What is SEO and How Does It Work?
SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization. It is the process of converting your page to receive high-quality traffic from search engine results. Since Google owns most of the online traffic they will be referenced as the search engine provider. The changes that you make to your website are in hopes that it becomes more attractive to Google. Google likes to see pages that are relative, informative, and attractive to the end user. In return, Google will rank your page closer to page 1, the holy grail of digital marketing.
So how do you get on page 1 of Google? First, you must understand Google’s viewpoint and how they go about getting it. Google wants to deliver a great customer experience. They want all the traffic that runs through their search engine to find a definitive solution. This solution can be your product or service. So in order for Google to connect the consumer to your website they need to crawl your website and verify that your page fits the shoe, so to say.
The ins and outs of search engine optimization can be confusing and time-consuming. At times, It can take months to see the results of a good SEO strategy. Your biggest question should be what keywords or phrases do you want to rank your website for. For example, say you are a coffee shop on Sacramento. You import the finest beans from around the world. When customers go to your store they know they’re getting more than just a cup of Joe. They leave with an experience that has them coming back for more. The difference between your coffee shop and a McDonald’s drive-thru is astronomical, no comparison! Unfortunately, Google doesn’t recognize this. To Google, a search for coffee shops in Sacramento will show you results depending on the previously mentioned SEO factors, relevancy, information, & attractiveness. So you’re competing with coffee shops that have better SEO rather than better coffee. This is universal for any industry that is online.
A proactive approach to SEO will help you get ahead of the competition. It is necessary to look at what works in the eyes of Google since most SEO strategies take months before seeing results.
Google accounts for over 79% of all desktop search traffic, followed by Bing at 7.27%, Baidu at 6.55% and Yahoo at 5.06% (NetMarketShare, 2017)
If you’re looking to get the most traffic Google is the winner here. Adjust your content to favor in Google’s algorithm will give you the best results.
Google’s algorithm is monitored using Gооglе Sеаrсh Cоnѕоlе. This tool will give you the insights of people are searching for and how they found your page. With the analytics, you’ll be able to monitor the changes in how your page performs.
The first position on Google desktop search results has a 34.36% click-through rate. (Advanced Web Ranking, 2015)
It’s obvious if you are on page 1 you’ll get more clicks on your website. Making sure your page is optimized for the keywords that you want to be found for is paramount.
Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. (SearchEngineLand, 2017)
Finding the quickest and most convenient way to the question in the office room usually starts with a Google search. But in the marketplace, our customer’s unanswered questions can lead to new business.
The customer journey usually starts with research. Optimizing your page to have the best content, like informative and creative blog posts, will favor your page to get clicked on.
50% of search queries are 4+ words. (Wordsteam, 2016)
Take into consideration that your customer searches for exactly what they are looking for.
For example, if you’re a bakery in Sacramento. It would make sense to optimize your page to specifically what you offer at your bakery. Long-tail keywords like “Birthday Cake Bakery in Sacramento” will get you better results. Then if you just went with “Sacramento Bakery”. Which is still a good reference but having precision will make you stand out from the +100 other bakeries.
More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 counties including the U.S. and Japan. (Google, 2015)
We cannot deny the fact that our phone is tied to our hip and we would be lost without it. A lot of countries are following western trends, so you don’t want to be caught without a mobile-optimized page.
High-quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search. (SearchEngineLand, 2015)
Cream always rises to the top. Sure there were days when you could make an attempt of stuffing a page with 1000’s of keywords and expect people to find your page as trustworthy. The vail is lifting and if you’re going to compete in the marketplace you’ll have to match the quality that is out there.
The average 1st-page result on Google contains 1,890 words (Backlinko.com, 2016)
Along with quality comes quantity. If you know your product or service than share your ideas with the world. In the form of length blogs/articles.
Long-form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content. (Moz, 2015)
You don’t need a 2000-word blog post every time just make sure it’s packed with value. A good topic should be able to bring about 1000 words.
Facebook sends 82% of social media traffic to longer stories and 84% of social traffic to shorter news articles. (Pew Research Center, 2016)
The length of your content is relevant to the platform that you are posting on. Google rewards length and so does Facebook. The difference is that Facebook won’t send traffic to lengthy posts outside of the app.
Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. (Hubspot, 2015)
Like we mentioned before quality and length are important but to standout, one must continually produce numerous posts a month. Note this should be the least of your concern when starting off. Companies that have been in business for years have mastered quality work and have compounded streams of traffic by the initial work they put in when they first started.
