, you can maintain and improve your website’s ranking in search engine results pages.
Critical Areas that Make SEO Work
Understanding How Search Engines Work
The first step to optimizing your website for search engines is understanding how search engines work. Different search engines have their own algorithms that they use to rank websites. For example, Google, the most popular search engine, has four stages of search: crawling, rendering, indexing, and ranking.
Crawling: Search engines use crawlers to discover pages on the web by following links and using sitemaps.
Indexing: Search engines analyze the content and metadata of the pages it has discovered and add them to a database.
Ranking: Complex algorithms look at a variety of signals to determine whether a page is relevant and of high-enough quality to show when searchers enter a query.
Optimizing for search engines is different for various platforms. For example, optimizing for YouTube or Amazon is different from optimizing for Google search. Facebook and Twitter also have their own search algorithms that prioritize different factors.
Before you start optimizing your website, you need to conduct research. This includes:
- Keyword research: Identify the keywords and phrases people use when searching for the products or services you offer.
- Competitor analysis: Understand how your competitors are performing in search results and identify opportunities to outperform them.
- User intent research: Determine what people want to accomplish when searching for your products, services or information.
An SEO strategy is your long-term action plan. Set goals and a plan for how you will reach them. Think of your SEO strategy as a roadmap, where the destination should remain clear and unchanged. Your SEO plan may include:
- Setting goals and expectations.
- Defining meaningful KPIs and metrics.
- Deciding how projects will be created and implemented.
- Coordinating and communicating with stakeholders.
- Choosing and implementing tools/technology.
- Hiring, training and structuring a team.
- Setting a budget.
- Measuring and reporting on results.
- Documenting the strategy and process.
Creating and implementing
Once the research is done, it’s time to turn ideas into action. This means:
- Creating new content: Advise your content team on what content needs to be created.
- Recommending or implementing changes or enhancements to existing pages: This could include updating and improving the content, adding internal links, incorporating keywords/topics/entities, or identifying other ways to optimize it further.
- Removing old, outdated or low-quality content: The types of content that aren’t ranking well, driving converting traffic or helping you achieve your SEO goals.
Monitoring and maintaining
Monitoring is critical to know when something goes wrong or breaks on your website. You need to know if traffic drops to a critical page, pages become slow, unresponsive or fall out of the index, your entire website goes offline, links break, or any other number of potential catastrophic issues.
Analyzing, assessing and reporting on performance
If you don’t measure SEO, you can’t improve it. To make data-driven decisions about SEO, you’ll need to use:
- Website analytics: Set up and use tools to collect performance data.
- Tools and platforms: Choose to use only select SEO tools to track performance on specific tasks.
- Custom-made tools: Create your own tools if none of the tools on the market do exactly what you want.
After you’ve collected the data, you’ll need to report on progress. Performance reporting should tell a story and be done at meaningful time intervals, typically comparing to previous report periods.
Here is a short list of places that you can learn SEO practices and implementations:
SEO is ongoing
SEO never ends. Search engines, user behavior, and your competitors are always changing. Websites change and move over time, content gets stale, and processes should improve and become more efficient. Keep in mind that SEO is a long-term strategy that requires ongoing effort to achieve success.
In summary, SEO is a critical component of any digital marketing strategy. By improving your website’s visibility in search results, you can attract more visitors and ultimately grow your business. If you’re not already investing in SEO, now is the time to start.
Contact us for your next SEO campaign!