Hi there and welcome back to Sellpore Systems. In this article I’d like to discuss what is SEO and how SEO helps your website. I would like to also talk about why it’s so important to have an SEO strategy and how SEO works for business.
For those of you who are new to the wonderful world of SEO, we’ll start with the basics and then get into the meat of the topic. I hope you enjoy the article and with that said, let’s get started.
What is SEO?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is all about strategies and tactics that we can use to rank our pages higher on a search engine.
The most important thing to know is that Google and other search engines understand words. A search engine has a hard time understanding images. Why do say that? Well, it’s common for designs to build a website that has great design but is content thin.
Thin content is a phrase that means that there are not enough words on the page for it to rank with a search engine. So we have two problems here. Search engines understand words and search engines cannot rank thin content.
We can then conclude that we need to produce high quality content that is relevant to the topic on the page. When we say high quality content we need to do a good job of explaining the topic of the page with the right words.
Why do I need SEO for my website?
The practice of SEO is to rank your pages on Google and other search engines. If you do a good job with your SEO, then your pages will have a higher ranking.
Can you remember the last time you performed a search query on Google, did you bother to go beyond the first page? If you did go beyond the first page, then how many pages deep did you go to find your answer?
Google does such a good job at answering search queries, it’s often not necessary to go beyond the first page. Now consider your website, if your pages are not ranking, then how will you get traffic to your site? You can use social media, that’s fine, but wouldn’t it be great if your site brought in customers as well?
How do Companies Use SEO?
As a company you want to attract as many customers as you can manage. Companies use SEO as part of their marketing strategy to attract more people to their site. Building brand recognition means your business needs to be seen as often as possible.
In a marketing study it was concluded that your brand needs 32 touch points before a consumer will consider purchasing from you. This means that your brand needs to be everywhere. It needs to be found on Google, on Social Media, in Newpapers, Bill boards, etc. Budget permitting of course.
The neat thing about SEO, is that if you do a good job and your pages rank well, then you’re getting organic traffic. Organic Traffic is free and that means that once a page is optimized, it keeps on attracting people. Did you know that organic traffic attracts more leads over the long run than any other media?
Why is SEO Important?
With the levels of competition we face today, marketing is more important than ever. We need to consider SEO as a vital part of our marketing efforts to attract more leads and increase our brand awareness.
If you consider that people look to a search engine to find solutions to their problems, then SEO is clearly vital. Having a website selling products and services, without SEO you’re going no where. So SEO become important to attract free organic traffic to you website.
It has been established that as much as 65% of users are more likely to click on one of the top 5 search engine suggestions. So the higher you rank the more likely you’ll get organic traffic and if you achieve a top 5 ranking, then you’re good to go. This is how SEO can help your website.
SEO is great for brand positioning and can help you get ahead of the competition. If you’re competing with another site selling the same products, the site with the best SEO will rank higher. Guess who is more likely to make sales?
The Top Benefits of SEO for Your Business
As an SEO agency we know the results of a good SEO strategy and how much business it brings in. However, we find people are often confused about the subject.
It’s really not as difficult as it may seem, but it does require a little engineering to implement. Understanding is the key, so that you don’t get fooled by people who try to pull a fast one on you. Here are some key features you’ll gain from your SEO marketing efforts.
1. SEO Establishes Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is all about how familiar your customers are with your brand. The more people are aware of your business, the more they’re likely to interact and purchase your products. In fact brand awareness is so important that it’s key to your success in the market.
SEO ensures that your products are easily found in user search queries. The more pages you have ranking high on Google serps, the more people will interact with your brand. The more traffic you’re able to generate to you’re site, the more brand awareness you create and so on.
Also the higher your pages rank, the more credibility you get as a top player in your industry. You’re more likely to have a higher click through rate and this leads to more sales.
Poor ranking on the other hand, may lead to less desirable effects in the market place. Your brand may be considered weak, or that you have a low marketing budget. If you’re not ranking at all, then you’re losing massive amounts of organic traffic that could have resulted in more sales.
2. Gaining Market Share
What could be more important to your business than gaining a larger market share. Higher ranking on Google serps, means that it’s easy for your brand to be found online.
Visitors clicking through to your website are potential leads. If they continue to come across your brand online, they’re more likely to become a customer in time.
The interesting thing about organic visitors is that most of the time they intend to buy. They may be doing market research to try and get the best deal. If they keep coming across your brand, then the chances are they’ll develop a trust in your business. As we mentioned before the 32 touch points leads to trust. Chances are they’ll buy products from you.
