Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a concept most business owners have at least some peripheral knowledge of. Put simply, it’s the practice of making your website accessible and easy to read not only for human viewers but for search engine crawlers as well. Optimizing your site for search engines requires you to adhere to a set of standards that will help make it more visible and easier to understand for tools like Google and other search engines.
Although search engine crawlers have become more developed over time and now possess a very high level of sophistication, they will never be able to understand content in the same way an analytical human mind can. Take, for example, the case of an image. When you look at a photo, your mind takes away all kinds of information. What is the subject of the photo? What is the location? When was this shot taken? Who was present? As humans, we can even draw certain emotions from photographs—a frolicking puppy might make us smile, but a shot of the aftermath of a natural disaster might bring us to tears.
But how does a search engine crawler process a photo? It knows an image is there, of course, but it can’t see the picture and it can’t process the elements included. Does that mean the photo is a waste of space when it comes to SEO?
Not at all. SEO gives us ways of encoding the human-friendly content of our page with hidden robot-friendly elements, so that both our human visitors and search engine crawlers can get the most out of the site.
Let’s explore some reasons why it’s so important to make the most of SEO.
High SERP Rankings Lead to Conversions
The endgame of SEO is to achieve a high spot in the SERPs (search engine results pages). You’ve experienced this phenomenon many times—every time you’ve done a Google search for anything. The search engine returns a list of sites it deems potentially relevant to the word, phrase, or question you searched. Google’s crawlers are very good at analyzing site content and returning sites that are actually relevant to the query.
Searchers are statistically most likely to click on one of the first five results that come up after any search, so it’s definitely to your advantage to ensure a position for your site in the top five. The best way to guarantee that is with SEO. And once visitors are on your site, you’re halfway to a sale!
Squash the Competition
It’s a simple fact that part of the nature of business is outperforming your direct competitors and keeping them from overtaking you in the market. Whether you pride yourself on being aggressive and competitive or you shy away from the more cutthroat parts of the job, you know that you do need to outdo your competitors.
SEO is a powerful tool, and it’s likely that your direct competitors are using it. And the internet is too vast to be an arena you can afford to ignore. Don’t allow your competitors to gain an upper hand when it comes to search engines—make sure they’re reading your site and ranking it well so you won’t fall behind.
Create Brand Awareness
Everyone uses the internet. It is an absolutely massive and utterly pervasive marketing tool with more power than any other in our time. And as such, it’s the perfect way to get your name in front of as many eyes as possible.
Brand awareness is the term that refers to how familiar customers and potential customers are with your product. More specifically, brand awareness measures their familiarity with the existence of your product, since someone can be said to have brand awareness even if they haven’t actually experienced the offerings of the brand in question. Brand awareness has to do with how familiar your name is. Do those who hear it feel the warmth of recognition? Do they think, yes, I’ve heard of this company before, I know what they have to offer?
Research shows that good brand awareness is an essential part of business. Not only do potential customers think of you first in times of need because your name is top of mind, brand awareness is also a significant way to establish trust. The more people hear a company name, the more intrinsic trust they place in that company, feeling subconsciously that it must be stable, serious, and reliable.
Having a strong online presence and appearing at the top of the SERPs gives you the brand awareness and reliability that can be so valuable.
A Measurable Strategy
SEO is a good online marketing strategy for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s cost efficient. Though you may invest a little in an SEO expert to help you optimize your site, rest assured that the money spent will be an investment and not a cost to you. You’ll see great returns, because, for the reasons discussed above, SEO is just so effective.
The results of your SEO strategy are also very easy to measure, and any SEO expert you hire should include analytics as part of the package. Look for a team like the experts at Firestarter SEO, who can both help you implement and help you analyze the results of your SEO plan. Your SEO team should also help you tailor your plan in light of your results to make sure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
If you want to measure SEO success for yourself, it’s easy enough to do. There are several applications available that can help you track how well your site is performing. However, the advice and expertise of the professionals will be hugely beneficial in determining why something is or isn’t working and making the appropriate changes. You don’t have to go it alone. Invest in success.
SEO is a tool that will take your website to the next level and help your business thrive. Get started today.
Chris Mcdonald has been the lead news writer at complete connection. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. Chris is also an author of tech blog Area19delegate. He likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.