If you work in the field of digital marketing, you’ve most likely heard of SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a branch of digital marketing designed to increase your ranking on search engines by adhering to search engine ranking algorithms and by making overall improvements to your website.
Here, we’re taking a closer look at SEO to understand just why every digital marketing campaign should incorporate these strategies and tools. We also review a few ways that you can optimize your site to improve your search engine ranking and reach more potential customers than ever before. Google and other search engines exist so that they can match users with the most relevant and useful information and services. With SEO, you can transform your website into one that Google absolutely loves.
WHAT IS SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to a set of strategies and tools designed to boost the ranking—and thus online visibility—of your website. When Google and other search engines rank websites following a search query, they use certain metrics and variables to determine which sites are relevant and useful for the user. SEO works to tap into these metrics and unveil the hidden algorithm that Google uses to rank sites. By understanding the history and data behind SEO rankings, you can improve your own site ranking and reach more web users.
But SEO isn’t just one thing. Search engine algorithms are notoriously complex. Even better, they’re constantly changing as Google makes thousands of algorithm updates every single year. While most of these changes are minor, they still affect how your site ranks. This, in part, is why working with an experienced SEO firm can prove pivotal. Since Google’s algorithms are always changing, you’ll need consistent focus and work to keep ahead of the changes and keep your page ranking well.
WHAT IS A SERP?
Wading through the vast amount of information on the internet is no easy task. Thankfully, however, we have search engines like Google and Bing to do most of the work for us. When you type in a search query, Google runs through countless websites to assess which ones will be most relevant for your unique search. To do so, they use a complex (and constantly changing) algorithm to rank the content and then present it on a search engine results page (SERP). Ranking high on SERPs is the bread and butter of SEO.
WHY DO I NEED TO OPTIMIZE FOR SEO?
Think about real estate. In the day of brick-and-mortar stores, real estate was imperative to land you customers and foot traffic. As the old adage goes, it’s all about location, location, location, right? Well, in the age of digital marketing and eCommerce, it’s really not that different. The major difference now is that real estate looks much different. Instead of setting up shop on Main Street, online stores are looking to land on SERPs.
In the digital world, there’s truly no real estate more valuable than page one of Google’s SERP. Few web users will ever even journey beyond the first page of results when looking for a product or service. In fact, according to a recent report, roughly 75 percent of all clicks land on the first page of Google, meaning the lion’s share of all web traffic will go to these top 10 ranking websites. Aside from paid advertisements (like pay-per-click advertising), effective SEO is the best way to land your site on page one.
However, with only ten pages landing on the first page for each search query, it’s no easy feat to make it to the top of this mountain. This is where SEO optimization comes into play. With countless websites striving to reach the top spot in Google’s SERP, you’ll need SEO expertise, data, and a clear strategy to ensure your site ranks well.
As previously mentioned, SEO is different from paid advertising. While pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is effective at driving immediate traffic to your site, it can be costly and is really only valuable for the lifetime of that advertising campaign. Once you stop paying for it, that traffic-generating ad simply disappears.
SEO, on the other hand, drives organic (free) traffic to your website based on its SERP positioning. While SEO isn’t necessarily free itself (especially if you hire an SEO expert) it is far more cost-effective and a better strategy to achieve long-term success online.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE FOR SEO
The best way to optimize your site for SEO is to work with a team of SEO experts. These professionals can help you assess your goals, determine key metrics, and implement changes to your site (both on-page and off-page) that will improve how your website ranks on SERPs like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Here are some of the key strategies to optimize your site for SEO:
- Perform keyword research.
- Publish high-quality content (on a consistent basis).
- Improve page speed.
- Make your website mobile-friendly.
- Build backlinks (with other authoritative sites).
- Optimize meta descriptions and title tags.
- Fix broken links, images, and videos.
- Improve site security (especially for eCommerce sites).
- Leverage social media into your SEO plan.
CONCLUSION – WHY DO I NEED TO OPTIMIZE FOR SEO?
If you’re looking to drive more organic traffic to your website, you need to make SEO a core piece of your digital marketing strategy. SEO can align your website with what search engine algorithms are looking for in a “quality” website and help you reach ever closer to landing on Google’s page one. Of all the digital real estate available, this is definitely the place you want your website to be.
SEO is all about increasing the visibility of your website, which will drive traffic and conversions to your page. While hiring an SEO expert to optimize your site is the most effective way to achieve SEO success, there are many ways that you can improve your site to align with search engine algorithms.
Producing consistent and high-quality content, optimizing images and videos, using the right keywords, and improving site security and page speed will all enhance your website and increase your chance of landing at the top of the SEO ladder.