3. Growing Your Business
As we all know we need to market our brand in order to grow our business. The digital landscape is now so large and with so many users, that it simply cannot be ignored.
Many people focus only on Social Media, which makes up about 23% of a marketing strategy. Did you know that on average SEO makes up as much as 14% of a marketing strategy with a closing rate of 15%? Also consider that Content Marketing makes up an additional 13% of market spend. Add that to SEO and you’re making up as much as 27% of the average strategy. So all in all, digital marketing should take up at least 50% of your overall marketing strategy.
That’s quite a massive chunk, but consider how effective digital marketing is. The massive numbers of people spending a good portion of their time online, this is ripe market to help you grow your business.
4. Higher Closing Rates
As mentioned above the average close rate from SEO is as high as 15%. Compare that to about 1.7% close rate coming from outbound leads such as email marketing and you can see the value of SEO.
SEO allows your customers to research your brand, your products and your services. This results in higher conversions on your website. People who research products or services directly on a search engine are in the final phases of their buying decision. This directly correlates to the higher conversion rates.
5. Primary Source of Leads
Inbound marketing strategies are an effective source of leads. Inbound activities include Social Media, SEO, Content Marketing and referrals. If you’ve done a good job on all the above, then you’ll be obtaining leads regularly. Unless of course your product is less in demand, in which case you might want to revisit what you offer.
6. Cost Management
According to the Search Engine Journal inbound leads actually lowers you cost per lead by as much as 61%. This means that SEO is a cost saving form of marketing. If you can achieve a first page ranking, you don’t need to purchase PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising.
Activities such as SEO, Social Media, Blogging all have very low to zero cost involved. Compared to advertising, you’ll be saving a lot of your marketing budget to put towards other media.
7. Long Term Marketing Strategy
SEO should be viewed as a long term strategy. It takes several months to start ranking with a search engine, once SEO has been implemented. The better your SEO skills combined with your content marketing, the higher you’ll rank.
The same is true when it comes to losing your ranking. In order to lose your ranking your competitors have to put in the same efforts as you have. The they still have to wait for their results.
So if you look at SEO as a long term marketing solution, you should be add and updating content all the time. Also keep in mind that it’s easier to maintain your position than it is to reach that position in the first place.
This strategy will make it difficult to out rank your pages. As long as you’re ranking quite high in the serps, you can expect decent traffic and a good conversion rate for quite some time.
8. Use SEO to Gain Social Media Followers
As you gain more traffic to your pages, you can take advantage of social media plugins to gain more social followers. You can use the social plugins on each post to allow your visitor to share your content.
As more and more content is shared so your brand begins to grow and will gain even more traction. This kind of engagement triggers search engines to give more weight to your pages. So the cycle continues and your business grows.
9. Leads to a Better User Experience
By implementing all aspects of SEO, you’ll naturally begin to improve your user experience (UX). More thought will go into the structure of your site. Images and scripts get optimized and page speeds improve.
The quality of your content improves as you begin to focus around specific topics. All this leads to a better user experience. This leads to greater gains and more sales. It’s a cumulative effect that eventually takes on a life of it’s own. That’s how SEO helps your business.
Where Else Can SEO Help Your Website?
SEO is a huge topic and in this article we’re just touching on a couple of areas just to get your teeth wet. To have a complete understanding of SEO is practically impossible as it is ever changing.
SEO has a hand in practically everything that is digital. In fact, every time you upload anything that may influence your business, you need to consider SEO.
If you’re starting a series of Youtube Videos, think SEO. If you’re considering creating a Facebook Page, LinkedIn Page, you need to think about SEO. If you’re starting a content blog on tumblr, SEO is your guy.
The reason why SEO is so extremely important is because it always ties back to your website. Your website is your digital representation of your physical Business. You want more business, you need more exposure. To get more exposure, you need to be everywhere. If it doesn’t tie back to one location, your website, then it’s just wasted efforts. This is why SEO is important for your online success.
SEO on Images
Here’s a little secret that might get you a slight edge over you competition. Image Optimization is about a number of factors that can increase your on page SEO. Most local designers ignore optimizing their images, but here’s how it can help you.
Now, images have a nasty way of slowing down your website. That’s because many designers don’t take this issue into account. WordPress has a wonderful way of displaying your images to look good on the page. But that doesn’t reduce the size of the image.
