SEO: WHAT? WHY? HOW?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a technique or method used to modify and tweak your page to receive high-quality traffic from search results. Now that most of the online traffic is owned by Google, it can be assumed as the search engine provider, and therefore all the changes or modifications you make to your site should be to attract Google.
Google is appealed by the pages that are informative, relative, and attractive to a wide range of audiences. If you manage to please Google, it will rank your page closer to page 1; the aim and ambition of digital marketing.
Now to get on page 1 of Google, you need to first understand how it works. Google provides solutions to the problems asked by its customers. These solutions could be the services or products you offer on your page. Therefore, if Google is to connect its customers to your website it needs to make sure you provide the ultimate solution to their problem.
Let us consider an example to better understand this concept; say you are selling jackets online with quality material. Now people buy jackets off your site and leave good feedback. No wonder the difference between your jackets and those of Gucci is astronomical but when a customer searches the web for jackets, Google will show the results depending on the SEO factors (relevancy, attractiveness, and information). Thus you are competing with brands with better SEO rather than better jackets; this is common to any industry working online.
Now to better understand SEO and how it works, here is a list of some relevant facts and figures.
- Google holds the greatest market share (92.54%) in the search engine category followed by Bing at 2.44%. (GOOGLE, 2020)
Now that Google has the largest share in the market, it is pretty much obvious that to gain the best results one must adjust his site in favor of the Google Algorithm. Google uses an algorithm monitored by Google SearchConsole; a tool that tells you what people are searching for and how they found your site. Once you analyze this you can get to know how your page performs.
- Google receives about 63000 searches per second. (SEARCH ENGINE LAND, 2017)
- Link building and high-quality content are the two most significant pointers used by Google to rank your site. (SEARCH ENGINE LAND, 2015)
We must also be aware that most people search for queries that are 4+ words. Therefore one must rank his site on such keywords. Moreover, most of the internet traffic nowadays comes through mobile devices. Hence one should go with a mobile-optimized page. We all know that cream rises to the top, so in order to compete in a market, you must analyze your opponents and make sure that your page is better in quality and content than the rest.
- The first-page result on Google contains an average of 1890 words. (BACKLINKO.COM, 2016)
- Short-form content receives fewer shares and links than long-form content of over 1000 words. (MOZ, 2015
- Those companies who published 16+ blog posts per month got 3.5x more traffic and clicks than those who put up 0-4 monthly posts. (HUBSPOT, 2015)
Therefore consistency is the key; a website with loads of new and updated content receives better traffic. Moreover, you should be posting a blog of over 1000 words to rank your page higher.
- About 72% of marketers believe that relevant content is the most effective SEO tactic. (ASCEND, 2015)
- Improving SEO and growing organic presence is the top priority of marketers. (HUBSPOT, 2017)
SEO is here to stay, you can fine-tune your marketing strategy as well but your priority should be SEO. Also, you can add relevant pictures, videos, or information to keep your page ranked at the top. When optimizing your page for keywords, make sure to choose variations of words to make you stand out among other businesses.
- “Near me” searches on Google have doubled over the past year. (Google, 2016)
- All the non-Google searches combined are less searched than Google images. (SEARCH ENGINE LAND, 2017)
- More than 85% of the brand engagement made by consumers is local. (SEARCH ENGINE LAND, 2017)
The location of your store or business venue is always significant. Make sure to list your exact location, working hours and contacts, etc. for better customer satisfaction. Also, make sure that the images you put up of your products have optimized tags and descriptions. Not to miss, local awareness can increase your site traffic as well.
- There is most likely a correlation between social media and search results, even though Google says they do not count as links. (SEARCH ENGINE JOURNAL, 2017)
- Organic traffic can increase up to 111% by republishing and updating old blog posts. (BACKLINKO, 2016)
- 40% of visitors are likely to abandon the page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. (KISSMETRICS)
- In the next 5 years, voice search is expected to double than its current rate. (SEARCH ENGINE LAND, 2017)
SEO may be the backbone of your marketing strategy but social media also plays a crucial role in this regard. Google recognizes the flexibility of all the content across the web therefore we may see that high-quality videos are often placed higher in search results. Furthermore, it is to be noted that readers might have loved a post that you made last year but got outdated over the passage of time. You must bring it back to life with a fresh updated post. Additionally, you cannot afford a drop in traffic. If this happens continuously, Google may reprimand your page. Therefore, it is advisable to keep your page running smoothly and steadily with tools like ‘Pingdom’.
If you find creating content for your site difficult, you can always outsource it to a creative agency to get compounding views on your post. Last but not the least, voice search devices like Alexa Voice and Google Home are also bringing in a lot of search engine traffic. One way to tackle such searches is by setting up a Q/A page which answers most of the common questions regarding your site/business.
We are well aware of the fact that Google has a firm grip on the search engine market; therefore everyone must abide by their rules. Moreover, SEO is by far the best online marketing technique in terms of effectiveness and long-term business results.