7 Things About SEO That Marketers Should Know
SEO is a common term that leaves many wondering, “What is SEO?”
While there are many definitions of SEO, they all have the same bottom line of what search engine optimization is. Simply put, it is a digital marketing strategy, and every business and marketer needs to know about it. It is a strategy that helps improve the visibility of a company online to generate growth and revenue.
Below we will discuss more the definition of SEO, as well as offer a FAQ about SEO that many businesses could benefit from reading. We will answer common questions involving search engine optimization with several facts about SEO that you need to know about.
Keep reading to learn more about SEO!
What SEO Means
Like we said, many people have heard the term SEO. It is a common term that means a lot for businesses and marketing campaigns. It stands for Search Engine Optimization. Adopting this marketing strategy will optimize your site for the algorithms of search engines. This marketing strategy doesn’t just affect search results for Google but other search engines like Bing and Firefox.
While this is a top strategy for marketing campaigns, you also do it for people too.
If you have a company that handles drywall and services related to drywall, you want your website to appear towards the beginning of search results when people search for your services. While some companies don’t have any issues making the top rankings, but others don’t understand how SEO work, and they should definitely keep reading.
The Umbrella of Strategies that SEO Consists of
With SEO, the ‘optimization’ portion consists of an umbrella of strategies; since the algorithms of search engines rely on several factors that help determine the website’s rank, optimizing your site utilizing SEO can be done in several ways. Here are the trusted methods of using SEO:
- Removing Broken Links
- Ensure your Published Images Have a Descriptive ALT tag and relevant filename
- Design an Easy-to-use Website That’s Fast
- Using Keywords and Search Phrases while Creating Content for the Site
- An Informative and Compelling Meta Description for each Page
- Compelling Title Tags
- Backlinks Positioned on Relevant and Reputable Websites
SEO, however, isn’t only in the hands of the business owner. In fact, you need to rely on an entire team that specializes in different fields to make SEO work. For starters, you need web designers and developers. You also need talented copywriters, and lastly, you need an SEO expert that can take charge of the campaign and offer guidance to the team.
Because so many gears turn this wheel, many business owners make a tough choice. Either hire an in-house staff to handle their marketing campaign or invest in SEO services. The cheaper route, and honestly, the smarter one too, is to invest in services. There are companies that are considered full-service agencies; they offer the biggest advantage. They do this with a dedicated team of copywriters, SEO specialists, designers, and developers.
Organic Results over Paid Search ranking
You really can’t learn what SEO means without the discussion of organic result rankings and paid search results. SEO focuses on earning visibility in major search results. However, SEO does this by targeting only organic results.
When you make a search on Google, Bing, or other engines, you should be able to identify paid results from organic. Basically, the ‘Ad’ results at the top of the page are paid for promotions by a business. That is why, when you search for drywall service, you will get advertisements featured on the results.
On occasion, you may see these ads outside of searches that have the intent to buy. When you are doing a navigational search, you’ll most likely see ads as well. Businesses are also able to create ads that capitalize on competitor brands. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising offers new strategies to companies for promoting their services/products.
Even though paid ads always sit at the top of search results, it is still important to focus on SEO to earn a top ranking for organic results. Why? Paid ads are NOT free. When someone clicks on one of the paid results, the company has to fork out money for that click. That being said, when you have organic search results, you pay nothing if someone travels to your website.
A fun statistic: 70% of search results click are organic. This means that people bypass the ads to find organic search results. Don’t misunderstand, PPC is still a useful strategy, but organic search results are very important.
PPC is a digital advertising strategy that still supports SEO. It is just a way to give immediate visibility to your company in the search results. This can be a great boost for your company, as SEO results take a number of months to show.
PPC can also help your SEO campaign by offering important data. You get keyword data (The search terms used by individuals) that can help you organize your content to cater to. When you are building an SEO strategy and forming a campaign, it should always be considered to take advantage of the short-term benefits of PPC.
Black and White Hat Tactics With SEO
Black and White Hat Tactics can be used by companies that utilize SEO. However, that doesn’t mean that you should. These tactics will hurt your SEO strategy rather than help it. It can also result in long-term, extensive damage to the ranking capabilities of your website. It will also impact your online reputation.
