SEO Basics: Why This Tool is an Important Part of Your Marketing Mix
What exactly is SEO?
SEO is the abbreviated term for search engine optimization. This term reflects ongoing adjustments to a website to either increase or maintain the site’s rankings on a search engine results page (SERP).
How does a search engine choose what sites to serve up first in an SERP?
The first step is to submit the website to a search engine, such as Google, to crawl. Once the crawl is complete, the search engine will add the site to its index and begin to serve the site up for relevant search results. All search engines use algorithms that they apply to the sites within their index to rank specific pages for SERPs. Each search engine uses its own unique and super-secret algorithms.
How do I use SEO basics to move my website up in SERP Rankings?
There are two general strategies to help brands and organizations accomplish this. The first is to create great, keyword-focused content for a website’s blog or newsroom. The second is to employ helpful technical changes to existing website pages; for example, adding alt tags. meta data and slugs and cleaning up redirects. For more information check out this Vela article: The SEO Game: Increase Your Site’s Google Ranking
Why is this minutia an important part of my overall marketing strategy?
While it seems like SEO is just clicking a series of boxes on the back end of your website with the occasional requirement to copy and paste some content here or there, the fact is that search is a key strategy. Here are the top three of many reasons why Vela’s digital team believes in SEO.
Search has an amazing capacity to capture people at the point of decision making.
And often at multiple points in the decision-making process. Think of the last time you considered trying a product or service for the first time. Before you even asked your family, friends or peers, did you Google it to:
- make sure you were using the right language?
- to see what the options were?
- to inform yourself enough to have an effective conversation?
As you got referrals from friends and family members, did you visit a few websites to check out the brands or providers? When you went to those websites, did you type in the URL or did you, again, revert to a search to get to the right website?
Personally, I completed six Google searches to buy a coffee mug the other day. It sounds extreme but it was a specific mug I was looking for. I knew what I wanted, but I wanted to find the most efficient way to purchase it. Finally, I bought four of them on eBay.
Some purchase decisions are shorter than others and involve less consideration. Regardless of the path you took, with more than 5 billion Google searches each day, it’s likely that your customer is out there, ready to make a purchasing decision and just asking someone to “take my money.”
Organic Search is typically the traffic source for over 50% of website traffic.
“Field of Dreams” made for a great movie, but when it comes to the internet, “If you build it, they will come” is faulty logic. If you consider the $55 billion dollars spent in 2019 on the Google Ads platform, it becomes clear that a website must first be discovered, usually in a search engine, to earn traffic and accomplish a marketer’s objectives.
The top five search results get 70% of the clicks.
Marketers have all heard the joke about how the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google’s search results. In reality, a 2018 study that analyzed 5 million Google searches (having removed all branded search terms, since they would skew the results) found that about 31 percent of clicks went to the number one result. And 70 percent of clicks went to the cumulative top five results. So while Facebook and Instagram may have taught website users to scroll further down your website for more content, Google’s algorithm has gotten so good that people know that their best chance to find a good information source is on the first page – no need to scroll.
Now that we’re on the same page about SEO basics
it’s important to start making some decisions about how you might best implement this tool in your business. Try our helpful worksheet below to assess your resources and best options for success. Keep an eye out for our next article, Questions to Ask Your SEO Agency, which can also help you assess your internal team’s capabilities, if that’s the route you choose to go.
Additionally, you can check out this helpful blog post with some SEO Basics terminology to prepare you to have these conversations.