Search Engine Optimization is the art and science of getting search engines to increase your rankings. Why? Because the first result on Google gets almost 20 times as much traffic as the fifth result, and 87% of Google users click on the top 5 results. Like any other form of marketing, the goal of SEO is simple: to put your company in front of prospective clients.
SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to build brand awareness and increase traffic to your online platforms. When you think about the power a simple Google search has over consumer perceptions, you can start to understand why SEO is such a commodity. Having your website appear at the top of the list in industry searches imparts the impression that you are a leading company in your field. Of course, that impression is easily shattered if your content isn’t up to par, but if leveraged properly the value gained from SEO is astronomical.
SEO is the set of methodologies used to move your page up in search engine rankings. Search engines employ ‘bots’; programs that trawl the Internet trying to find pages relevant to the search phrase that is entered. By catering to these bots, you can get your page recognized by that search engine and, if you are skilled enough, appear on the first page. Getting on the first page will put you in front of the maximum number of people looking for that keyword.
Understanding why you need to get to the top of a Google search, or to the top of any other search engine, is critical to successfully integrating SEO into your website. To sell your products you need to get in front of the right people, and as 97% of all purchases begin online, you need to make sure you have a viable online presence. But simply ‘getting to the top of Google’ is not enough. You need to make sure that you monopolize the relevant keywords. For example, if you are an organic tomato seed company you want to be in front of gardeners and organic farmers, not those looking for tomato plants, tomato canes or tomato canners. Researching the right keywords for your company is critical to getting noticed by Google. If you appear on the first page in front of the intended audience, they will likely click through to your site before any others, and if your content is strong enough to hold their interest they will turn into leads.
Evaluate your website in terms of your SEO strategy. Does your website sound like this?
• Our company does not show up well in a Google search for the services and/or products we offer
• The company could show up better in a Google search – i.e. we need better/more effective SEO
SEO is a powerful tool that can put you miles ahead of your competitors if implemented correctly. Every company needs SEO; how can we help yours?
Google ranks your page using a long list of criteria that is very complex, but it can be surmised in to two categories. Google looks at internal content and external links. Internal content is the text you have on your site, including the structure, naming and copy that is uploaded. The bots crawl the website looking for certain criteria and base their rankings on that. External links are created when another website puts up a link to your page, or it is shared by other media. The bots recognize the link and assumes that the content you have is important, and desirable enough, that it has been posted by another website. The more popular the site is that puts up your link, the more the bots rank your website for the link.
Google receives about 90% of all search engine inquires so it’s easy to concentrate your efforts around them. There are other engines, such as Bing and Yahoo, and if you have the resources it is a good idea to concentrate some of them on those search engines, but remember the balance of power. 9 out of every 10 inquiries are on Google, so 9 out of every 10 SEO hours needs to be spent working on Google. Successful SEO takes a lot of consistent time and effort so use it where it is most effective. Don’t be tempted to spread your efforts too thinly over a larger range of search engines, it is better to be master of one than servant of three.
If you have a website, then you need SEO. By researching how much traffic different keywords in your industry receive, you can decide how much SEO your company website needs. If the traffic or competition is low, then basic SEO may be all that is necessary. An SEO campaign needs a large investment of time and resources so make sure you put in the appropriate amount to get the biggest ROI. If there is a large amount of traffic or competition for your industry specific keywords, you will not be able to make an impression without using advanced SEO. By being in front of the right people at the beginning of their search for the products and services they need, you increase the amount of leads into your sales funnel, which increases sales. Every website needs SEO, it’s just a matter of degree.
Finding two SEO projects that look the same is nigh on impossible. Each company has a unique value proposition within their industry and SEO reflects that. Common deliverables we offer as part of our SEO service include:
• Keyword Research and Optimization
• Site Analysis
• Website Edits
• Re-coding of Websites
• Page Speed Optimization
• SEO Module Integration
• SEO Planning
• Basic SEO Packages
• Advanced SEO Packages
All the content uploaded to your site needs to be relevant to your industry and its keywords. Along with the keywords the SEO bots will look for related words in your text so the more relevant content you have, the more value your site has. Your content must be created and managed with a SEO focus, but also with the art of making it engaging so that it is read and shared. The more relevant content you have, the more sharing that happens, which raises your search rankings. Your blog, added text, and articles all need to be optimized so that the strength of your SEO increases with each share.
The most common method of tracking SEO page rankings is Google Webmaster Tools. Google tracks many different factors to decide where your page ranks in a search, but their metrics show you how many people visited your page, how many clicked through, and where you rank. If you rank number ten or under then you are on the front page and if you rank in the top three you are considered exceptional, but Google Webmaster only tracks the last three months of activity. We use a more sophisticated tracking program that tracks the performance of your page indefinitely and allows you to compare yourself to other pages. This means that you can evaluate the performance of your page and make the adjustments necessary to move up the rankings, and then track your progress.
Basic SEO can be implemented as a site is being developed and can be completed quickly. The research to find out which keywords are the most important to your website will take longer than implementing basic SEO, and this is the most important stage. When you have found the keywords you want to concentrate on, the optimization process can begin. It may take some time for the effects of Advanced SEO to manifest, especially if you are in a competitive industry. Successful SEO is only achieved by consistent and intensive application. You must constantly add keywords to your website and social media, evaluating your position in the rankings and which keywords are most profitable. This takes a large amount of resources to achieve, but you have to be patient and wait for the results to come in, which takes time. For the advanced SEO to really take effect and have a chance of hitting the first page of results, you will need to wait at least twelve months for the bots to evaluate your website and rank it high enough to be their premium recommendation.
Yes, most definitely. People pay to be at the top of the first page on Google, which you can see if you search any phrase on a search engine. The search engine will bring up two types of results, paid results and organic results. In general, people have become immune to these paid ads at the very top of the page and move on to the organic searches below. These web pages are the ones that get on the front page of the search without paying for it. If you are on the front page organically, the value of your real estate is worth what the others are paying for the same position.
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