SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website or webpage to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results. SEO techniques include things like keyword research, optimizing website content, and link building to steadily improve the relevance and authority of the website.
The goal of SEO is to increase the quantity and quality of organic traffic to a website.
Why is SEO Important and What Are The Benefits of SEO?
More than 90% of consumers find the products or services they are looking for online – and they use search engines to find them.
Improving SEO helps a website show up in front of potential customers or clients. Here are some of the reasons SEO is so important:
SEO increases your website traffic and improves the quality of that traffic. It’s also proven that leads generated through SEO convert easier. Good SEO will generate more leads and in turn more sales.
SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy because it targets users who are actively searching for products or services that you offer. Unlike paid ads, you do not pay for each visitor that comes to your website. Ranking at the top of your industry can however take some time and work.
Good SEO builds excellent credibility and trust. Most people who use search engines trust the results that search engines show them. About 80% of people who use Google never go past the first page of results. Websites that rank high on search engine results pages are perceived as being more credible and trustworthy. This can lead to increased brand awareness and credibility.
What Businesses Should Invest in SEO Services?
SEO can benefit any business that has a website, but it is definitely important for businesses that:
1. Sell products or services online.
SEO can help e-commerce businesses increase their visibility and as a result, drive more potential customers and targeted traffic to their website. This of course leads lead to more sales and revenue.
2. Have a local focus.
Have you ever searched for a “_______ near me?” Google uses location services to find these results. This is called local SEO. Local SEO helps businesses that serve a specific geographic area increase their visibility in search results for queries related to their location.
3. Have a lot of competition.
A good SEO strategy can help businesses that operate in highly competitive markets increase their visibility and outrank their competitors. If you are just starting a business or manage a small business with many larger competitors, there are ways to approach SEO so that you still show up over those “big companies.”
4. Have a limited budget for paid ads.
Paid ads are a great way to drive immediate traffic to your website, however, they can be costly. SEO can be a cost-effective way to increase visibility and traffic to a website because once you are ranking, you don’t have to pay for each visitor who comes to your site.
5. Want to build trust and credibility.
Users trust search engines and their results. A website that ranks well in search results is perceived as being more credible and trustworthy. This helps increase brand awareness and loyalty.
6. Want to improve user experience.
Optimizing a website also has to do with improving the overall user experience, which can lead to increased engagement and conversions.
Overall, SEO can benefit any online business that wants to increase its visibility and drive more targeted traffic to its website, regardless of the industry or niche.
What is “Organic” Traffic and Why Is It Important?
SEO increases the amount of organic traffic to your website. What is organic traffic and why is that important?
There are two ways to get visitors to a website. The first is through a search engine and the second is through paid ads or other promotional arrangements, such as affiliate marketing.
Later in this article, I compare SEO vs paid ads, but for now, let’s stick to SEO.
What is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic refers to visitors who arrive at your website through a search engine’s “organic” results. Organic traffic mean that visitors find your website through a search made on a search engine, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo, rather than through paid advertising or other promotional methods.
Organic traffic is considered to be very valuable to a website because it usually attracts visitors that are interested in your website and in turn, it typically converts at a higher rate than other types of traffic. Organic traffic is also important for SEO because it’s one of the main factors that search engines use to determine the relevance and authority of your website.
Why is Organic Traffic Important?
People value organic traffic more than traffic generated through paid ads because it is more likely to convert into leads or sales.
Additionally, organic traffic is more sustainable in the long run, whereas paid traffic can be expensive and stops the moment you stop paying for it.
But apart from a better conversion rate, organic traffic is also seen as a measure of the overall health and importance of a website.
A search engine’s job is to find the most valuable and relevant results for every search. When a search engine is scanning websites to decide which website to show in it’s results, a website with a high volume of organic traffic is often seen as more relevant than a website that relies heavily on paid advertising.
In summary, organic traffic is important in SEO because it is more likely to convert into leads or sales, it’s more sustainable and long-term, it’s a measure of the overall health and popularity of a website and it reflects how well a website is optimized and valuable for search engines
See if your company could benefit from SEO.
