SEO 411: You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is the task of increasing the visibility of a website or web page in terms of search engine results. This is commonly referred to at times as “organic” or “natural” traffic due to the fact that you can over time actually improve your website or web pages’ position without having to pay a search engine for ad space. Additionally, having your web page positioned as the first or second result increases your website’s visibility immensely. Customers will feel validated that your web page can possibly answer their questions and is also relevant to what they searched for. Search Engine Optimization will increase organic traffic and improve page rankings. In order to understand Search Engine Optimization a bit better, it is important to understand that every Search Engine (such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) operates a bit differently from the other. Each search engine has a special algorithm that determines the position of links in their search results based on relevancy, location, click-through-rate, and other metrics. Based on the amount of relevance your web page has to what is being searched, Google will rank your website amongst others in terms of relevancy. Your “real estate” or position in these search results will greatly determine whether individuals choose to click on your website which leads to conversions and potential purchases. Achieving a dominant organic position on major search engines reduces your company’s overall cost per sale.
Why is SEO Important?
You might be wondering, why is Search Engine Optimization important to me? It’s simple. The World Wide Web is full of content, some of it is good, some of it is bad, and a lot of it goes completely unnoticed. There is no point in investing in your e-commerce website if people are not clicking through and exploring what your online web page has to offer. Search Engine Optimization helps modify the content on your web pages to attract target markets. Imagine, not only being able to connect with potential customers, but to attract them to your website due to well-designed content purposely created to target certain demographics. Additionally, well-designed thought out content usually lends more value to the customer and allows for a deeper connection between your business and potential customers to form. Putting yourself out there on the Internet in hopes of reaching more individuals is futile if you don’t tailor your content to work in a search engine’s algorithm.
But What Does It All Mean!?
So now that you know what it is and why you need it, be prudent when choosing an outside agency to work with. Many claim to be “experts” at SEO, but the proof has got to be in the proverbial pudding. Look for companies with proven, innovative marketing strategies and ways to not only analyze information, but develop possible leads for your business. In addition, extensive experience with keyword research, URL structure, link building, web page ranking, schema markup, and content creation are essential. And requesting to see a company’s customer approved, third party references/testimonials/recommendations doesn’t hurt either.