Marketers see SEO as becoming more effective, with 82% reporting effectiveness is on the rise and 42% of this group stating effectiveness is increasing significantly. (Marketdive, 2016)
Digital mаrkеtіng is peaking and so are the methods that have lasted. Marketers understand that SEO is here to stay. Continue to adjust your marketing strategy too but keep SEO at the forefront.
Agencies understand that creating a long elaborate post must be specific to their reader’s interests. That means posting video, photo’s & words that resonate with them.
61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. (Hubspot, 2017)
Inbound marketing is defined as the pull tactics that accumulates your business’ online traffic to your business. Marketers understand that SEO is a long-term strategy generates the most traffic in digital marketing.
B2B researchers do 12 searches on average prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. (Google, 2014)
If you are offering your services to another business you would want to optimize your SEO for various keywords. The variations you use will give you a stronger chance of standing out from other similar businesses.
Google “near me” searches have increased by two times over the past year. (Google, 2016)
Your customer knows what they want and is willing to drive 20 minutes away if they can have it now.
If you have a storefront consider making all your profiles in sync with store hours, website, address, & phone number.
72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (Wordstream, 2015)
In the micro-moments of doing a search, the distance will always play a factor. Your local search optimization will be the only variable that you can control.
30% of mobile searches are related to a location. (Google, 2016)
This stat ties into #4 & #11, your customers are looking to solve their problem with a local solution. They would much rather go somewhere nearby.
Google images are searched more than all non-Google searches combined (SearchEngineLand, 2017)
Does your business offer a product or service that has aesthetics? If so, failing to optimize your images before uploading them could be detrimental to your business’ long-term strategy.
Consumers want to see something before buying it. So making sure meta tags, descriptors, & tags are optimized will make sure that they get indexed correctly by Google.
Over 85% of brand engagement by consumers is local (SearchEngineLand, 2017)
Consumers are sharing their experiences and thoughts about local businesses. They want to let their friends and family know about the new joint in town. Creating local awareness is a byproduct of local search.
Google has said that social media shares don’t count as individual links, but there most likely is a correlation here. (SearchEngineJournal, 2017)
SEO can be the backbone of your inbound marketing strategy but social media comes in around the corner. High-quality videos are rewarded above search results. Google recognizes the fluidity of content across the web. There might be a point when they do this for Facebook or Alexa search results.
Updating and republishing old blog posts with new content and images can increase organic traffic by as much as 111%. (Backlinko, 2016)
The original intent of a blog post is always with the reader in mind. Readers might have loved a post that you did last year but statistics, photos, & videos get outdated. Bring them back to life with a fresh new post
In 2018, the average firm is expected to allocate 41% of their marketing budget to online, and this rate is expected to grow to 45% by 2020. (WebStrategiesInc.com, 2017)
Traditional forms of marketing are not completely out the window but its hard to ignore the obvious: consumers are spending much more time on Netflix, Facebook, & Spotify. Businesses and agencies recognize this shift away from print, radio, & TV ads.
Research shows 40% of visitors will abandon websites if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. (KissMetrics)
To top things off 80% of those visitors won’t come back. Having a website with optimal loading pages is imperative in 2018. Google recognizes this drop in visitors and reprimands your page if this happens continually. Make sure things are running smoothly with the online tool Pingdom.
Over 45% of enterprise brands name content as their most pressing problem. (eMarketer, 2017)
Creating content doesn’t have to be so difficult. You can outsource some or all of your digital marketing to a creative agency. In terms of SEO, this could be the difference between a post that yields compounding views or just another post that gets ghosted with the rest of articles that don’t make it to page 1.
Voice search is expected to double in the next 5 years. (SearchEngineLand, 2017)
The most overlooked statistic on the list might be the most influential in the upcoming years. Voice devices or IOT Devices like Alexa Voice & Google Home are bringing in a lot of traffic for longer keywords
For example, you could ask Siri “What is the best sushi restaurant in Sacramento?” the results that show up for this search results will favor pages that are optimized with phrases like “best sushi restaurant in Sacramento”
One way to tackle this trend is by creating a Q & A page that lists the most commonly asked questions in your industry. Using tools like AnswerThePublic will give you an in-depth analysis relevant questions.
As long as Google has an iron grip on search results, everyone should play by their rules. In terms of digital marketing, SEO is the best option for long-term business results. SEO methods might change with time but quality optimization on your website should withstand as long as you maintain it.