What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic that you earn through the organic results in search engines,”
Did You Know?
- 42% of customers come from search.
- 75% of the links search users click on are organic.
- 70-85% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results.
- 82% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
- 96% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
What goes into SEO?
To understand what SEO really means, let’s break that sentence down and look at the parts:
- Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products that you offer.
- Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.
- Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.
Learn seo step by step – here I’ll give you resources you can use to learn about SEO and stay on top of SEO, including some free tools that’ll be useful for fixing any issues ..
Table Of Contents
- What is SEO?
- ‘User Experience’ Matters
- Balancing Conversions With Usability & User Satisfaction
- Google Wants To Rank High-Quality Websites
- Technical SEO
- What Is Domain Authority?
- Is Domain Age An Important Google Ranking Factor?
- Ranking Factors
- Keyword Research
- Do Keywords In Bold Or Italic Help?
- How Many Words & Keywords Do I Use On A Page?
- What is The Perfect Keyword Density?
- Can I Just Write Naturally and Rank High in Google?
- Do You Need Lots of Text To Rank Pages In Google?
- Optimising For ‘The Long Click’
- Page Title Element
- Meta Keywords Tag
- Meta Description Tag
- Robots Meta Tag
- Robots.txt File
- H1-H6: Page Headings
- Alt Tags
- Search Engine Friendly URLs (SEF)
- Absolute Or Relative URLs
- Subdirectories or Files For URL Structure
- Which Is Better For Google? PHP, HTML or ASP?
- Does W3C Valid HTML / CSS Help Rank?
- Point Internal Links To Relevant Pages
- Link Out To Related Sites
- Broken Links Are A Waste Of Link Power
- Does Only The First Link Count In Google?
- Duplicate Content Penalty
- Double or Indented Listings in Google
- Redirect Non-WWW To WWW
- 301 Redirects Are POWERFUL & WHITE HAT
- Canonical Link Element Is Your Best Friend
- Do I Need A Google XML Sitemap For My Website?
- Rich Snippets
- EXAMPLE: Adding Schema.org Markup to Your Footer
- Keep It Simple, Stupid
- How Fast Should Your Website Download?
- A Non-Technical Google SEO Strategy
- What Not To Do In Website Search Engine Optimisation
- Don’t Flag Your Site With Poor Website Optimisation
- The Continual Evolution of SEO
- Beware Pseudoscience
- How Long Does It Take To See Results?
- What Makes A Page Spam?
- If A Page Exists Only To Make Money, The Page Is Spam, to Google
- Doorway Pages
- A Real Google Friendly Website
- Google Webmaster Guidelines
- How Do You Submit A Site To Search Engines?
- How Do I Verify A Site with Google Webmaster Tools?
Benefits of SEO for small businesses
For starters, SEO will help you create a better, faster and friendlier website for users. Despite the name, search engine optimization is not only about search engines but the focus is on the user. When your users are happy, search engines are happy as well. Following good on-page SEO techniques improves the user experience and this creates a number of short term and long term benefits.
Find new customers and assist growth
If you think about it, one of the main reasons you have a website is to increase and differentiate your customer base. It is a fact that businesses that have a website grow twice as fast as businesses that don’t have a website.
SEO will help you gain better rankings in search engine result pages and this translates to more targeted visits and essentially to more customers.
Explore new markets
The web is definitely one of fastest growing markets in World economy but it is not the only one. A successful SEO campaign will help you find new markets and explore new economies. Social media platforms and mobile marketplaces can take your traffic levels to a whole new stage by boosting your SEO performance.
Achieve better conversion rates
An SEO optimized website is fast, easy to use and compatible with mobile and tablet devices. This also translates to better conversions i.e. visitors coming to your website are more likely to become customers, subscribers or loyal visitors.
Build brand awareness through better rankings
One of the hidden advantages of ranking in the top positions of the SERPs is brand awareness. Users are more likely to trust a brand when it appears in the first places when they search for a term rather than brands that don’t have a good web presence.
Small businesses that need to build brand awareness (either for local purposes or for expanding nationally) need to invest in SEO and gain top positions for the terms related to their business. This is not the 90’s anymore and search engines play a very important role in building or destroying a brand.
Build a dedicated fan base via newsletter
A good SEO approach means more traffic and a great way to build a dedicated fan base through RSS feeds and newsletter. These two services existed before social media and they are still very important sources of traffic. In fact many successful bloggers claim that most of their money comes from their email lists and not from social media or other medium.