Some Real-Life Examples of SEO
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about SEO, I thought it would be good to highlight three real-life examples of good SEO:
Case 1: Software Company
Our first example of a company that improved its SEO is Moz. Moz is a software company that provides inbound marketing and, funny enough, helps companies improve their SEO. Moz entered into a pretty competitive market place but thanks to a number of SEO best practices, such as creating high-quality content, building backlinks, and optimizing their website for keywords, they were able to increase their organic search traffic by over 10x. This led to a significant increase in revenue for the company. Today Moz is one of the leading content management software and helps thousands of companies improve their SEO.
Case 2: Small E-Commerce Brand
Another example is a small e-commerce website that specializes in selling handmade soaps and other personal care products. They used SEO to increase their visibility in search engines for keywords related to their products. This led to a significant increase in organic traffic to their website and ultimately, more sales.
Case 3: A Local Restaurant
A third example is a local restaurant, they improved their SEO by creating a website, optimizing it for keywords related to their cuisine and location. They also improved their local SEO by creating a Google My Business listing. As a result, their website began to rank well in search results for queries related to the restaurant, and it led to more customers visiting the restaurant.
These are just a few examples, but there are many other companies and websites that have successfully improved their SEO, resulting in increased visibility, traffic, and revenue.
What’s Better, SEO or Paid Advertising?
Earlier in this article, I mentioned there are two ways to drive traffic to a website, paid ads and SEO.
Both SEO and paid ads can be effective methods for increasing visibility and driving traffic to a website, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.
SEO is a long-term strategy that focuses on improving a website’s visibility in organic search results. It can be a cost-effective way to drive targeted traffic to a website, as you don’t have to pay for each visitor who comes to your site. However, it can take time to see results and the ROI can be hard to measure.
Paid advertising, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, allows you to pay to have your website appear at the top of search results or on social media platforms. Paid ads is a great way to immediately drive targeted traffic to a website. Thanks to the ads tracking software, it’s also easy to measure the ROI. However, it’s usually expensive in the long run as you pay for each click.
So which one is better?
The answer to this question will depend on the kind of business, services, or products offered. Business model, budget, and long term goals also play a roal in deciding which one to focus on more; paid ads or SEO.
In many cases, a combination of both SEO and paid ads can be the most effective way to drive traffic and increase visibility for a website. Paid advertising can be used to drive immediate traffic to a website while SEO can be used to improve visibility and drive targeted traffic in the long run.
How Do Paid Ads Work?
I’ve talked a lot about SEO so I thought it would be good to briefly discuss how paid ads work.
Paid ads, also known as pay-per-click (PPC), allow a website to appear at the top of search engine results or on social media. They also allow an ad or website to appear on other websites that allow ads. You see ads almost every time you use the internet. On search engines, ads appear with an “AD” or “Sponsored” in front of the search results. On social media, they will show up as “sponsored” posts. And on websites that are part of the ad network, they will usually show up at the top or on the side of the website.
Have you ever searched for something online and then found you were being “followed” by ads and websites relating to what you searched? Those were paid ads.
More about how paid ads work:
Here is a general overview of how paid ads work:
1. The first step is to create an ads account. The two most popular ad accounts are Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
2. The next step is to set a budget. This will determine how much they are willing to spend on ads each day or over a certain period of time. You only pay for an ad when someone clicks on it. Ads will run for that day, week, or month until the budget is consumed.
3. Choosing keywords. Keywords are used by Google to decide who to show your ads to. To run ads, a business will need to choose keywords that they want their ads to appear for. These keywords will be used to determine when and where the ads will be shown.
4. Now the fun part, creating the ad. Creating an ad may seem daunting but Google and Facebook have made it very easy. Creating an ad includes writing the ad, choosing an image or video, and determining where the ads will be shown.
5. It’s time to launch! Once the ads are created, a business can launch them and start getting traffic to its website.
6. Monitor progress. This last step is probably the most important step. Once the ads are launched it is important to monitor and optimize them. Any businesses running ads will need to monitor the performance of their ads, analyze the data, and optimize them accordingly. This includes testing different ads or messages, trying different pictures or videos, experimenting with different keywords, trying to target the ads to a more specific audience, location adjustments, and adjusting the budget.
Paid ads can be an effective way to drive immediate traffic to a website and increase visibility, but it can be more expensive in the long run as you pay for each click. It also requires continuous monitoring and optimization to make sure the ads are reaching the right audience and getting the desired results.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are a critical part of online marketing.
