WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION?

Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic or paid traffic.

It is 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.”the key to getting more traffic lies in integrating content with search engine optimization and social media marketing”

 In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.

How does SEO work?

Search engines such as Google and Bing use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index. Think of the index like a giant library where a librarian can pull up a book (or a web page) to help you find exactly what you’re looking for at the time.

Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query. In our library analogy, the librarian has read every single book in the library and can tell you exactly which one will have the answers to your questions.

Our SEO success factors can be considered proxies for aspects of the user experience. It’s how search bots estimate exactly how well a  website or web page can give the searcher what they’re searching for. 

Unlike paid search ads you can’t pay search engines to get higher organic search rankings, which means SEO experts have to put in the work.

SEO Factors organizes the factors into six main categories and weights each based on its overall importance to SEO. For example, content quality and keyword research are key factors of content optimization, and crawlability and speed are important site architecture factors.

The newly updated SEO Periodic Table also includes a list of Toxins that detract from SEO best practices. These are shortcuts or tricks that may have been sufficient to guarantee a high ranking back in the day when the engines’ methods were much less sophisticated. And, they might even work for a short time now — at least until you’re caught.

We’ve also got a brand new Niches section that deep-dives into the SEO success factors behind three key niches: Local SEO, News/Publishing, and Ecommerce SEO. While our overall SEO Periodic Table will help you with the best practices, knowing the nuances of SEO for each of these Niches can help you succeed in search results for your small business, recipe blog, and/or online store.

The search algorithms are designed to surface relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Optimizing your site and content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in the search results.

Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO

As a companion Periodic Table of SEO Factors, Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO walks you through the fundamentals of optimizing for search so you can develop a solid strategy to drive organic traffic to your site.

In the guide below, we explain these factors in more depth, and highlight tactical tips from experts on search engine optimization that will help your website get more visitors from organic search.

How to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content

Why is SEO Important?

Visibility and Rankings

When searching for a service or product online, users are more likely to choose one of the top five suggestions that the search engine shows them. SEO helps you rank higher in search results and garner more visibility online, making potential customers more likely to click over to your site and convert. 

Web Traffic

To put it simply – if potential customers can’t find your website, sales opportunities are being missed. SEO increases your organic search engine traffic, in turn increasing the number of visitors your page sees each day. This directly correlates to an increase in sales – because the more relevant people that see your site, the more likely you are to sell to them. 

Trustworthy

The better your SEO score is, the higher you’ll appear on search engines like Google and Bing. While ranking higher on Google is appealing to all brands because on increased visibility, a secondhand benefit is the trust you gain with potential customers. Users tend to defer to the recommendations that a search engine generates, so having a higher position for the keywords a user is searching for will, in turn, solidify your product or service as trustworthy in the user’s mind. 

User Experience

A well-optimized website clearly communicates what product or service is being offered, how to obtain it and answers any questions surrounding it. By catering the site build to the user’s experience, search engines like Google and Bing are able to easily pull the information they need to then relay to users. If a user struggles to navigate your site, chances are that search engines do as well.

Growth

There’s no doubt about it – SEO is key to the growth of your brand. As we mentioned above, the higher you rank on a search engine for a variety of high-volume keywords, the more organic (aka non-paid) web traffic your site will receive. It’s as simple as that.

A website that is well-optimized is more likely to gain more customers and make more sales. People are also more likely to then share your brand across other social platforms like Facebook or Instagram once they’ve found your website through a search engine.

Importance of SEO: Knowing the Difference Between Paid and Organic Searches

A large part of digital marketing is search engine marketing (SEM). SEM is paid search marketing. This is not a bad thing; pay per click marketing campaigns use strategic research to help increase your return on investment (ROI). You just need to be aware that most people recognize which SERP results are ads and which are organic. And gaining organic traffic is the ultimate goal.

Organic traffic can be improved using tools like paid search campaigns to bring more visibility. Yet, as a consumer yourself, you may find yourself wanting the results that don’t have the word “ad” next to it in your Google search. Your customers most likely feel the same way.

Again, paid search campaigns can be used to your advantage if done well and can intentionally market your business to your target audience. Organic search will utilize more SEO tactics such as keyword searches, which ultimately means that your content shows up for a wider range of potential viewers who want a particular need met.


What Are the Main Elements of Search Engine Optimization?

On-site SEO

On-site SEO are the improvements to be applied to the content on your site to ensure that it’s search engine friendly. When optimizing your webpages for search engines, you want to signal to search engines exactly what the webpage is about in a variety of ways.

With On-site SEO, you’ll deal with the structure of your website, SEO keywords, internal links, image alt attributes, and other techniques to help the search engines analyze and assess the content of your website.

Keywords

While keywords are no longer the only SEO technique that matters, they’re still crucial to your website’s search engine ranking. When we speak of keywords, we are referring to specific words and phrases that potential customers use to find answers online.

