SEO…Wait, SE What?!?
Most likely you have heard the word, SEO thrown around. In some cases, you might have even received an email or two with people saying they will improve your website and optimize it for SEO. So, what exactly is SEO?
SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. Moz.com (an amazing resource for all things SEO) lists SEO as “a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines”.
In layman’s terms, SEO is getting a website to rank in search engines such as Google and Bing. The better the ranking the better chances of getting clicks, visitors and conversions. This is achieved through making your site relevant and user friendly for visitors and search engines with keywords, code and links.
Why is SEO important for your site?
Now that you have a better understanding of what SEO is you might be asking yourself, how important is SEO? If I have a pretty website, people will visit it and I’ll get plenty of business, right? Having a pretty website is one aspect of SEO, but there is so much more than just having a website out there. I once described SEO as “building a beautiful house to sell, but if I don’t include an address and a map, people won’t be able to find the house”. This is exactly what SEO is, providing all the details so people can find your site through search engines.
There are many search engines out there, but the two most common used for online searches are Google and Bing. When you type a keyword or phrase into the search engine, it can return websites relevant to your search, including ads (adwords), 10 organic search results, images and Google My Business results.
This is where we can really start to see the importance of SEO. As you are performing a search, how often do you scroll to the bottom of the search results? Even more important, how often do you click to the second page to get your results? Advanced Web Ranking has done the research and shows click through rates on the top 20 searches. As you look at the graph below, the number one spot had a click through rate (CTR – how often a search result is clicked) of 30.12%, the second spot had a CTR of 15.5% and the third spot had a CTR of 10.53%. Now take a look at the second page of rankings, the 11th spot or the 1st result on the second page only had a .93% CTR. This in and of itself should show just how important SEO is and why a higher ranking leads to more visits and conversions.
What are some basic SEO items I can do to start ranking?
There are several items that search engines use for search engine rankings and the algorithms are always changing. Moz sends out a Search Engine Ranking Factors report every year, and the number of factors is staggering. Here are a few items to help get you started.
- Install Google Analytics – A web analytics platform that tracks and reports website traffic.
- Install Search Console – Helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google search results.
- Create your Google My Business Page
- Add quality content and keywords to your website
- Update your Title Tags, Meta Descriptions & Header Tags
- Confirm all of your images have quality Alt Tags
- Create quality backlinks
SEO takes time, but is a huge factor in the success of your website. Hopefully this has given you a good starting point. If you want a more in depth tutorial or would like help with your SEO, contact us (503) 877-9347 to learn about our One-Time SEO Audits and Monthly SEO Packages.