If you’ve come here for an easy to understand guide on SEO, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve come for a rather morbid joke, you’ve also come to the right place:
“If you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of Google search results.”
What an opening. While not actually true (obviously!), it emphasizes the significant importance of SEO.
Breaking Down a Foreign Language: SEO
Whether you’re a business, a marketer, or just you, you’ve probably seen these intimidating words … SEO. How daunting. What do these letters even mean? If you’re not familiar with SEO, it probably sounds like a foreign language (and probably is to most of you!) But don’t worry, that’s why we’re here. We want to help you understand SEO and its BIG picture.
What Is SEO?
Let’s start with the basics: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and according to Google, refers to the “process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.” WHOA. What?? What does that even mean? That’s definitely not the basics.
No stress. Let’s break it down further. Simply, SEO helps your website (or content) appear as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.
For example, if you’re a shoe retailer and your potential customer types in “comfortable everyday walking shoes” on Google, you want your business (or at least your comfortable walking shoes!) to appear at the top of the list results – which is exactly what SEO helps you do.
Instead of you reaching out to your audience like many marketing strategies would do, SEO allows your potential audience to reach you when they are actively searching for information related to your products and/or services. Because of SEO’s unique outreach strategy, leads from SEO have a 14.6% close rate, whereas other marketing channels only have a 1.7% close rate.
Why Are 3 Letters So Important?
With thousands, if not millions, of websites on Google’s search results, how can you make sure that your website is the one that appears at the top of the list? The answer to this question rests on 3 letters (hint that’s not really a hint: SEO) because it’s your new best friend that’s going to help your business grow and reach your corporate objectives.
It’s a fact: the majority of search engine users are more likely to click on one of the top 5 suggestions on any results page. If your page isn’t even on the first page, then you’ve already probably lost your target audience’s attention. So, it’s really important that you optimize your page to appear as close to the top as possible. The end goal is to have your page appear as the first result on the first page.
As a marketer or business owner, you probably don’t need to be told that the credibility of your business is important. Because your credibility is important, put yourself in the shoes of your audience for a moment and think about this question: If one business appears on page 1 and another appears on page 6, which one do you think will seem more reliable and credible? Understandably, your bet is probably on the first page and you’re right because your customers think the same way.
Your audience makes a mental note of the rankings for the terms they enter into search engines – for them, these rankings serve as a vote of confidence. With a higher search ranking, you will appear more credible in their eyes.
What Are the Benefits of SEO?
Maybe you’re still hesitant about SEO and need a little more convincing? That’s understandable but you’d be missing out and we don’t want you to miss out, which is why we’re here to let you know about the benefits of SEO.
1. Increased Traffic and Higher Quality Traffic
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, it’s SEO’s entire purpose! The whole reason you want your website to rank higher for specific keywords is to receive more traffic. On average, the #1 position on Google has a click-through rate of 27.5%.
You probably also have the question of why does SEO pull higher quality traffic? Simple. Because people on search engines are actively searching for the product that solves their problem. Instead of pushing your product towards your audience, SEO pulls the traffic of people who are already interested in what your business offers.
While some marketing strategies can deliver vague and/or intangible results, SEO doesn’t. In fact, it can be measured through your organic website traffic and where your website comes up in the search. To figure out the first measure, meet your new (not to mention, free!) buddy: Google Analytics. By using Google Analytics, you can see traffic numbers and how that correlates with your organic search goals, where traffic is coming from, and more. The second measurement is pretty self-explanatory, just count how close (or far! Sad face) your website is to the first result on the first page.
3. Live 24/7
Unlike your salesmen, SEO works 24 hours, 7 days a week. While I’m sure your employees would love to work for you 7 days a week without any breaks at all (can you sense the sarcasm), SEO already fills that position for them. Even when you’re dozing off with your counting sheep at night, SEO does not sleep or take rest.
4. Improves Website’s Click-Through Rate and Time-on-site
Undoubtedly and logically, high SEO rankings will improve your website’s click-through rate. What’s a click-through rate you ask? It’s the number of people who have clicked on your website divided by the number of people you’ve reached. As your click-through rate increases, your website’s time-on-site will increase as well.
To Do or Not To Do, That Is the Question
From friend to friend (yes, we are friends!), I’ve provided as much insight and information on why you should choose to do SEO to help your business thrive in today’s competitive industry (without trying to overwhelm you).
While the choice is still yours, engaging in an SEO strategy would be one of the smartest investments for your business. If you still have any questions, my friend, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! J