Picking the right keywords for your website and content takes diligent research, and it’s important to aim for the sweet spot of high volume ratings . 

Content

The content you choose to write and share on your website is essential to reaching and engaging with your audience. Say you owned a window treatment– to increase your visibility in that industry, we’d suggest a series of blogs exploring the types of window treatments, from modern window treatments to smart home automation through motorized blinds, etc. 

So, when a local user searches a question concerning a type of window treatment, your blog shows up. This allows you to start a conversation with a potential customer by providing them valuable information that they are actively searching for. And when they’re ready to purchase their new window treatments, who will be the first to come to mind? You. Your content should be educational, engaging and shareable.

The Importance of SEO for Your Business

There are only 10 spots—that’s right, just 10—on a Google search page. So ask yourself, when you type in a Google search, how often do you venture off the first page onto the second, third, or twentieth page of the search results? Chances are, you rarely have to because the first few options on that very first Google page contain the information you requested in your search query.

If a prospective customer types in a topic relevant to what your business can provide, don’t you want to be on that first search results page alongside your competitors? If you aren’t in one of those top ten search spots, another business just gained a new customer—or, you just lost one.

This is the importance of SEO for your business: SEO gives you the power to be the answer to potential customers’ questions. In addition to visibility and traffic increase, SEO contributes to your authoritative voice in your field. Authority then leads to brand trust, which ultimately leads to brand loyalty

When asking the question why is SEO good for business, the answer is that SEO not only attracts new customers but over time it also allows you to deepen your business’s relationship with those customers because of the trust you have established with them.

What SEO Can Do for Your Business

Build Trust With Your Customers

Building trust organically is how SEO helps your business. User experience is how your audience interacts with your website. When your customers have a positive experience with your business, you get more web clicks, increasing traffic and ultimately increasing your SEO. As this happens organically over time, your rank on a search engine results page (SERP) will get closer and closer to those top 10 spots.

User experience includes how well your customers can navigate through your site. Your website’s foundation must be solid and sturdy. UX is a mix of how web design, tone, and branding come together to make the user’s experience the best it can be.

Good SEO and UX mean that your business will build trust organically. Organic searches are the search results that appear on the SERP strictly via a user’s search. This means that you did not pay to be at the top of the SERP. Building trust organically builds SEO, and over time you will continue to grow and optimize your digital marketing and your business as a whole.

If you deliver what the customers are looking for, you become a trusted source they can depend on. Users know what they want. So if you do not meet user standards, your SEO will suffer. If your platform provides what your users are looking for—whether that be in the form of information, answers to questions, products, or services—then you begin to establish trust with your customers. The more trust gained, the better the SEO and UX of your digital marketing.

Visibility Attracts Clientele

Attracting visibility in an organic way means that your website is appearing because of what your customers searched. Customers can seek you out based on their needs, which is where keywords really come into play. When customers see you as someone who can meet their needs, you spur engagement. Engagement cannot begin, though, until they are aware of you. The importance of SEO is that it allows potential leads to see you, meaning that process of engagement can begin.

SEO is a pathway for visibility, which, depending on your purpose, can impact the buying cycle. Knowing what people are looking for by conducting thorough SEO research is key. This is where Local SEO becomes crucial in knowing your audience and their needs and wants. So, what is SEO in business when it comes to Local SEO?

Local SEO uses the geographical location of your business in search results. Your location can contribute to your online visibility. When a potential customer searches for a question followed by “near me” or within your geographical proximity, you want to be the business that comes up first. Increasing Local SEO  will increase your online visibility, leading to growth in your customer base.

The Role of SEO in Digital Marketing

Metric Marketing’s digital marketing experts understand that SEO can be a bit overwhelming. It’s obvious that SEO is important, but where do you start? And, after you start, how do you know that what you’re doing is even making a positive impact on your business? The good news is that we are here to help.

We are leading experts in the field of digital marketing for a reason. We take a data-driven approach to the role of SEO in digital marketing, focusing our time and effort on creating content and websites that we know will produce results. Data is always honest, and we know how to utilize researched data to best benefit your individual needs.

Along with a data-driven approach, our SEO team uses a White hat SEO approach to optimization. White Hat SEO is the alternative to unethical Black Hat SEO tactics. While Black Hat SEO shows quick results, search engines have new techniques for finding which companies are using sketchy techniques like keyword stuffing and cloaking.

Search engine intelligence is constantly being updated, so trying to trick them to benefit yourself will only lead to harm and penalization. Our SEO team lives by the mantra of growth over time. We trust that our patience with creating ethical means of building SEO pays off in the long run. The purpose of SEO is to build credibility with search engines. Let us help you cultivate a positive relationship with engines like Google, YouTube, and others by taking the time to analyze the facts and data.

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