If you have been running your business for even a brief period of time, you have almost certainly heard of “SEO.” You may have seen and heard it referenced dozens of times, but may still not really grasp what it actually is.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the life blood of any truly successful online marketing strategy. Though SEO has already been around for a quarter of a century (essentially for as long as online search engines have been a thing), it isn’t going anywhere.
If you want your website, and therefore your business, to truly compete and stay on top, you must apply smart SEO strategies. Without it, your site could be lingering on page two or lower of search engine results never to be even seen by searchers and your prospective customers.
What Is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the application of numerous actions and strategies that help improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) and your brand’s overall online reputation and exposure.
Through expert SEO practices, your website can turn up on the 1st page of SERPs, increasing its visibility and the likelihood of getting organic traffic to your website.
Poor or non-existent SEO practices, however, regardless of how excellent your website and services, could land you on page two or lower where your site will likely rarely if ever be seen.
Good SEO is somewhat complicated, as it is made up of multiple strategies and actions, some of which must be maintained. This means keeping up your SEO requires a lot of time and effort, which is why many businesses hire SEO agencies to get them started and even manage SEO for them.
How Does It Work?
There are numerous elements that come into play to improve your website’s SEO. Here are some of the basics:
- Keywords: search engines use the user’s search terms to help determine the validity of web pages to the user. These search terms are often referred to as “keyword search terms.” Websites with higher concentrations of these key words will appear more relevant to the search engine and therefore will likely rank higher than websites without, or with fewer occurrences, of the key words.
- Webpage titles/URLs: just as search engines will look for the user’s keywords in your website’s content, it will also look for them in your website’s URLs and web page titles.Websites with URLs that match the searcher’s keywords will be ranked more highly than those sites that do not.
- Backlinks: a part of what search engines are programmed to look for and determine (besides key words) is reputability of your website. In other words, search engines are programmed to determine if your website is a full-fledged website with real, useful information contained in it.A part of the way they do this is by looking for backlinks to your website that exist on other, reputable websites. If numerous, quality sites link back to your website for a specific topic, then that is a good sign to the search engine that your site would be valuable to the user.So, good SEO strategy helps websites establish quality, authoritative backlinks to improve their reputability. The more backlinks, the higher the ranking.
- Content: another way search engines determine reputability is by the freshness of your content and the activity on your website. If you set up your website over a year ago and haven’t updated or added content since, your website appears outdated and inactive.The more active the website, the fresher the content, the higher it will rank in SERPs.
Why Does It Matter?
Okay, so hopefully by now you have a better understanding of what SEO is and what it will do for your website.
But you may not still understand why this is so incredibly necessary. So, here’s some important info for you:
- 80 + % of users will not go past the first page of search engine results
- 80 + % of users will stick with the top ten results
- The majority of users assume that search results rankings equates to the rank of the quality of the business (i.e. if it is number one in search results, that must be because it is the number one business in that industry)
- The majority of users trust online product and service reviews as much and more than word-of-mouth referrals
- The majority of individuals searching for services will rely on the internet over word of mouth
The above should make it evident why it is so important for your website to at the very least be on the first page of search results for your line of business. If you want to be getting real traffic that actually represents potential paying customers, your website must rank highly on searches, particularly on Google. Bing is also an underrated search engine, as it serves as the default browser for many brands.
Unlike advertisements, click bait, and social media campaigns, good SEO is helping capture individuals who are most likely already ready to buy what you have to sell, since they are in fact the ones doing the search.
Or, if they are not yet ready to buy, they are searching and interested in concerns related to your business. These are ideal leads who should be easy to convert.
So, besides helping direct a lot more traffic to your website, it is valuable, relevant traffic. An increase in that kind of traffic will naturally mean a significant increase in actual sales.
A final perk is that, while it is focused on capturing your ideal customer, solid SEO strategy still does an excellent job at advancing your brand across the web and enhancing its overall reputation.
This is because your site will crop up higher up in more and more searches that are even remotely related to your line of work, if done properly. So you are still getting out there to folks who could one day become potential customers or who could spread the word.
SEO strategies are constantly changing as the algorithms search engines use are adjusted and updated. It really requires an expert to make your website’s SEO presence strong and long lasting. A powerful resource for your brand, and investment in SEO can produce marketing ROI for your business for years to come.
If you have the resources, the ideal scenario would be to hire your very own SEO strategist. However, many businesses, especially start-ups, do not have those kind of resources. But, good SEO can help you grow until you do!
In the meantime, you need to hire the best SEO agency to get your website onto the first page in Southwest Florida! Contact us today, and we can help your business in Naples, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers or Marco Island on the first page of Google for your desired search terms. Give us a call today at (813) 433-0927. We have achieved transcendent results across many business niches on both a local and national level.
Ask yourself. How do you validate a business? Do your customers to the same search when they intend to buy your product or service? If they do, you should strongly consider SEO as a part of your overall brand strategy.