Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of altering your website to achieve a high ranking on search engines, especially Google. Digital marketers have talked about the importance of SEO for a long time, but business owners can’t help wondering, does it really work? Is there really any way to control where you rank on Google? Well, there’s no way to control Google, but when you employ proper SEO techniques, you give your website the best chance possible at a good ranking.
How Does SEO Work?
Google updates its search algorithm over 500 times per year; meaning SEO is constantly changing to keep up with the updates. However, one thing that remains constant is that SEO aims to put your website on the top of Google when potential customers search for certain keywords. To fall in line with the current Google algorithm, you will create pages around general topics for which you wish to rank. Within the page, you’ll include subtopics with greater detail. In addition to including your keyword, you’ll want to include as many words as possible that relate to your keyword to help Google understand your page. Google has gotten smarter in recent years and now attempts to understand searches and pages rather than simply match results word for word.
In addition to the regular Google rankings, a good SEO strategy now involves optimizing your website for Google’s rich answer box. More and more people are searching longer phrases and questions in search engines. This change is the result of the rise of voice search and the improvement of search engine’s ability to understand the meaning behind searches. When people enter long-tail keywords and questions, Google will find the best answer to the question from search results and place an excerpt from that site in its rich answer box at the top of the page along with a link to the site. A good SEO strategy will include long-tail keywords and different questions your potential customers might ask within your content to improve your likelihood of being featured in the rich answer box.
Another important feature on Google for which you should optimize your website is local search. Local search is especially important for mobile search, as people are typically searching for businesses near them while they are on the go. This type of search is on the rise, as Google reports “near me” searches have increased by 2 times in the last year. This feature is also important because it will appear at the top of search results, before the top-ranked pages. To properly optimize your page for local search, your website will need to mention your location in multiple places across your site and have a clearly labeled address.
Why is SEO Important?
So, why does SEO matter, anyway? Well, 93% of all web traffic comes from a search engine. Additionally, the fact of the matter is, if your page does not have a high ranking, people won’t see it. In fact, 90% of searchers do not go past the first page of search results, and 50% don’t even go past the first three results. (Source) For this reason, it’s important to improve your website’s Google ranking. The best way to improve your search rankings is to employ SEO tactics. When your website has the aspects that Google looks for, it will reward you with a good ranking. Strong visibility on Google is the best way to increase traffic to your site and attain more leads.
So, Does SEO Actually Work?
Because Google’s search algorithm is always changing, SEO practices are always evolving. However, as long as you follow Google’s guidelines, SEO will result in higher search rankings. It will take a while to build up your SEO strategy, so you should wait a few months before measuring your SEO strategy’s success. However, a good SEO strategy will result in good search rankings in time. Not only will it increase traffic to your site, but it will also increase the quality of your traffic. In fact, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate compared to 1.7% for outbound leads. For this reason, when you use SEO tactics, you will generate more leads and close more deals.
ImageWorks, LLC | CT Search Engine Optimization
While professional SEO services can offer many opportunities to your business, you should never depend on SEO alone for the growth of your business. The companies that thrive on the online world have a comprehensive approach and utilize both online and offline marketing strategies. SEO can be a big piece; however, it is only one slice of the marketing pie.
By integrating all of today's Web tools such as SEO, social media, pay per click, and blogs, ImageWorks, LLC can turn your site into a lead generation tool.