An Introduction to SEO

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Intro to SEO

The number of searches performed each year is estimated to be around two trillion. As the high demand for search continues, so does the demand for search rankings. Having your business appear prominently in search, where people are looking for the service, product, or resource your business provides is crucial to its survival. But, obtaining prime search real estate is not a simple task. Instead, it requires a foundational understanding of SEO. So, let’s dive into some of the basics of SEO.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of any successful website because it helps to drive traffic to your site and increase its visibility in search engine results. SEO works by targeting specific keywords or phrases that apply to your business, products, or services. When someone runs a search on a search engine, the goal of SEO is to put your website towards the top of the list of results. This not only creates more visibility for your website but also helps to serve the user with relevant results.

The primary goal of all search engines is to present a relevant, fast, and fresh search experience. We use search engines to find answers to our questions as quickly as possible, so search engines invest a significant amount of time, energy, and capital in improving their relevance. According to The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization, this involves “performing extensive studies of user responses to their search results, comparing their results against those of other search engines, conducting eye-tracking and click-through rate studies, and constructing PR and marketing campaigns.” 

Because a search engine’s success relies heavily on the relevance of its results, black-hat SEO tactics that result in non-relevant search results are dealt with very seriously. Major search engines focus heavily on identifying and eliminating spam from their search results to ensure ranking positions are earned fairly and results remain as accurate and relevant as possible.

How Does Organic Search Work?

Search engines are a complex tool in today’s technology and you’ll need to get a basic understanding of how they work.

  • Search engines discover pages by a process called crawling.
  • The content from these pages is analyzed and stored in an index – this step is often referred to as indexing.
  • Search engines select the most appropriate and significant pages from their index and present them as organized search results for users’ search queries. This is called ranking.

SEO involves optimizing web pages to be easily crawled and indexed by search engines while demonstrating that your content is high-quality, relevant, and user-friendly for the best user experience.

Think about your most recent Google search. You probably arrived at Google with a goal in mind. But with the array of options your search results delivered, it’s likely you performed several additional searches to help you reach your end goal.

People use search engines for a variety of purposes, with some of the most popular being to research, locate, and buy products. People may spend several minutes, using several queries in a single search session. This indicates that people think about their search in stages. Searchers usually begin with a single term and gradually get more specific as they get closer to meeting their end goal. They may also experiment with different keywords or search queries.

The Importance of SEO

Today’s consumers rely on search engines to help them find everything from restaurant recommendations to ancient history research. As searchers, it is interesting to note how search engines operate, but as a business owner, having a foundational understanding of search is imperative to the growth of your business.

Imagine you’re looking for recommendations for a nearby lunch restaurant. You search, “lunch restaurants near me” and, in under a second, Google presents over 300 billion results. Your main focus is on the top three to five organic results presented in the upper left area of the results page. This is what is referred to as the “Golden Triangle.”

Studies, such as the Enquiro eye-tracking test, prove how little attention is traditionally paid to results lower on the results page, versus those higher up. Users’ eyes are drawn to bold keywords, titles, and descriptions in the organic results, versus the paid search listings, which receive little attention.

Within the last few years, Google introduced what is called blended search which presents results that are grouped into forms of media such as video, images, news, etc. With this addition, sites that rank organically are positioned lower on the results page, making this real estate even more valuable than ever before.

Determining Your Target Audience

A key element to building an effective digital marketing strategy around search visibility is understanding who your audience is and how they think about, discuss, and search for your product, service, or brand. A great place to start is keyword research.

Keyword research will help you determine where you should concentrate your content marketing. Getting informational content in front of users who are seeking information is vital. The moment you provide valuable information to a user, you are given the opportunity to build a relationship. From there, you can easily drive your prospect down the inbound marketing and sales funnel, earning yourself a paying customer.

4 SEO Tips for Beginners

  1. Conduct thorough keyword research to identify the most relevant keywords for your business, and use them to optimize your website content.
  2. Optimize your website’s metadata, including title tags and meta descriptions, to make it easier for search engines to understand and categorize your content.
  3. Create high-quality, informative content that is optimized for your target keywords and provides value to your audience.
  4. Regularly monitor your website’s performance using tools like Google Analytics to identify areas for improvement and track your progress over time.

No matter your industry, the success of today’s businesses relies on their ability to be found online. Implementing a strong, quality SEO strategy is not only beneficial to a brand and its marketing efforts, but it is critical to its web presence, especially within competitive markets. If you’re looking to grow your business through SEO, contact us today

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