Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a phrase you’ve probably heard repeated countless times when talking about managing your business’s online presence. SEO, in simplest terms, is the process of improving the quality and quantity of traffic to a website or web page from a search engine. Because of the ubiquity and ease of access to search engines like Google, SEO is often the primary source of digital traffic for many businesses. With trillions of searches happening on search engines every year, it’s imperative that your business improve its Search Engine Optimization.
Why is SEO Important?
Despite the term ‘Search Engine Optimization', SEO is about search engines and people. Understanding what people are searching for online, the words they’re using and what type of content or answers they’re looking for are all vital parts of SEO. People trust search engines, and ranking at the top of a results page can signal to potential customers that your site is credible and your business is trustworthy. If your website doesn’t appear in the search results of a potential customer, you’re putting your business at a huge disadvantage and possibly losing potential customers. That’s why it’s never been more important to have an SEO strategy for your website.
How Do Search Engines Work?
The far majority of website traffic is generated through search engine queries. Every time you enter a search through Google, Bing, DuckDuck Go, or any other search engine, SEO comes into play. The search engine sends out “crawlers” that scour the internet for content, looking for webpages, websites, images, videos, PDFs, etc. that are relevant to the search query you entered. The search engine then “indexes” this content – storing it in a huge database of all the content that they deem would be a good fit to show you. Finally, the search engine combs through the index to find highly relevant content and then orders it in a process called “ranking”. This ranking is displayed to you on the final results page, and results are ranked in order of most relevant to least relevant.
It’s also important to know that not all search engines are created equal. A page that ranks highly in a Google search query, might not rank as highly on other search engines when the same search query is entered. However, 90% of all web searches happen on Google and their related platforms like Google Maps, Images, and YouTube. You heard that right – 90% of all web searches happen on Google. To put that in perspective, Google’s search volume is almost 20 times larger than Bing and Yahoo combined.
What Other Metrics Factor into SEO?
Thanks to modern data tracking tools provided by companies like Google, you can track a variety of different metrics that give you a clearer understanding of how people find your website, how long they spend on it, and what they’re doing. Generally, the most important metrics you should pay attention to are:
· Organic Traffic – people who find your website by entering a search query without you paying for a placement
· Bounce Rate – tells you how many people left your website after viewing only one page
· Exit Pages – these are the last pages that people visit before leaving your site, giving you insight into what’s causing users to leave your site.
· Keywords – these are words or phrases in the content of your website that make it possible for users to find you via search engines.
There are dozens of different metrics that play an important part in your SEO strategy, but these four are some of the most potent and informative.
What Can SEO Do For My Business?
As a business owner, your end goal is to stand out from your competition and increase your customer base. A properly optimized website does just that! Building a user-friendly website that’s faster, smoother, and well-structured will encourage potential customers to stay on your website longer, leading them to interact with more of your website’s content. An optimized website will also make it easier for a search engine to find, crawl, index, and rank your website when a user makes a search query. That’s why your site needs to be organized and accessible, as this will nab you a better search ranking on a results page. All of these factors play an important role in Search Engine Optimization and will give you the edge you need to expand your customer base.
SEO is Smart Business
Now more than ever, consumers are using search engines to research your business before visiting your store and making a purchase. Adopting a rock-solid SEO strategy is smart business; plain and simple. If your website isn’t optimized for search engines, it might be time to make those long-overdue updates to your site’s content.
If you need help with your website’s SEO, PriMedia has developed practical SEO strategies for countless businesses in a variety of industries. Level up your SEO today and give us a call!