SEO is a process of optimizing the content and structure to enhance your ranking on search engines. It's a long term strategy that will be beneficial in building an online presence, but it can also help you reach out to more customers if done right!
The goal of this post is to explain what SEO really means, as well as provide some tips and tricks along with links to resources where I've found them useful.
SEO Affects Google Ranking
When people type into their internet browsers information they are looking for, they use keywords or key words to find websites related to those topics. If someone enters "best pizza delivery" into google, they are going to see results from various companies like Dominoes Pizza, Papa Johns or other popular pizzerias. These businesses have optimized their website so that when people enter these terms into their browser, they show up at the top of the page. They do this by using different methods which include:
1) Keyword Research - This involves finding new ways to optimize pages based off of searches you know users might make. Often times there are tools available such as free keyword research software to assist you in doing this.
2) On-Site Optimization - Once you have identified keywords you want to target, you need to actually change things about your site, to better reflect how relevant they are to each specific keyword. For example, if you sell clothes, changing the way you write text could affect whether a customer buys anything or not.
3) Off-site Optimization - The final step is getting traffic to your site through social media posts, press releases, etc. However, once again this requires optimization because you don't want to waste time posting something irrelevant to your business.
How Can SEO Help My Website?
There has been much debate over the years of exactly why Search Engine Optimization works. One thing we can all agree on though is that having high rankings for certain phrases increases our visibility and allows us to get noticed faster than competitors who aren't ranked highly enough. But just because your site ranks higher doesn't mean you'll automatically gain more visitors; only that you're visible in front of potential customers. That said, here are three reasons why you should consider investing in SEO:
1) Increased Traffic & Conversions – Having good rankings takes a lot of work. Some sites take months before showing any real improvement. When this happens, however, many webmasters start receiving increased amounts of organic traffic, sometimes even exceeding the amount they receive through ads alone. While this may seem counterintuitive initially, think about it for a second... would you rather spend money advertising yourself, or spending less time trying to convince potential customers to buy from you without paying first? In both cases, you still have to pay upfront costs for marketing, but in one case, you generate revenue while the other does not. Because SEO generates sales organically, most experts recommend focusing on improving your overall conversion rate instead of simply increasing the number of visits.
2) Better Customer Retention Rates – A study conducted by HubSpot showed that nearly 70% of consumers prefer shopping locally after learning about a local company via word of mouth or searching on the web. As a result, local businesses must invest in digital strategies including SEO to stay competitive.
Local search will continue to be important as people increasingly use smartphones when looking up products and services online," says Jeff Bullas, Director at Digital Marketing Solution Company, WebJunction. "We expect Google's recent announcement regarding mobile search results to increase competition amongst brands." According to a report published by eMarketer last year, 77 percent of U.S. adults used their smartphone in 2012, with an estimated 78 million Americans using their devices to check out local retailers in 2013. With so many shoppers heading straight to their cell phones to find what they're looking for, now is the perfect time for small businesses to implement effective internet marketing tactics like SEO.
3) Higher Ranking More Revenue – Regardless of where you fall within the spectrum of competitiveness, ranking well for key terms means being seen earlier and thus generating more leads. Many studies show that companies with top SERPs, typically reach $20 per click compared to those who rank lower who achieve around $8-$9 per visitor. Of course, these numbers vary greatly depending on the industry, budget, and size of the website itself. If you were able to double your average lead generation rates overnight by improving your ranking, wouldn't you do it?
What Does It Cost To Get Started?
There are 2 types of SEO - On-Page SEO, Off Page Optimization. And then there's Social Media which involves sharing information about your business socially. The cost depends on your needs. We can give you some general estimates if we know what you need done.
The cost can range from couple hundred dollars to thousand(s) of dollars depending on the needs.
What is On-Page SEO?
On page optimization includes all elements of your site. These factors play together to create user experience and determine how much traffic gets directed towards your website. Depending on its complexity & level of importance this process may take anywhere between 1 day to 6 months to complete.
This type of work requires expertise as well as patience. Most websites require content editing before publishing them. When writing articles make sure you include keywords in appropriate places. Also ensure that each article has unique content because duplicate copies attract penalty from google. There should be no keyword stuffing. Keyword research helps to identify relevant phrases that would help users discover your product/service easily.
Use long tail keywords whenever possible as they bring higher CTR than short ones. Make sure to keep track of all changes made to your pages over time. That way you'll always be aware of any mistakes you've previously made.
What is Off Page SEO?
Off page optimization refers to activities outside of your own domain such as link building, social media management, press release distribution etc. This is not related to search engine algorithms but rather other people’s opinions. It is important to note however that Google does value offsite links when determining rankings. They look at things like trustworthiness of sites and authority of domains linking back to yours. So while it doesn’t affect your rankings directly, it still plays a great role in getting visitors to your website. In addition to that, having good quality internal links pointing to high PR pages will also contribute positively to your overall reputation.
Social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest… These platforms have become increasingly popular, especially among young people. A recent survey found that almost 90% of teenagers use social networks. However, most online communities tend to go ignored once a new one comes along. As a result, many businesses fail to capitalize on this huge audience. But there are solutions! Today, we’re going to talk about three ways to improve your presence on social media.
1. Post Regularly – One thing that really matters is consistency. People want to see consistent updates every week or even daily. This shows commitment. Commitment often translates into better engagement. Engagement ultimately results in bigger audiences and greater chances of success.