So, even if you are working on your social media marketing it is necessary to make it easy for your users to subscribe to your feed and newsletter. What happens in many cases is that websites do have a newsletter box, people enter their emails to subscribe but the website never sends a newsletter out.
Stay in-synch with latest developments
The search engine industry is one of the fastest changing industries in the World. Rules and practices change all the time and if you can stay in-synch with the latest developments then it’s for your benefit.
Imagine two businesses in the same niche, selling similar products at similar prices. One of them has a search engine optimized website and the other one has a non-optimized web presence. Other things being equal, which company do you think is more successful? Which company will gain more customers from local SEO and which company is likely to grow faster?
Do not underestimate the power of search engines and SEO and don’t forget that if your competitors are doing SEO and social media marketing then you have to do it as well. If on the other hand they are not doing any of this stuff, then it’s your chance to differentiate and make a step ahead.
Open your business 24×7
A business that gets organic traffic is like it is open for 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. That’s the magic of the Internet and SEO. Invest time and money to get your website on top of the SERPs and gain new customers while your business is closed!
SEO is good for social media
A webpage with high rankings will also gain more social media exposure. The relationship between SEO and social media is by-directional. Social media popularity is good for SEO purposes and SEO brings more social media visibility. In simple words, searches are more likely to LIKE / Tweet / +1 a page when it is found in the first positions of the search engine results than a page that does not have good rankings.
SEO is awesome.
Increased Traffic – Top positions on the search engine result pages receive a majority of the impressions and clicks, so ranking in these top positions can result in significant traffic increases for your website. SEO also focuses on creating informative and keyword relevant title tags and meta descriptions, which show up in the result pages. Having optimized tags and descriptions helps to increase click through rate, which also promotes increases in qualified web traffic.
ROI – SEO provides trackable and quantifiable results, regardless of whether you are an ecommerce or non-ecommerce site so there are no qualms when it comes to ROI. SEO agencies are able to track nearly every aspect of their strategy, like increases in rankings, traffic and conversions. Comprehensive analytics also provide the ability to drill down at a granular level and see demographic information and other engagement metrics for individuals who have interacted with your website. For Ecommerce sites, SEO agencies can see which paths users take in order to complete a sale, all the way down to which keyword they used to search for you prior to purchasing. For non-Ecommerce sites, you can attribute values to your lead conversions, like a ‘contact us’ form fill-out, and calculate the value of your SEO strategy that way.
Cost effectiveness – SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies because it targets users who are actively looking for your products and services online. SEO’s inbound nature helps businesses save money as opposed to outbound strategies like cold-calling. While cold-calling can still be an effective strategy, the leads generated cost 61% more than leads generated by an inbound strategy like SEO. And since SEO also targets users who are actively searching for products and services like yours, the traffic resulting from SEO is more qualified than many other marketing strategies, resulting in cost-savings for companies.
Increased site usability – In an effort to make your website easier to navigate for the search engines, SEO simultaneously helps to make your website more navigable for users as well. SEO consists of rearranging the site’s architecture and links to make pages within the website easier to find and navigate. This not only makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and find pages, but also makes it easier for users to find information on your website as well.
Brand Awareness – Since top position rankings result in significant impressions, having your website in these top positions on the result pages translates to more exposure for your website. Plus, being on the first page for your targeted keywords not only helps users to associate your brand with those keywords, but it instills trust, since companies on the first page are generally perceived to be more trustworthy. The more your pages and content rank in high positions in the search engines, the more chances you have for users to see your content and associate with your brand.
How can you take advantage of all these benefits?
1) First of all you need a website. This may sound weird but it is a fact that more than 50% of American businesses do not yet have a website. This is a figure from a recent Google survey which also states that businesses that use the web are expected to grow 40% faster than those who don’t.
So as a first step you need to register a domain name and develop a website for your business. The minimum information you should provide on your website are: contact details, your company details, products, business hours etc. You cancontact us free of charge and one of our experts can guide you on how to get your business online.
2) Second, you need someone to design your digital marketing campaign. That someone is either an SEO with enough experience to go beyond SEO or a digital marketer. You need to consider money spend on SEO as an investment and not a cost. Remember that all the benefits of SEO explained above are not the result of a cost but they are the result of a careful investment. These 2 articles can give you more details:
3) If outsourcing SEO is out of the question, then no problem you can do it yourself and still benefit from the advantages. The following articles can help you get started but you should always have in mind that SEO is not about building links (as some people may tell you) but it’s about building a remarkable user experience and providing for top quality content.