Search engine optimization or SEO is one of the most important concepts for any business that has an online presence (website). And since most modern businesses have websites it’s obvious that SEO plays an important role in achieving their business goals.
In this article, I’ll explain how search engine optimization works, and why it’s crucial to implement SEO in any online business project.
Search engine optimization, when done correctly, increase the visibility of your website on the search engines. Why is this important?
Because there are millions of websites out there, and there are around 2 billion blog posts published daily worldwide. Modern web readers are bombarded with content like blog posts, news articles and infographics. All of these websites and blogs are competing for one thing – attention.
If you can get reader’s attention, they will click through to your website and probably perform a desired action (for example, buy your products or subscribe to your email newsletter).
There are several ways to get that attention but the most crucial one is to appear high in search engine results. If your website is buried under a hundred other websites, who is going to find it? No one.
That’s why you have to apply SEO techniques to make sure your website show as high as possible in search engine page results.
First of all, let’s take a look at what SEO is, and then I’ll show you how it works.
Search engine optimization (SEO), according to Wikipedia is: the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.
Let’s translate that to everyday language:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content, so that search engines show it at the top of the search engine page results (SERP).
Every time you search for something, search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing will show you relevant results based on a number of criteria: your search query, location and so on.
With search engine optimization you can influence these results in a way that your website ranks higher than the others. The higher your position, the more traffic you will get.
But SEO is not simply a tool for getting free traffic to your website. Sure, that’s one of the main advantages, but the whole idea behind it is to optimize your website for search intent.
Let’s take a look at how search engines how results related to search queries.
Search engine page results are the thing you see when you search for something on search engines. For example, if you go to Google.com and type in “PPC software” you will get these results.
You can see that the first three positions are taken up by paid advertisement and the fourth one is “organic”. Organic results are web page listings that appear as a result of a search engine’s algorithm.
Every SERP is unique, even for search queries performed on the same search engine using the same keywords or search queries. This is because virtually all search engines customize the experience for their users by presenting results based on a wide range of factors beyond their search terms, such as the user’s physical location, browsing history, and social settings. Two SERPs may appear identical, and contain many of the same results, but will often feature subtle differences.
Paid results, unlike organic results, are not the result of search engine’s algorithm. Instead, they appear when and advertiser pays for them to appear through a service like Google AdWords.
Speaking of search engines, Google accounts for more than 90% of global organic search traffic. Obviously, you need good visibility on Google’s results page.
In 2014, Conductor found out that 64% of all web traffic comes from organic search, compared to 2% from social, 6% from paid search, 12% direct and 15% from other referral sources.
Although social media and other types of visits can generate traffic for your website, search engine are still the most used method of reaching websites for most users. This true for most websites, regardless what their purpose is.
Search engine provide targeted traffic to your website. People search for the information they want, and click on the results search engines offer them. This means that the people who come to your website are already interested in what you have to say.
And if you’re a business owner, that means these people are more likely to buy your products or services.
Search queries – the words people enter into a search engine are extremely valuable. Search traffic can make or break an organization, especially those oriented on providing an online services like ecommerce stores. By analyzing your customers’ search queries you can optimize your website’s content to better address your users’ needs.
That’s why search engine optimization is a key component of inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is the process of attracting visitors before they are ready to buy by creating helpful content and slowly building trust and credibility, eventually turning them into customers.
It’s is one the best ways to attract the right kind of customers, by creating and delivering content that addresses their needs.
Inbound is a strategy of using pull marketing techniques such as content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, blogs and so on, to attract new customers.
In contrast to push techniques (paid advertising, TV commercials etc.) – also known as outbound marketing – which are designed to interrupt people to get their attention, pull marketing earns the attention of customers slowly, by delivering value on each step in their customer journey (buying process).
As a result, SEO plays a crucial role in inbound marketing. Both website design and content marketing are influenced by search engine optimization strategy.
We’ve established that SEO is crucial to modern internet marketing strategies. Now let’s take a quick look at how search engine optimization is performed.
In order to perform quality optimization, there are some steps you must take.
The first step is to get to know your market. You need to define customer personas and analyze your competition.
The second step is the most important one. Keyword research is the basis of all SEO efforts. You need to find out which keywords to target. You do this by understanding user intent behind their search queries. The keywords should be relevant and have as high search volume as possible, with low difficulty scores.
After you have done all that, it’s time to create your SEO strategy.
A more detailed Search engine optimization includes Local SEO. Perfect for small businesses, local SEO helps you to connect with customers nearby. Let’s say your business is in Zurich. Your goal is to make your address visible, connecting on sites like Google or Facebook business. Make your contact me form and number also visible. You can create ads that have the option to directly call your business, if the user is using a mobile phone.
Furthermore, you can use specific keywords while creating content or ads. These keywords should show where your business is located. You can make different ads or content for same services and product and adapt them to the region you are trying to appeal.
Collect reviews from satisfied customers in the region and show them to the right audience.
SEO experts use different SEO Extensions on a daily basis. They help them understand how and why the webpages are getting ranked. There are different ones for every browser, and we will list only a few most successful ones.
MozBar gives you instant metrics while viewing any page or SERP. It helps you determine the Page and Domain Authority, compare link metrics across pages, and dischover dofollow and nofollow links.
SEO Site Tools
SEO Site Tools pulls metrics from sites and social media sources. It also boosts other tools you might use on your browser.
Want a deeper inspection? Firebug helps you to crack the code. It provides features like inspecting HTML elements with your mouse, and live editing CSS properties.
Ahrefs SEO Toolbar
Ahrefs offers a lot of insight on the most important SEO metrics for domains, individual web pages and SERPs. You can do much more effective keyword research with this SEO toolbar.
Many SEO add-ons offer the same features, but SEO Quake kicks things up a notch. It provides SEO parameters that you can sort according to your liking. You can customize it to provide the specific parameters you want to see.
MajesticSEO offers a seamless way to look at the link profile of a page and many details. It packs the power of the MajesticSEO database. The information you find in the „summary” tab is free, but you’ll have to have an access token to get the most out of this add-on.
Search engine optimization is a key strategy for every modern business. If you don’t use it, you’re leaving a lot of potential traffic for your website on the table. And you can be sure that your competition will be using it. Feel free to contact us today to request your free consultation, to see how we can improve your business results with SEO.