2. Be Active - Once you’ve posted regularly, don't just leave it at that. Keep posting interesting stuff and interact with others - comments, likes, shares... The more active you get the stronger signals you send out to search engines.3. Optimize Content - If you're looking for an easy win, then optimizing your posts can give you some quick wins. Create catchy titles and descriptions that encourage sharing. Include images wherever possible. And finally, do proper keyword optimisation. All these steps combined will definitely lead to increased visibility and hopefully sales!
Press Release Distribution : Creating compelling news stories that get picked up by newspapers, magazines and blogs is essential if you want to reach potential clients. Press releases are usually written in plain English so anyone can understand what's being said without needing specialist knowledge. Using keywording correctly can increase their chance of reaching readers.
Guest Blogging : Guest blogging allows you to connect with influencers who share similar interests to your business whilst gaining valuable exposure for yourself. By participating in guest blogging, you build relationships with those bloggers which can prove beneficial later down the line. In return, you benefit from free publicity. Some top blogs publish around 20 pieces per month. To stand a chance of being published on such a blog, you need to write something very original. Do thorough research first to find relevant topics shared by your niche group. Then, craft your post carefully using the right language and formatting style.
Why Should I Care About Search Engine Optimization?
There are many reasons why having good SEO is important for any type of small or large-scale business.
First off - How Customers Find Me Online : In order to find my business, people need to know about me first before they even look at my site. This isn't always easy, especially when there are so many other businesses competing against each other. The best way to get noticed by potential clients is through marketing efforts such as advertising, networking events, print ads, social media campaigns, and word of mouth referrals from satisfied customers who have used our services. However, most of those methods require significant time commitment, money and effort. With SEO, we're able to make sure that anyone searching Google for "Web Design & Development" will see my website listed near the top because we optimize every page of our site for specific keywords. We do all of this without spending one dime on traditional advertising strategies.
Second - More Relevant Traffic: When someone searches Google, they want information quickly. They don't necessarily care how much traffic comes their way after clicking into a particular link. If a person types in something like "web design company", they'll probably click onto a few different sites before finding yours. What makes us unique among others is that once someone clicks into our site, we keep them within our site until they complete whatever task they were originally seeking. Our goal is not only to get them here, but bring them back again and again. As a result, we tend to gain higher rankings than average websites which just send visitors away immediately upon arriving.
Third - Higher Conversion Rates: One reason why people visit our site is because we offer high quality products and services at great prices. People aren't going to spend hours browsing around looking for deals, then leave and never come back. Instead, they're likely to check out several competitors' offerings while comparing pricing options. Since we focus heavily on getting new leads rather than existing ones, we can charge less per lead and still generate enough revenue to operate at profitability levels.
Finally - Better Return On Investment : Having said all of the above, let's take a step back and talk about ROI. It seems obvious, doesn't it? But unfortunately, many companies overpay for digital marketing services simply because they think it would increase visibility and sales. While that may be true to a certain extent, it rarely translates directly into increased profits. For example, if your current conversion rate is 10% and you double your conversions overnight, it might mean your profit has doubled too; however, unless you actually cut costs somewhere else, your bottom line hasn't gotten better. That's because doubling your conversion rates requires a lot more work and investment than making changes to improve your overall efficiency. Sure, a faster checkout process could potentially save you 3 seconds per transaction...but does it translate into actual dollars saved? And did you add value to your customer service department by streamlining processes?
SEO Builds Trust & Credibility
1) Low Intensity – A few blogs posts here or there for general awareness purposes. This type of activity usually only works when you have something unique to say that others don’t already cover. If you provide excellent information and stay away from spammy tactics, people tend to trust you just fine.
2) Medium Intensity – Blogging regularly for the sole purpose of building links. Although not recommended, sometimes this approach can work very effectively to build credibility quickly. Again, blogging should always serve an educational purpose. Don’t use this method to promote your link buying scheme!
3) High Intensity – Building a blog where most of the pages consist solely of one post and no additional content whatsoever. This strategy builds credibility extremely fast but also comes with its own set of problems. First off, if your primary goal is to buy links, why bother putting any effort at all into promoting yourself online? Secondly, since you are providing such poor value to visitors, you run the risk of becoming irrelevant before long. Once again, this isn’t recommended but if you absolutely must go down this route, try to diversify your topics so you don’t become redundant. Some good ways to do this would be to write about local news events, political issues, etc.
SEO Is A Long-Term Strategy
One final note; SEO is not a quick fix solution for immediate traffic growth. Although it does help establish brand authority over competitors, it typically doesn’t produce significant amounts of new leads overnight. It's important to remember that even after years of hard work and dedication, many companies still struggle to gain traction with organic search engines. So while we're talking about short term gains, let's make sure we know the difference between them too. Short Term Gains Quick Wins - These types of wins happen without having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars per month and they give us instant gratification.
With these kinds of wins, we feel like we've accomplished SOMETHING...even if it means nothing more than getting first page rankings for our businesses name. But unfortunately, those wins aren't likely to stick around forever. They may take a week or two to start showing up in web searches, but eventually the tide turns and Google starts penalizing sites for being 'spammy' which brings everything back down to earth again.
That's okay, however, because once we get back to normal levels of success, we'll be ready to jump right back into another round of short term wins. We call this kind of thing "reloading" our websites and it's actually quite common within the digital marketing community. Long Term Gains Sustainable Traffic - When referring to sustainable traffic, we mean that we enjoy steady increases in visits each month.