Are you in the know when it comes to SEO? If not, you’ve come to the right place! This article gives you a quick SEO Marketing 101 to help inform your digital marketing efforts. So, first things first…
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”, which is exactly what it sounds like—a blend of internal and external tactics to improve your website’s performance in major search engines, such as Google*. SEO marketing is a subset of digital marketing that involves efforts to optimize websites and web pages so that they are more likely to appear for specific search terms or keywords.
*A note: Google is by no means the only search engine out there, but it is the most popular. So, for the purposes of this article, we’re going to use Google as an example search engine.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re looking for information, an answer to a question, something you want to buy, how to do something, how to get somewhere, or where to find something? Chances are that you’ll Google it.
Well, that’s what I just did to find out how many searches Google processes per second. The answer is a whopping 99,000!
More stats from this article I found (on Google, of course) demonstrate the impact of search engine marketing:
- There are over 8.5 billion searches a day
- 84% of us use Google 3+ times a day or more
- 90% of survey respondents said they were likely to click on the top set of results
- 60% of mobile users were very likely to click on the first two or three search results they saw.
As a business, improving the visibility of your digital assets online can help you reach a wide pipeline of potential customers. It’s also worth bearing in mind that organic traffic (people who reach your website via search engines) tends to arrive with more intent to be there than people who have been interrupted by advertising. Organic users want information or a product badly enough to take the time to search for it, often leading to higher conversion rates than traditional marketing or advertising endeavors.
How does SEO marketing work?
According to Google: “Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
To do this, Google and other major search engines have their own algorithms for ranking pages within search results. The details of the actual formulas are closely-guarded secrets shrouded in search engine mystery. But, as Google’s mission suggests, search engines are constantly looking for ways to provide search users with the best answers as quickly as possible. They are continually working on and updating their algorithms to provide optimal search results for each query, and also to root out sites attempting to game the system.
You may be wondering how SEO can ever work if these secret algorithms are constantly changing. Herein lies the first step to long-term SEO success: your SEO strategy should not set out to outwit Google. Can anyone really claim to be able to trick a trillion-dollar company that is host to some of the world’s most innovative minds, powerful computing, and AI? Rather, SEO experts should focus on making their websites as user-friendly, helpful, informative, fast, authoritative, and relevant as possible. Focus on serving the user instead of Google. By sticking to the basics of SEO and producing content that’s useful for the humans performing searches, you’ll find your efforts to be far more successful over the long term than attempting to trick the algorithm into popping your site to the top. Google’s algorithmic changes are intended to make its search engine more useful for users—if you follow Google’s direction in this area, you’ll see organic traffic grow over time.
Ready to get started on your small business SEO?
We know that a lot of small business owners don’t know where to start when it comes to SEO, so we’ve created a free eBook: 5 Things Your Small Business Can Do Right Now to Improve SEO.
In this eBook, we focus on five actionable things that you can do right now to start improving your website authority and rankings, even with limited knowledge and expertise. We have also included an SEO checklist you can use to stay on track and manage your progress.
Our next post will address some simple SEO marketing tactics that we use regularly. We know these time-tested tactics work because we’ve seen the results in our own clients’ marketing metrics. They take time, but the eventual payoff is a consistent stream of traffic that you have the opportunity to convert into sales leads and customers.