The first organic result on a google search results page captures around 33% of result site clicks.
With this in mind, if your website isn’t making an appearance at the top of the SERPs or even within the first page, the likelihood of customers finding your website is quite slim.
After spending valuable time and money developing a beautiful website design and valuable content, wouldn’t it be a shame if no one ever saw it? This very situation outlines why SEO is important for your website.
If you are tired of missing out on leads and spending hundreds of dollars on pay-per-click advertising, you need this valuable digital marketing technique. Ready to make a change? Follow along to discover why SEO is important and how you can start benefiting from the online marketing strategy today.
What Is SEO?
SEO or search engine optimization is an online marketing technique that works to improve your visibility by appealing to a search engine algorithm. This technique differs from pay-per-click advertising in the way that it generates more organic traffic.
With a paid ad, you’ll only receive the clicks from that ad as long as you are paying for them. With SEO, you’ll continue to see results without pouring money into each click.
The name of the game is to gain traction by becoming more favorable to Google. A search engine’s main objective is to present the best answer to users by choosing the most relevant resources and prioritizing them. Since the engine uses artificial intelligence, the only way it can depict which source is the most relevant is with a detailed algorithm.
When you practice SEO, you are tailoring your website to meet those algorithm requirements and in turn, earn a higher organic ranking.
How Does It Work?
Before you can understand how SEO works, you’ll need to know how the search engine functions. Google uses a three-step process to filter content and arrange search results. These steps are crawling, indexing, and ranking.
When content is released online, millions of little Google bots called spiders or crawlers set out to discover the content and ‘crawl’ it. The bots use links to navigate from page to page to find new content and evaluate quality. These bots gather information about the content and store it in the index.
The index is like a giant Google filing cabinet for any and all URLs. Based on the information that the bots gather, your content will be placed into categories that relate to search queries.
From here, Google will rank the content in each category to decide which URLs are the best. As you already know, this decision is made based on the algorithm and how well each piece of content fits the criteria.
Why SEO is Important
Let’s say you are a cafe owner and want to show up in the SERPs when people search for ‘fresh roasted coffee’. Of course, you’ve got competition for this keyword, so you write a blog post that includes the keyword throughout so that Google bots know what category to put you in.
Now you’ve landed in the correct category, but five of your competitors have included the same keyword AND other sites have linked to their page as a reliable source. Google now believes that their content is more valuable than yours and ranks them higher on the results page.
Of course, many factors will come into consideration when ranking your content, but this example gives you an idea of how easily things can change.
For this reason, it’s important to understand that your website is not a ‘set and forget’ platform. To climb the ranks and compete with other businesses, you’ll need to continually be generating SEO content and adjusting your approach as you grow.
So what happens if you don’t rank? Since online marketing is becoming one of the most important methods for growing your business, you’ll simply become stagnant or even fall behind due to your lack of leads.
Now that you know why you shouldn’t ignore SEO, it’s time to look at the ways that SEO can help you advance. Appearing higher on the search results page isn’t as superficial as winning the race, in fact, SEO can help you achieve the following.
- More relevant traffic
- Increased customer trust
- ‘Free’ advertising
- Increased perceived authority
- Better leads
- More sales and revenue
- Long term results
With benefits like this, it’s no wonder marketers believe SEO is perhaps the most valuable digital marketing strategy for online success.
SEO Best Practices
So how can you put SEO to work for your business and start seeing these benefits for yourself? To start, you’ll need to do a website overhaul with your SEO strategy in mind.
Of course, there are numerous factors to consider when developing your strategy. Here are some key points to get you started.
Google Business Management
If you haven’t yet, you’ll need to develop your Google My Business page and keep it current. This platform is incredibly important for your ranking and should be completed with your location, descriptions, and of course, your website links.
Not only should this be fully developed, but you’ll need to continually maintain it by updating information, including new links, and responding to comments and reviews.
Local vs National SEO
Establish your target by deciding whether you’ll be focusing on local SEO or national SEO. Both of these variants still use the same techniques and principles, however, the keywords and linking options you choose to incorporate will shift.
Local SEO emphasizes ranking for area-specific queries. This is ideal for small businesses or models that require local traffic to actually visit their location. As a bonus, focusing on local SEO significantly decreases the amount of competition you’ll have.
Following our example from earlier, this difference may take your target keyword from ‘fresh roasted coffee’ to ‘coffee in exampletown’.
Your keyword strategy can be the difference between a high ranking URL and an irrelevant article. To determine which keywords you should be targeting, you’ll need to do some research.
Compile a list of keywords that you feel are relevant to your business and pop them into Google. The results that come up are your competition for those phrases. Take note of the suggested queries at the bottom of the page to help brainstorm more relevant keywords.
Consider using keyword tools to help determine searchability and traffic for your keywords to get the best results from your choices.
You can even scope out your known competitor’s sites to see what keywords they are using and adopt the ones you feel are suited.
Internal & External Linking
As mentioned above, Google’s bots use links to jump from one URL to the next. This is just one vital reason to include links in your content.
The more links you have both internally and externally to a piece of content, the more ways Google will navigate to it. This will help ensure your content is crawled quickly and efficiently so that you can get onto those results pages.
Referencing your other posts or high authority pages will help associate your content with the high profile pages and generate a higher assumed value of your URL.
As you can imagine, it’ll be difficult to fit all of your keywords and links onto your main pages. This is why content marketing is so valuable to increasing SEO.
You’ll need to continually be producing new content such as blogs to increase the ways your customers can find you. Each blog will give you a chance to target more keywords, build links, and ultimately offer valuable information that draws your leads in.
Backlink Development & Citation Management
The links that lead to your content send messages to the algorithm about the value of your content. If several sources are leading to this page, Google assumes it must be a great resource and gives you a higher position.
Of course, these links don’t magically appear. You’ll need to build your backlinks by sharing your posts, building relationships with other sites, and of course, producing link-worthy content.
Citation management will help you determine where you are being mentioned or linked and develop more of these valuable touchpoints. Be cautious of the sites you are appearing on as associating with black-hat techniques will result in penalties.
Meta Data & Schema Data
Meta Data is the title, description, and tags that aren’t visible on your content but provide helpful information to search engines. These tags will impact your indexing and ranking, so be sure to take advantage of them to achieve the best result.
Include your keywords and valuable information to trigger proper placement and perceived value. Using schema data allows you to attach tags right to your HTML to increase the number of keywords each piece of content can rank for and boost visibility.
Similarly, schema data is structured data that is hidden away in the code of your website, but provides valuable information to Google and other search engines about your website and content. For example, you could implement FAQ schema to get your frequently asked questions to show up in the search engine results page, thus netting you more real estate on the first page of Google.
Google Algorithm Updates
The Google algorithm contains hundreds of guidelines from technical performance to click-through results that serve as ranking signals to determine your page’s position in search results. While we cannot possibly know every single guideline, Google does release valuable information each time they perform an update.
It’s incredibly important to stay on top of these updates and apply the new guidelines to both new and old content to stay current. This will ensure you suddenly drop in the results and can help gain traction over your competitors that haven’t yet made the changes.
The Importance of SEO
From being discovered by the right audience to increasing your conversions, there’s no denying that SEO is important for your business’s success. With a high ROI and proven results, there’s never been a better time to overhaul your online presence and advance your marketing with this technique.
The team here at Craft Iconic is equipped with years of SEO knowledge and experience. We offer a variety of online marketing solutions for your unique needs to ensure your business thrives.
Ready to accomplish a high rank and amazing results with your digital marketing campaign? Get in touch with us today to discover how we can elevate your SEO strategy and help earn you the rankings your business deserves.