If your site is taking a long time to load, look at reducing the images to the correct sizes. There’s also a way to compress the images. Image compression won’t normally destroy the quality of the image because of the display resolution on a website.
Where this really helps is with user experience (UX). The faster the site loads the less your bounce rate will be. So something as simple as this can hurt your ranking.
The other thing that people forget to do is to name the image in simple language and to give the image alt attribute. Alt Attributes are what search engines pick up from an image to try to understand the topic of a page. It’s a ranking factor with Google. So you’re losing page rank just by ignoring this useful bit of content.
Local SEO – Google My Business
Google has created an awesome opportunity for businesses to market themselves locally. It’s Called “Google My Business” or “GMB” for short.
Google My Business is a free marketing tool that local businesses can take advantage of to manage an online presence. You can use this tool to verify your local business. You can also edit and update your contact information, but it’s also a handy tool to help find your business.
Other Local SEO – Online Business Directories
Online Business Directories are a great place to get additional citations. It’s a good idea to find as many business directories as you can and list you business on them. Also remember the Acronym “NAP”.
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. Try to have your business listed on as many directories as possible and try to make sure your “NAP” is consistent. Also remember this information should also appear on Google My Business as well as your website.
How To Get Started with SEO
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics and the reasons behind using SEO, let’s delve a little deeper. It’s all very well knowing the what is and the why but now we want start our planning phase. Here’s a few tips to get started.
1. Defining Your Digital Marketing Goals
Before getting started on digital marketing, it’s always best to figure out what you intend to achieve. Now it’s great to want to rank higher with Google, but what are you ranking for?
If your business is about selling computers, do you want to discuss how to repair a screen? Or should you rather create an article on the latest Asus laptop? If you offered repair services, perhaps both would be a good choice. However, if you sell computers and have nothing to do with repairs, then it might not be such a good choice.
So a good start would be to focus your content on articles around the topic that your site is about. You also should consider whether you want to rank locally or internationally.
As a local business you might want to consider ranking locally. However, if you’re creating a blog that you’d like to monetize, then international is the better choice.
Are you seeking to attract more qualified leads? How do you define “qualified”? Is SEO going to meet financial goals? Setting you goals at this stage will help you assess your strategy later.
2. Consider Your Keywords and Keyword Phrases
Every keyword and keyword phrase has a competitive rating attached to it. Take the word health for instance, you’ll have a hard time competing for this keyword. However, let’s say you use a keyword phrase such as “Your Health Begins at Home,” may be a little easier to rank.
This is how SEO works. Alternatively, you could build up several articles discussing a keyword phrase. and work your way to your targeted keywords.
You also need to know what keywords complement your main keyword, these are known as keyword variations. Then there’s LSI keywords as well. These are words that are naturally used around the main keyword or the topic of the article. So doing your research around each topic is very handy in order to rank your pages.
Another thing to consider, are the queries your audience is typing into Google about the topic. If you type in a keyword on Google, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page, you’ll get a little insight into this. Google will display 8 common search queries around the topic. You can use these queries successfully in your page titles to help rank your pages.
3. How Will You Measure Your Success?
Know how to measure your success will tell you whether or not your SEO strategy is working. You’ll need to work out what factors make up your success. Is it the number of clicks? Is a social like or share a factor? Or is it actual sales? Either way you’ll need to maintain some reports to keep track of your success. There are also analysis tools that can help you assess your strategy for even more success. Two of the best tools is Google Search Console and Google Analytics. With these two tools you can track practically everything that happens on your site.
4. Build a Great Team
Digital Marketing as a whole is quite big. Creating articles, finding the right keywords, doing the website SEO, the graphics, Social Media. Then you still need to focus on your business. It’s too much for a single person or a small business. You may need to employ someone to take care of these seo services for you. Or maybe someone dedicated to your entire digital marketing as it can be quite time consuming. Especially the monitoring and maintenance side of SEO.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read through this article and I hope that I have made good use of your time. As you can see SEO is fundamental to the success of your business. There are so many ways to improve your SEO, but the take away in this article is more about awareness.
The more you do in terms of optimizing your website, the more rewards you’ll get in the long term. Remember SEO is a long game, kind of like Marketing. Often the biggest reward come from playing the long game.
In any case, thanks again. If you find yourself thinking that you would like me to take care of these things for you, please feel free to contact me. I’ll be happy to help you.
Have a great week and stay safe.