Have you heard about SEO before? Do you have the sensation that it’s following you around? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! SEO services appear to be an inevitable topic in the digital marketing realm. Wherever we look, there it is. We couldn’t avoid it even if we wanted to.
It must be because 61% of B2B marketers state that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative, claims Hubspot. Or the fact that 86% of consumers skip paid ads and go straight to the organic results, according to Adotas. Let’s finally talk about SEO and how it works!
Every business needs visibility to be successful. That’s exactly why SEO exists. According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes an incredible 3.5 billion searches per day! In such a dense system, you really want to do your best to stand out in the crowd. If you strive to improve your business and establish your brand within the digital market, you should read what we have to say about SEO. Let’s start from the basics!
SEO abbreviation [uncountable] (search engine optimization) – the process of making a website appear high on a list of results given by a search engine (Oxford Dictionary).
The term is so widespread that it found its way to the Oxford official dictionary. SEO is a digital marketing strategy that aims to successfully rank your website in search engines, resulting in more organic traffic. Remember the golden rule – the higher your website lists, the more views it gets. Consequently, achieving better visibility means attracting more new and exciting customers to your business. That is the ultimate goal in the digital marketing world.
Google’s ways are often mysterious, variable, and unpredictable. Nevertheless, there are three key components of SEO that always stay constant:
- Technical Optimization is the process of website configuration that serves to improve SEO that is unrelated to the content itself. It involves improving technical aspects such as load speed or metadata.
- On-Page Optimization is the process of configuring content on the website in order to improve SEO. Content should always be relevant and provide a positive user experience. Targeting the correct keywords across the content is essential in this process. This can be achieved via WordPress, Wix, Drupal, or other content management systems.
- Off-Page Optimization involves the configuration of the data outside the website itself. It serves to establish the site’s reputation by building connections with other websites, usually using backlinks.
SEO Behind the Scenes
Source: Digital Marketing Institute
Search Engine Mechanisms
According to the 99Firms statistics, 93% of all web traffic is conducted via search engines. Google it! For that reason, search engines have taken on a life on their own, and it is pretty active and dramatic to say the least! Search Engine mechanisms are algorithm-driven. These algorithms respond to users’ queries by tracking web pages that will respond best to the relevant keywords. There are three important activities within the search engine mechanism: crawling, indexing, and ranking.
This is the first step of the SEO process. It completely depends on Google algorithms that use Google bots or “spiders” to identify new sites or any updates within them. The crawling speed usually depends on many factors and can hardly be predicted, but can be tracked via the Google Search Console tool.
This is the second step of the process and it includes evaluation and acknowledgment of the previously crawled sites. In other words, if the page is estimated as valuable, Google will add it to the index. And according to the First Site Guide stats, Google Search Index contains more than 100,000,000 GB. Dramatic indeed! Most web pages will eventually end up in the index unless you overlook the following crucial rules:
- Duplicated content will not be indexed
- Low quality or spammy content will not be considered
- Lack of inbound links render the web page unreliable
It all comes down to this. After your page has been crawled and indexed, it is time to estimate its place within the SERP. This is the most complex, and the most critical part of SEO practices. During the ranking process, Google considers over 200 factors, and it all comes down to the three main optimization components mentioned earlier: technical optimization, on-site optimization, and off-site optimization.
Source: SE Ranking
How To Improve SEO?
First of all, arm yourself with patience! SEO results do not appear overnight. Besides, Google constantly strives to keep its advertisers alert and in top form by introducing new sets of rules and updates every once in a while. You’ve got to keep up! And that’s a part of the winning strategy as well.
Here are some useful tips and tricks to kickstart your SEO strategy and showcase your business in the best light:
Content talks! It is essentially the most concrete representation of your business to Google and your future customers. Naturally, it plays a big part in your SEO strategy as well. Therefore, it goes without saying that the content representing your page should be relevant, useful, mistake-free, and of good quality.
Next, it is very important to keep your content fresh and updated. Hubspot reports that businesses that publish blog posts on a regular basis get 350% more traffic. And when it comes to the blog post length, the top ten ranked sites include an average of 144,7 words per unit, according to Backlinko research. So make your content well-spoken, long and frequent. Algorithms will appreciate it.