A keyword is a word or phrase that is used to describe the content on a website or a specific page on a website. A keyword essentially sums up all the content on a webpage in a word or phrase.
Keywords are used by search engines to understand the topic and relevance of a website or webpage and to match it with the search queries of users.
When someone types a query into a search engine, the search engine will scan its index of websites and web pages to find the most relevant results. The search engine uses keywords to determine the relevance of a website or webpage to a query. The more relevant a website or webpage is to the query, the higher it will rank in the search engine results.
In SEO, we reverse engineer this by doing keyword research to find out what keywords people are searching for. SEO software also allows us to see how much people search for those keywords, how easy or difficult it is to rank for them, as well as other potential or related keywords. By optimizing a website for a specific keyword or phrase, the website or webpage is more likely to show up in results.
Keywords can be used in various elements of a website, including title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and content. When optimizing a website for search engines, it’s important to use keywords in these elements in a natural and relevant way, rather than stuffing them in unnaturally.
There are different types of keywords, such as short-tail keywords which are short and broad, and long-tail keywords which are longer and more specific. Keyword research is the process of identifying the most relevant and profitable keywords for a business or website. An example of a short-tail and long-tail keyword would be “hot dog” versus “authentic Chicago style hot dogs.” Using long-tail keywords to target your audience is a proven approach to SEO.
What is Keyword Research?
In order to determine which keywords to target, it’s important to do keyword research. So what is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of identifying and analyzing the keywords and phrases that people use when searching for products, services, or information online. The goal of keyword research is to understand the keywords that users search for that are most relevant to a business’s products or services.
Here is a general overview of how keyword research works:
Identifying the most obvious keywords
The first step in keyword research is to put together a list of the most basic or obvious keywords that are related to the business’s products or services. We call these “seed keywords”. Seed keywords can be based on the business’s products, services, or industry.
Using software to analyze the keywords
Once a list of the main keywords is generated, a keyword research tool can be used to analyze data such as search volume, competition, and suggested related keywords. SEO tools can show how much search volume certain keywords receive, how difficult it will be to show up for them, as well as related keywords and information about them.
Identifying long-tail keywords
As I described earlier in this article, long-tail keywords are more specific and longer phrases that are less competitive and more targeted. These are often easier to rank for and can drive more targeted traffic to a website.
Evaluating keyword relevance
Now that the main keywords and long-tail keywords have been listed, the next step is to evaluate the relevance of the keywords to the business’s products or services. This includes determining if the keyword is likely to convert into a sale or lead.
Organizing and prioritizing
The best approach to SEO is by focusing on a few specific keywords. This can be done by organizing the keywords that you’ve found into groups or themes and prioritizing the list, focusing on the keywords that are most relevant and have the highest search volume but that are not extremely hard to rank for.
Monitoring and optimizing
SEO software allows you to monitor the performance of a website for certain keywords. This also allows a business to optimize a website and its performance for keywords.
Keyword research is an important step in SEO and PPC campaigns, as it helps businesses to understand what people are searching for and identify the keywords that are most relevant to their products or services.
By targeting the right keywords, businesses can increase the visibility of their website and drive more targeted traffic to their site.
Here are some tools we recommend to do keyword research:
What is The Best Way to Optimize a Website for SEO?
Alright, I’ve talked a lot about SEO and it’s important. So what is the best way to optimize a website for SEO? How do you get a website ranking and showing up in search engine results?
There are many ways to optimize a website for SEO, but some of the most effective methods include:
1. Conducting keyword research and locating the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your business and optimizing your website’s content, meta tags, and URLs to include those keywords.
2. Creating high-quality content that uses those keywords. It is important to make the content informative, unique, and relevant to your target audience. This will help to attract traffic and backlinks and improve the relevance and authority of your website.
3. Optimizing your website meta tags. What are meta tags? Meta tags are snippets of text in your website’s code that describe a page’s content. To improve a website’s SEO it’s important to optimize the title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags on your website to include relevant keywords.
4. Building backlinks is probably one of the most critical elements of SEO. Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites that refer to your website. These are often websites or webpages that relate to or mention the keyword or phrase that you are trying to rank for. Gaining backlinks from other websites to yours are a great way to improve the authority and visibility of your website.
