Search Engine Optimization, more commonly known as SEO, is the process of organically ranking web pages on search engines. That is getting your website on the first page of the search results for specific terms without paying per click.
Why is SEO important?
Have you ever wondered how some websites show up before others on google?
Have you also noticed that if you simply adjust your search by one or two words, it changes the search results (sometimes by a LOT)? If you haven’t seen this happen, take a second to try it.
You’d be amazed at the varying results that you get by switching up the kinds of words you use or just the order they’re used in.
If you have ever done either of these things while looking for some specific information online then you have gone through the same process that many people have and continue to go through every day.
Google finds it frustrating that they can’t always give you and the rest of the users that are searching online, what information or website you want EXACTLY when you want it every time you search for something.
Otherwise they would be done developing their algorithms that help them predict what you want see and what you are looking for.
This is why SEO or Search Engine Optimization is so important.
SEO allows anyone that has a website to essentially label or mark their website as a relevant source of information about specific topics.
This process allows Google to point a user in your direction if your site is relevant to a user’s search and say to your website: “Hey website, you look like you are highly relevant to what this user is looking for, I’m going to put you at the top of my search results page. I’m predicting you have what they are looking for on your website.”
Google choosing to place your website at the top of its search results is a big deal.
according to Hubspot, a digital marketing software company, 34% of “near me” searches done via desktop and tablets result in store visits.
This results in a spike of quality leads and demand for your services
How Does SEO Work?
Simply put, SEO is the process of using to your advantage all of variables that Google incorporates into its algorithm so you show up higher than competitors in search results.
Understanding and using [all of the 200+ variables] in conjunction with one another to help your site become more readable to Google’s site makes Google ecstatic and want to show your website to more users more often.
That’s basically how SEO works. It’s making Google happy by making your site readable and better able to be understood by its algorithm and users.
Doing SEO not only shows Google that you are serious about letting it know what your site is about but also shows Google that you are serious about providing a great experience to and for the people that are searching for products or services related to yours.
If Google decides to show your website to those that are searching for something online this can have a massive compounding effect over time (especially for local businesses). Local SEO is what you want to focus on if you’re a local business. But you still want to keep in mind the bigger picture if you plan to expand in the future larger than you are now.
This process of helping Google understand what message you are trying to convey may take time and effort but it’s undoubtedly worth every second spent on improving your site to meet Google’s standards.
Who Needs SEO?
If you were to walk right up to Google (if Google wasn’t an inanimate object) or ask any employee at Google who needs SEO, Google and it’s employees would most likely laugh till they had tears running down their faces and they’re rolling on the ground unable to control their stomach muscles.
Anyone that has a website and sells anything absolutely needs SEO services.
This is the foundation of optimizing any online sales process. In other words, you shouldn’t be running ads or doing anything else (in my opinion) without first optimizing your website and making it easy to read by Google and it’s visitors coming from Google or any other source.
Why do I say this? Because if you are getting website visitors to your site and Google is watching this happen but there isn’t any SEO on your website to tell Google what the site is about, your site won’t ever gain traction.
Google sees these visitors coming and each interaction that happens without SEO as a highly uncorrelated website visit.
Google is scratching its head completely confused when this happens. It’s confused as to why someone would visit your website when your website isn’t labeled for what you are displaying to your visitors.
I think we can both agree that this isn’t necessarily an optimal marketing strategy.
How Does SEO Help Your Business?
I’m sure by now you’re wondering if this method of digital marketing called SEO can really help you or your business succeed in this age of technology and mass information.
So, let’s dive into exactly how SEO can help your business thrive in the tech driven world we live in today.
For most of our clients, the factor that is consistently discussed and cared about most when starting to use SEO is almost always used to increase leads generation.
This is because SEO is the number one way to be found locally and globally by an audience you are trying to sell to. We’ve also seen that this is [by far the highest return on investment long term] when compared to any other strategy used in digital marketing.
Google is used to search over 3.5 billion times daily according to Wordstream.
