While you may have heard that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an important digital marketing tool, you may be unsure of what SEO entails in this day and age. This guide explains what SEO is, why it is important, and how to implement best practices to make your brand more discoverable online than ever before.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of increasing the volume and quality of traffic to your website via organic search engine results. A higher ranking when someone searches a term in your industry increases the visibility of your brand online. As a result, you will have more opportunities to convert qualified prospects into customers. When done correctly, SEO can help your brand stand out as a trustworthy company while also improving the user’s experience with your brand and website.
Why is SEO Important?
Visibility and Rankings
When looking for a service or product online, users are more likely to select one of the top five suggestions presented by the search engine. SEO helps you rank higher in search results and gain more visibility online, increasing the likelihood that potential customers will click over to your site and convert.
Simply put, if potential customers cannot find your website, sales opportunities are lost. SEO boosts your organic search engine traffic, which increases the number of visitors to your page each day. This directly correlates to an increase in sales, because the more relevant people who visit your site, the more likely it is that you will sell to them.
The higher your SEO score, the higher you will appear on search engines such as Google and Bing. While higher Google rankings are appealing to all brands due to increased visibility, a secondary benefit is the trust you gain with potential customers. Users tend to trust the recommendations generated by search engines, so ranking higher for the keywords a user is looking for will solidify your product or service as trustworthy in the user’s mind.
A well-optimized website communicates clearly what product or service is being offered, how to obtain it, and answers any questions that may arise. Search engines like Google and Bing are able to easily pull the information they need to then relay to users by catering the site build to the user’s experience. If a user has difficulty navigating your site, it is likely that search engines do as well.
There is no denying that SEO is critical to the growth of your brand. As previously stated, the higher you rank on a search engine for a variety of high-volume keywords, the more organic (aka non-paid) web traffic will be directed to your site. That’s all there is to it.
A well-optimized website is more likely to gain customers and make sales. People are also more likely to share your brand on other social platforms such as Facebook or Instagram after finding your website via a search engine.
What Are the Main Elements of Search Engine Optimization?
On-site SEO refers to changes made to your website’s content to make it more search engine friendly. When optimizing your web pages for search engines, you want to signal to search engines in a variety of ways exactly what the webpage is about.
On-site SEO is concerned with the structure of your website, SEO keywords, internal links, image alt attributes, and other techniques to assist search engines in analyzing and assessing the content of your website.
Keywords are no longer the only SEO technique that matters, but they are still important for your website’s search engine ranking. When we talk about keywords, we’re talking about specific words and phrases that potential customers use to search for answers online.
Choosing the right keywords for your website and content necessitates extensive research, and it’s critical to aim for the sweet spot of high volume ratings + low competition. When building websites, Alter Endeavors Digital Creative offers an SEO Foundational package that relies on extensive keyword research to ensure that the language used throughout the site includes high-volume keywords relevant to your industry.
The content you write and share on your website is critical to reaching and engaging your target audience. Assume you own a window treatment company, like our client ABC Blind & Drapery. To increase your visibility in that industry, we recommend writing a series of blogs about the various types of window treatments, from modern window treatments to smart home automation via motorized blinds, and so on.
As a result, when a local user searches for a question about a specific type of window treatment, your blog appears. This enables you to initiate a conversation with potential customers by providing them with valuable information that they are actively seeking. And who will be the first to come to mind when it comes time to buy new window treatments? You. Your content should be educational, entertaining, and easily shared.
Your website will not rank in other cities if you own a local business that only serves the New Orleans area. Search engines use the user’s location to make suggestions that are within a certain range, allowing them to make a quick decision rather than sorting through businesses that are not nearby at the time. So, if someone wanted to find the best Mexican in town, they would conduct a quick Google search, browse the top results in their area, and make their decision. That means if your company isn’t showing up as a top result when it should be, chances are they’ll go somewhere else.
Using local keywords, claiming your directory listings, and creating pages for your businesses on platforms such as Google My Business and Google Maps are all ways to improve your local SEO.
Off-site search engine optimization techniques involve efforts made on websites other than your own in order to raise your own ranking. The key component of off-site SEO is link building, also known as “backlinks,” which is the process of having other reputable, high-traffic websites link back to your site.
Backlinks are a signal of trust to search engines and can have a significant impact on your ranking position. Make sure the links are coming from well-known and trusted sites, and your ranking will improve. Don’t try to trick search engines into recognizing bad links by employing “black hat” tactics, or you’ll be penalized and potentially banned from search engines.
Following an overview of what search engine optimization is, why it is important, and how to implement it, keep in mind that SEO should be viewed as a positive practice with long-term benefits, rather than an exact science with immediate results. Your rankings are heavily influenced by who you compete with, such as the size of the company, years in business, and their own on and off-site SEO efforts.
Improving your digital presence is a never-ending task, but these tips for improving your SEO should help you get started. We’d love to talk if you have any questions or want to build a strong digital ecosystem for your brand.