Keyword strategy is the backbone of every successfully ranked content. While researching the right keywords for your topic, you are directly discovering exactly what your audience wants to hear. Catering to your audience should be your top priority, and the search engine will recognize your good intentions.
Google Keyword Planner is one out of many keyword exploring tools you can use in the process. It will provide you with precise insight into exact keywords and their relevant search volumes. But don’t immediately opt for high-volume keywords. It’s a trap! They are extremely competitive, and won’t bring you much success any time soon.
Instead, opt for specific long-tail keywords with medium search volumes. They have a click-through rate 3-5% higher than regular keywords, according to the Smart insight report.
Google Keyword Planner Example for the Word “sneakers”
Source: Google Keyword Planner
If content talks, backlinks hold your back! They represent the links to your page, located on the other web pages that are not yours. Backlinks refer to the off-site optimization process and are one of the most strongly weighted Google ranking variables. In fact, according to Backlinko research, the higher-ranked Google search results have 3.8x more backlinks than lower results.
The more widespread authoritative backlinks a website has, the more Google will consider it as trustworthy which in turn results in higher keyword rankings, and consequently higher SERP ranking. The best way to earn backlinks is through in-depth quality content or link-building campaigns.
Long Content Generates More Backlinks
If content talks, metadata whispers! All metadata is almost entirely invisible to visitors, and it only serves to send micro-messages about your content to the search engine algorithm which will render the page easier to crawl, index and rank.
Metadata relevant to SEO optimization requires title metadata, description metadata, and keyword metadata. Keep in mind that the content management systems (CMS) automatized this process, and will help you to choose the exact format for the right meta tag.
Example of Metadata for SEO
Website User Experience
Website user experience plays a major role in every SEO strategy, and Google recently emphasized this by publishing the Page Experience update.
In order to fulfil Google’s metrics, you will need to make your site mobile-friendly, optimize the loading speed, improve interactivity (call to action), make your links visible, and support visual elements. These features actually make a lot of sense because a good user experience consequently lowers the bouncing rate and generates more leads. Moreover, Google statistics report that 50% of smartphone users discover new brands or products through mobile search. It is a total win-win situation!
Factors That Improve User Experience
Industries that Need SEO the Most
Actually, all industries these days need digital marketing features. The shift from analog to digital is not a trend anymore, it is a necessity. According to Wpforms statistics, 78% of Internet users conduct product research online. Additionally, according to Backlinko stats, only 0.78% of Google searchers actually click on the results from the 2nd page. This is why all industries need SEO to save the day. Some more than the other.
According to the Page Optimizer Pro website data, the following industries managed to obtain the highest ROI with the help of SEO practices:
Just because there are so many and everywhere! Moreover, in recent years, the market has gone from walk-in and dine, to reservation-required, to click-and-order. Restaurant owners should keep up with the trend and digitalize their businesses.
2. Online Businesses
Because SERP is the best showcase! Online businesses reside on the Internet. SEO is the best way to promote the brand, establish the brand’s reputation, and acquire new customers.
3. Home Repair and Renovation
Phonebooks are so retro, and not in a good way! When things get messy at home, most people go straight to Google. Local SEO is an excellent way to improve the brand’s visibility for users who need repair services ASAP.
4. Real Estate Businesses
Because it is a major time-saver. People interested in real estate assets want to check out the offer details online before they decide to take time out of their day and pay a visit. This is actually a great time-saver time for both clients and service providers.
6. Medical Providers
Because medical help is a sensitive necessity. People prefer to acquire as much information about medical services before they decide to book an appointment. SEO is a good strategy to improve visibility and, along with Google review, a great chance to earn clients’ trust, and get more customers.
The Bottom Line
With a market share of more than 90%, Google decisively dominates the search engine sector, according to the First Site Guide stats. If you want to promote your business, Google is the place to be, and SEO is a way to do it.
However, SEO is not a gig, it is a constant work in progress. Content, keywords, user quality experience, backlinks are just some of many important features that influence your ranking success. And the updates keep coming! But don’t forget how beneficial these features are to your audience as well!
At the end of the day, Google and advertisers strive for the same goal, and following SEO tips and tricks will not only improve your brand visibility, but also the digital quality that your consumers want to see. It is an absolute win-win! GWM has SEO experts that will gladly take part in your journey to the top of the SERP. Let’s get in touch!