The reason that SEO causes such a dramatic increase in results and the number of leads generated is because of these constant searches being done by anyone that has access to the internet looking for anything online.
We have a client of ours that’s a photographer and he was struggling to get a consistent flow of leads. He has great skills and is even known for taking some of the best celebrity photos out there. But there wasn’t any predictable lead flow for him.
He would get a lot of requests at one time and then have nothing for two weeks and sometimes up to two months.
We started work for him and within a month, he had locals calling him for corporate headshots and other events and it was consistent. SEO can bring in leads quickly but don’t expect it. It’s best to take SEO with the approach of it’ll take 3-6 months for you to start gaining traction with your SEO efforts.
How does this happen? And what can you do to improve your SEO?
What to Do to Improve SEO
So, what can you do to improve your SEO?
Here’s a small list of the big things you can do to start improving your SEO starting today.
Keyword research is the foundation to any good SEO strategy and improvement. It’s the process of going through and finding the actual search terms people are typing into search engines. This is the beginning of your content and content marketing strategy
With your business, you should have certain objectives you want to hit to reach certain goals online each month, quarter, and year. This is the same with your SEO and digital marketing strategy except we have to measure them in a bit more of a granular way and through online measurements such as how many visitors came to your website, how many of those visitors watched a video of yours on your website, how many completed a lead form and other objectives along those lines. These are all examples of what we would call “conversions”.
Competitor analysis is a strong anchor point for SEO strategy. it is essentially finding the terms you want to rank for, typing those terms into a search engine and then analyzing the top websites and looking at their company sales process online to see what model they are using. Are they trying to get you to download a guide online? are they trying to get you on the phone with a sales rep immediately? What are they doing to turn you (a website visitor) into a paying customer? That’s really what you are looking for when doing competitor analysis along with other technical factors but we wont get into that right now.
Technical analysis is going through your website and looking at your goals, and making sure that what you have on your website and how you display elements on your website such as logos, photos, and text is aligned with what your company goals and objectives are.
Page Level Analysis
Page level analysis is satisfying the intent of whomever is searching for and visiting the page in all aspects along with ensuring that Google knows what the page is about.
Content analysis is making sure that the content that is on your website is engaging, informative, and correct. This includes making sure your information is up to date, grammar and spelling is properly used, and the overall structure satisfies Googles algorithm and the user that is using your site as a source of information. Side note: Content marketing (using content to help your website get found more online through helpful content) is one of the fastest ways to grow your business and scale. The more good content you can produce for people searching for information surrounding products and services like yours (without trying to sell) is very productive and helpful to your business but most companies don’t know how to do this yet. So, starting now will give you a leg up.
User Experience Analysis
User experience analysis is looking at the overall experience users are having when visiting your website. Using [Google analytics] to find out things like how long people are staying on your website for and what they are clicking on when visiting pages can give you key insights as to what changes need to be made to help your visitors find what they are looking for faster. This increases the speed that you’re able to build a relationship with your website visitors. This benefits you and your company in a variety of ways.
Link analysis requires a bit more of a technical explanation. To put it simply, this is the process of going through your website and checking to make sure that every link click on your website leads to the proper page. This could be a link to another one of your web pages or another websites page if you are linking to a different website as a source of information to help confirm something mentioned on your website.
Citation analysis is making sure that everywhere people go on the internet, there is no conflicting information about how to reach you or your website. This process involves making sure that your company address, phone number, website and other sources of information is all aligned and directing people down the correct pathway to find you or connect with you.
Here is a recap of what you can expect SEO to do for your business.
Overall, the SEO process is of huge benefit to any business looking to increase consistent quality leads and demand for its products or services. This is what you can expect to get from SEO along with many other intangible benefits.
- Increased lead quality
- Increased lead quantity
- Increase in lead consistency
- Increase in brand trust and customer loyalty
- Brand equity
So, if you are wondering if SEO is important and if it can help your business. The answer is an astounding and absolute yes.
I hope you take the time to improve your SEO so you are better able to serve your clients and take pride in showing up in the top search results for your services.
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