What is SEO?
Every business owner who holds the top ranking for certain keywords in Google knows the importance of understanding and studying search engine optimisation inside and out, how perplexing it can be, and also how powerful this strategy is in terms of business expansion opportunities.
But, what exactly is it and how does it work?
It is a type of digital marketing strategy where you optimise your website to get more organic traffic from the results in the search engine page for the keywords you want to rank for.
It is one of the most classic, powerful, and game-changing digital marketing strategies to increase the quality and quantity of website traffic and the exposure of your brand through organic search results which ultimately lead to increased revenue.
In other words, SEO is a combination of strategies that makes certain changes to your website(on-site), content, backend optimisation, and so on, to make it easier for search engines to crawl your contents and website whenever someone types in the target keywords.
Once your website is optimised well, search engines like Google will list your website as one of the top results in the search engine results pages(SERPs) and show your website pages to your desired target audience.
Being on the highest of search rankings holds huge monetary value for website owners.
This, in turn, gives you more opportunities to convert potential prospects into customers and when done correctly, SEO can help your brand stand above others as a trustworthy company and further improve the user’s experience together with your brand and website.
And of course, a ton of free sales and revenue as well.
Well, let’s dig a little deeper.
How does it work?
In the digital age, the search engine is like a library and a storage of web pages.
It looks through all the pages in its billions of indexed pages on the server and tries to return the most relevant results when the user types a query into the search engine.
When someone searches something in Google, let’s say, “Best laywer in Sydney”, Google spider(search algorithm) crawls through the web and tries to find out the perfect answer to this question.
So who exactly is the best laywer in Sydney out of thounsands of laywers out there?
It tries to find an answer to the raised question by going through 30 trillion websites and checking 100+ factors against all the websites.
List of the checklist includes the quantity, quality, and relevancy of the backlinks of websites, Domain Authority(DA), Trust Flow(TF), content relevancy, geographical location and proximity to the person searching on the web, cache history, reviews, social signals from social media…
and so much more, in less than 1 second.
This is, at least, the technical side of how Google works.
Why is SEO important?
It’s a great opportunity to attract potential customers
SEO takes up one big category of a digital marketing strategy. More than 100 billions searches are done each month, most of them with the intent to find information or answer to a question that they have.
What if you can volunteer to answer those questions by providing free and valuable information ?
This can be a great opportunity for your business to attract potential customers who are interested in your products and services and naturally build a brand by giving something of value for free.
In psychology, there is this thing called “Reciprocity bias” which is a tendency to reciprocate the actions of others creating a wave of indebtedness.
If someone gives something of value to you for free or does something to you, the receiving person is more likely to return the favour or pass the favour on to others or back to the person who offered in the first place.
In short, give something free of value, share knowledge, love others and good things will happen.
Even in the world of business !
It is cost-effective
If you’re working with a tight budget, SEO is a great way to drive traffic to your site without directly paying for it.
In fact, it is a proven “long-term” digital marketing strategy that has the highest ROI(Return on investment).
Once you do the heavy-lifting of being on the first page of Google, you’ll start attracting more people driven by the algorithm, traffic will naturally increase by the organic clicks and this positive cycle will keep going for a long time without additional work.
Compared to traditional marketing of newspapers, TV, yellow pages, or even fliers or even PPC(pay-per-click) marketing, once the initial heavy lifting is done, SEO is completely free.
Create good contents that are relevant to your niche or even hire a writer to write blogs on your behalf.
Do it for 1 year and you’ll soon find your business has significantly improved in terms of sales.
No Traffic means, no business
A lot of sales opportunities will be missed if potential customers cannot find your website.
Correctly optimising your website with SEO strategy will not only increase your organic search traffic but also increase brand awareness, CVR(conversion rate), newsletter signups, sales, or whatever your goal may be.
Without traffic(customers), there is no business.
People are busy
There are trillions of pages on the web that can match every possible keyword that exists out there.
When checking out a service or product online, users are more likely to settle on one among the highest three suggestions that the search results show them.
In fact, studies by Backlinko found that the first 3 websites attract 75.1% of all search traffics for a particular keyword and only 0.9% of people click on something on the second page of Google.
Robust SEO strategy helps your website rank higher in search results and garner more visibility online, making potential customers more likely to click over to your site.