5. Another good way to improve your SEO is to optimize images and videos by using relevant file names and alt tags. Similar to meta tags, alt tags are text descriptions of a photo or video that exist in the code of your website.
6. Today, most websites are viewed through a mobile phone. Making your website mobile-friendly is also key. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive, as mobile optimization is becoming increasingly important for SEO.
7. Load speed is also an important factor. In fact, search engines will penalize a website’s relevance if it takes a long time to load. Improving website loading speed can help to improve the user experience and can also help to improve your website’s visibility in search results.
8. Creating a sitemap and submitting it to search engines. A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website, which helps search engines crawl your site more effectively. This can be done through a Google tool called Google Search Console.
9. The last step is to monitor and track your website’s performance. Use tools like Google Analytics to track your website’s performance, including your traffic, conversions, and search engine rankings. SEO tools such as Ahrefs and SEM Rush can provide a lot of valuable information that will help you gauge your website’s performance.
It’s important to keep in mind that SEO is a continuous process, and it’s important to regularly monitor and update your website to ensure it stays optimized and relevant. It’s also important to follow the guidelines and best practices of search engines to avoid penalties.
How Do Blogs Help SEO?
Yes, blogs and content help your SEO!
Blogging can be an effective way to improve your website’s SEO, as it can help to attract more visitors to your website and create opportunities for backlinks.
When you regularly publish high-quality, informative, and engaging blog posts, it can help to establish your website as an authority in your industry, which can improve your search engine rankings.
Additionally, when you include keywords relevant to your business in your blog posts, it can help to improve your website’s visibility for those keywords in search engine results.
Why is Link Building Important in SEO?
Backlinks are important in SEO because they indicate to search engines that other websites consider the content on your website to be valuable and relevant.
When a website includes a link to your website, it is essentially “vouching” for your content and indicating that it should be considered by search engines as part of their ranking algorithm. The more high-quality, relevant websites that link to your website, the more likely it is that your website will be considered authoritative and trustworthy by search engines, which can lead to higher search engine rankings.
How Do I Get Backlinks For My Website?
There are several ways to acquire backlinks for your website, including:
1. Creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content that other websites will want to link to.
2. Reaching out to other websites within your field and asking them to link to your content.
Writing a guest blogging on other websites, and linking some part of it back to your website.
3. Building relationships with other websites and businesses in your industry, which can lead to backlinks over time.
4. Participating in online communities, forums, and social media groups related to your industry, and including a link to your website in your profile or signature.
5. Creating infographics, videos or images and submitting them to different directories or social media platforms and linking them back to your website.
When building links, it’s important to keep in mind that not all backlinks are created equal, so it’s best to focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. When reaching out to get backlinks, avoid buying backlinks or participating in “link farms,” as these practices are considered to be against search engine guidelines and can result in penalties.
What Are The Benefits of SEO?
The main benefits of SEO are:
Increased visibility and traffic
Done right, SEO improves the visibility of a website in search engine results, which leads to an increase in the quantity and quality of organic traffic to the site.
SEO may require a monthly investment but in the long run, SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy as it targets users who are actively searching for products or services like yours. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, you don’t pay for each visitor who comes to your site.
It provides users with a better experience
By optimizing a website for SEO, it can also improve the overall user experience which includes faster page load times, mobile responsiveness, and easy-to-navigate pages.
Increased credibility and trust
Websites that rank high in search engines are perceived as being more credible and trustworthy by visitors, which can lead to increased brand awareness and credibility.
Rank higher than your competition
SEO allows you to stay ahead of your competition by outranking them in search results, giving a significant advantage in a highly competitive market.
Long-term benefits of SEO
SEO is a long-term strategy that can provide long-term benefits, as opposed to paid advertising which stops as soon as you stop paying.
Local SEO is a great way to increase visibility for local businesses and drive traffic to physical locations.
There are many options of software that allow you to track the results of your SEO and traffic to your website. SEO offers measurable results and the ROI can be easily tracked using tools like Google Analytics.
Overall, SEO is a cost-effective, long-term strategy that can help businesses to increase visibility, drive targeted traffic to their website, and ultimately increase revenue.