What is SEO and how does it work?
As defined by Yoast, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. It’s the practice of optimizing your web pages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google or other search engines. SEO has proven to be the best way to achieve long-term results on your website.
The aim of SEO is to improve the organic ranking of your search results. This is all done through Google’s algorithm. It searches, crawls, indexes and ranks all the pages on your website. Google’s latest algorithm is BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) was announced in December 2019 and made its official roll out in May 2020.
What are some of the benefits of effective SEO?
- More customers on your website
An optimised website is going to get more organic traffic. SEO will help you achieve a better ranking on search engines which maywill bring more traffic to your website. More website traffic can result in better SEO.
- One step ahead of your competitors who are using PPC
Implementing the correct SEO strategy into your website can really set you apart from your competitors. If your competitors are using PPC in order to be on the first page of Google and your website is already ranking there organically, you are one step ahead. If you are also running Ads using PPC, then you may even have the opportunity of being on the first page twice. Your optimised website will maintain its spot on the first page of Google but your competitors will only be there as long as their marketing budget allows them to be there.
- More customers on your website
An optimised website is going to get more organic traffic. SEO will help you achieve a better ranking on search engines which may bring more traffic to your website. More website traffic can result in better SEO.
- Better conversion rates
Now that SEO has brought some more visitors to your website, the chances of a conversion being made are a lot higher. It is a no-brainer, visitors are more likely to visit a website that is mobile friendly and they are more likely to convert when the website they visit fulfils their needs as a consumer. A mobile friendly website with keyword rich content is crucial for SEO
- Builds brand credibility
Here are 2 tips on how to build brand credibility and gain the trust of your visitors:
- Have a contact page with Google Maps embedded in. This works great for local businesses. Before you can rank on Google Maps, be sure you first set up a Google My Business profile.
- Have a section on your website for customer reviews. Customer feedback results in more keywords, which is great for SEO. Customers are also more likely to trust a business/brand that is open about their reviews.
- Better User Experience
SEO and User Experience share a common goal which is to give users a great experience. SEO will help you to position your website on Google so that it can be more visible to your visitors. Once these visitors have landed on your website, it becomes all about the look, feel (UI) and content of your website to make sure that the visitors convert. In order for SEO to work, your website needs to have relevant information, good images, be easy to navigate and mobile friendly.
- Costs are less in the long run
It is never easy to decide where to spend your marketing budget. Both SEO and PPC are amazing marketing tools and they would both be considered great investments in your company. The difference is that SEO will be more of a once off, long-term investment meaning that the initial cost is higher and all the hard work will need to be put in at once. Organic traffic has staying power and as long as your keywords are ranking on Google, no further money needs to be injected into SEO. PPC is a continuous investment in your business and is short-term. Your campaigns will always need money in order to run.
What are the disadvantages of SEO?
- Results take time
Once you have optimised your website, you need to leave the Google Bots to do their job. They will use Google algorithms to crawl your website and rank each page on your website. This process will take time and the result is not immediate like PPC. It usually takes 4-6 months before you will see any results from SEO.
- Initial investment is larger
Many resources are required in order to optimise your website. SEO can not just be done by anyone, it requires an SEO specialist. If you are looking to achieve your long-term goals, then it would be worth the cost involved in getting your SEO done correctly and professionally.
- No target audience
You are not able to create a target audience. Once you rank on Google, you are advertising your website to the world wide web. This could affect the amount of relevant traffic on your website.
- Can’t just switch it off
Once you have optimised your website and it has started to rank on Google, there is no way to just switch SEO off. You could stop SEO or even remove any form of keyword rich content from your website but it will not automatically stop your website from being indexed on Google. The Google Bots are always crawling your website and it would take them time to crawl each page. You need to be prepared and be able to manage the leads that could potentially come from organic traffic when your SEO is done well.
Why is building a brand so important for SEO?
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Branding should be the foundation of your SEO strategy. It’s no secret that Google loves strong brands so it is important to focus on how having a brand can improve your ranking on Google. But in turn, SEO is an imperative tool in helping you build your brand. It is a good idea to start with a great SEO strategy to help build your brand.
What SEO metrics to include in a digital marketing report?
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that will assist you in tracking website traffic. It gives you all the tools you need in order to better understand your customers. Bonus is that it is free and all that is required is a script in the backend of your website!
Here are a few metrics that would be great to include in your SEO report:
- Sessions – this metric will tell you how many times your site was visited and which channel these visitors have stumbled across your website from.
- Bounce Rate – this metric will tell you how well your visitors are interacting with the pages on your website. Generally a low bounce rate is considered good and it will show you that visitors are spending a lot of time on your website, viewing more than one page. A high bounce rate is considered normal if you have a single-page site.
- Goals – this will be the metric that tells you that the visitors entering your site via organic traffic are converting.
Is SEO relevant in 2020?
Yes, more so than ever!! We will be dedicating an entire blog to the topic of SEO trends in 2020, so keep an eye out for that one.
In this blog we have mentioned how Analytics (a free tool by Google) can be a great tool for reporting the organic performance of your website. There are many other tools available that can be used to do site audits, check keyword rankings and perform competitor research. One of them being Serpstat! Check out our latest blog announcing our partnership with Serpstat and what they do.