We should understand the search behaviour and target long-tail keywords to rank high up there and expand from there.
What are some elements of SEO?
On-site SEO is everything to do within your website from writing SEO-friendly blog contents, optimising meta description, meta tag, optimising website architecture, top/mid/bottom-funnel keyword allocation to landing pages, and blog, indexation, and so on.
You want to give a strong signal to search engines that your website is about a particular niche and it contains lots of valuable content worth ranking on top.
Off-page SEO refers to all techniques you use to enhance the position of a website within the search engine results page (SERPs) that happen outside of your website.
Often times, people associate off-page SEO with link building as well as brand mentions and somewhere along the lines.
In general, off Page SEO has got to do with promotion methods beyond the website itself to make the website rank higher.
Backlinks are one of the foundations of SEO and one of the most important ranking factors, even today.
Backlinks to your website from high authority and big websites like Wikipedia send a strong signal to Google that your website got a digital vote and it is a website worth ranking high.
From Google’s point of view, the more votes, the better and therefore the higher ranking.
It’s analogous to famous people mentioning and recommending a particular person or a product – when this happens, other people might view the mentioned product or person worth looking at.
In essence, backlinking occurs because people find your contents, services, or products relevant and useful to their contents.
Although it takes tremendous effort to make a quality content worth sharing by many, you have to keep creating valuable contents and distribute your contents wherever possible for a long-term success in SEO strategy.
Keywords are not the only SEO technique that matters, they are still crucial to your site’s overall optimization strategy.
Once we speak of keywords, we are pertaining to specific words and phrases that potential customers use to seek answers online.
There are three types of keywords: top, mid and bottom-funnel keywords.
Top and mid funnel usually refers to broad keywords that are suitable for blog contents and bottom funnel keywords are usually suitable for landing pages/money pages where you need to drive people to take an action(buy).
If you would like to get the right traffic to the right pages on your website, it is very important that you conduct thorough keyword research before you begin writing about a topic.
This way, you will specify keywords with a certain amount of search volume already exists.
In other words, write toward topics (or find keyword niches) that users are already checking out and that is consistent with your intended outcome (traffic increase or sales?).
Ok, I can’t emphasise this enough. In SEO, content of the king.
Without thick, relevant, in-depth, SEO-friendly contents on your websites, there is no way you can rank up in the first page of Google for high volume keywords.
Consider writing about topic related to your business, services, products or niches consistently and constantly. If it’s too difficult, considering hiring a writer.
Content helps your organization create a connection with your site visitors and potential customers who are interested in your topic who might convert and be a paying customer in the future.
Not only that, search engines love thick and rich content that has a lot of value to its readers.
Once the search engines have found your content to be a useful one over others, your content will be rewarded with high ranking for relevant keywords.
Here is some list of contents that you could choose to write for your website.
Types of SEO Content
- Product/Services Pages
- Blog Posts
- Glossaries Directories
Local SEO is simply an SEO with more focus on local audience target.
If you have a business, shop or office and you’re selling products or services to your local area, city, or state, local SEO is the best way to boost your sales.
Search engines pull the user’s location to form suggestions that are within a particular range in order to make a fast assessment instead of sorting through businesses in all areas.
To rank for local business, optimise your Google My Business(GMB), verify it, use consistent addresses in all of your pages onsite and offsite.
Create contents and include your city or location in the article and contents.
National SEO is a type of SEO strategy with more emphasis on the national level.
If your business has a target audience in multiple cities in your country, national SEO will be the critical factor in determining your Google search engine marketing strategy.
National SEO targets a broader audience on a national level whereas local SEO strategy targets specific cities and its surroundings for a local business.
Simply put, national SEO is a “Local SEO x multiple cities” that requires a lot more work to be able to rank on top of Google for multiple cities.
There is no doubt that SEO is a vital digital marketing strategy for virtually all businesses.
Implementing a strong, quality, and effective SEO strategy on your website is always going to be advantageous to the brand and its marketing efforts in the long-run.
However, SEO magic does not happen overnight.
It takes anywhere between 3 months to 1 year to really start seeing the fruit of your hard work, so have this in mind and keep optimising your website and be consistent.
As long as you keep creating valuable content, keep optimising your website onsite/offsite and be consistent, hard work will pay off in no time.