Any business hoping to market more effectively than their competition understands that approaching the challenge of acquiring and retaining customers, while being as competitive as possible, requires a multi-channel strategy.
Search Engine Optimization is simply one channel in your toolbox of tactics, strategies, and tools to gain the attention of and convert visitors into customers.
A quick overview of SEO:
Google alone gets about a trillion searches per year. Somewhere in that mountain of searches are inquiries about the products and services people are looking for.
When people perform a search on Google, the vast majority of them do not comb through search results after the first page (typically of 10 results, plus ads). So, we know people are
searching and clicking from the first page of results. Furthermore, the higher up on the first page that a link appears, the more clicks and visits that page receives.
If your business appears high in search results for queries directly related to your products and services, you can count on receiving the lion’s share of visits and most likely, conversions.
There are other factors involved with the purchase journey, but let’s stick to the basics of what people commonly do with search.
In a nutshell, the practice of SEO (search engine optimization) by a professional marketer helps to rank your website’s web pages high on the first page of results for the keywords people are searching with to find products and services.
But what is SEO, exactly? Let’s start with what it isn’t and then clearly define SEO from a ‘what’s in it for me’ perspective.
What SEO Isn’t:
- Not a guarantee (no one outside of Google truly knows the algorithm’s behavior)
- Not a get rich quick plan
- Not a way to trick the search engines
- Not the only piece to the overall marketing success puzzle
Myths about SEO:
- SEO is dead and doesn’t work anymore
- SEO is easy
- SEO is a shady practice
So, what does SEO actually do for me?
- Directs relevant traffic to your site: Your site can attract tons of visitors, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for a particular topic when you’re really not, that’s not relevant traffic. Instead, you’ll want to attract exactly the visitors you’re looking for — those who genuinely want to know more about your products, services, and brand.
- Quantity of traffic: As soon as you have the right people clicking through from the search engines, your traffic increases and so does your brand awareness and sales.
- SEO deals with organic results: Ads make up a significant portion of search results (in Google, ad slots appear on the top and bottom of search results). ‘Organic’ traffic is any traffic that you don’t pay the search engines for.
- Highly trusted: Psychologically speaking, if people see your site at the top of their search results, your visitors think that you are an authority in your field and that you are trustworthy before they even land on your site.
Professional marketers who are trained and experienced in the art and science of SEO focus on who your visitors are, how they search, and what entices them to click and land on websites.
For your business, your SEO team will do just that and then use competitive keyword analysis to optimize your website’s pages (the content, the code, and even off-site signals). Resulting in higher rankings in search results for the exact terms that your target audience uses to find your specific products and services.