Here are a few Black Hat Tactics:
- Over Stuffing a web page with Keywords
- Including invisible text (White Text on a White Background)
- Link Farms, Buying Links from another Website
White hat tactics, however, will help your company rank with relevant results. You get much-needed visibility for your business in the search rankings because of the SEO practices used. A few examples of these tactics are:
- Informative and Readable Content
- Shareable, Quality, Content that Reputable Sites Link To
- Regularly Scheduled FRESH Content
- Functionality and Usability of the Website is Maintained
- Fast Page load Time, Improved Speed
When you choose to use black hat tactics, you could face penalties that include having your website banned from search engines. That’s right; Google could choose not to include your website in results based on black hat tactics. On the reverse, white hat tactics aid your website in naturally appearing at the top of search results that are relevant.
Modern Shopping Habits Make SEO Matter
If you were to pitch SEO to decision-makers of a company, you need to make sure that your evidence is compelling while showing its value. SEO matters and you need that to show how it offers additional value to the company. You can see why it is essential to understand SEO that you know why it should matter.
Businesses and Consumers Shop Differently Nowadays
The days of going to brick-and-mortar stores are becoming a thing of the past. Nowadays, everyone shops from their desktops, laptops, or smartphones. They use these devices to search for products, read product reviews, ask relevant questions, and so much more. It is a known fact that shoppers do their research online now, and more than half of those shoppers discover a product or company that is new to them. It goes without saying that search engines have become a critical part of purchasing.
Basically, if you don’t appear in the results of relevant searches, your company doesn’t exist. Even if you appear on page 2 or 3, most users won’t see your company. 75% of users don’t make it past the first page of results. That is the biggest reason why SEO matters for businesses.
Even if you are a brick-and-mortar store, SEO brings awareness to your company’s existence and makes it easier for people to find services and products you offer. For e-commerce, SEO is equally important, if not more so. With this awareness comes conversion and consideration. That means a new lead or even sale for the company.
SEO Takes Time
To many companies, SEO means an ongoing commitment that is financially rewarding. However, a lot of the businesses that make the investment into SEO expect results right away. The fact of the matter is, whether it is revamping old content or making new content, you won’t see any ranking changes overnight.
The reason is that SEO will take time for results to show. In a lot of cases, several months could pass before your team will see the results in ranking. This timeline, however, is shaped by a few factors. Such factors include:
- Google History
If your website has been around for a while, and you have accumulated no penalties with google, you are likely going to see results sooner than a new site. However, it will still take some months for results to show, regardless of the age and history of the site.
Is It Worth The Wait?
This is the million-dollar question, and that can be pretty literal in many cases. SEO driver’s positive results, the majority of companies that have an online presence invest in this campaign strategy. To answer the question, “Is SEO Worth The Wait?” we can only say yes.
Algorithm Updates Change SEO Strategies
Major search engines, such as Google or Bing, undergo updates to their algorithms regularly. They do this to ensure that the user experience is the best it can possibly be. The updates that they implement directly impact SEO strategies and tactics.
That means, if your a company that is adopting SEO, your role to remain up to date needs to be an active one. Here are three ways to remain active in your role:
- Run Workshops
- Follow Blogs
- Take Courses
If you want to stay ahead of the updates for SEO, check out these three resources:
- Search Engine Land
Even if your company invests with an SEO agency that is reputable, they still need to be up to date with the changes.
Check out our FAQ to learn more about how SEO impacts businesses!
In Business, What Does SEO Mean?
In business, SEO means a higher ranking in search results for services/products relevant to your company. It utilizes an umbrella of strategies, such as content marketing, to make that higher-ranking come to life. It is about improving the visibility of your website with search engines like Bing or Google.
As an example, if you are providing drywall services, then you want your appearance in the search results to be relevant to hanging and working with drywall. If your strategy calls for it, then you may want to show up under search results about general construction, new home design, repair & remodeling work.
From the perspective of the business, SEO is a means of providing your company with a source of revenue that you wouldn’t get from other campaigns. Through search engines, even if you’re a brick-and-mortar shop, you can reach out to the audience you are targeting as they scour the internet in search of their next purchase.
Does SEO really matter to Businesses?
Only 25% of businesses choose not to invest in SEO. Here is why they should.
Generate Organic Growth
The most basic meaning of SEO for businesses is the tangible growth that your company receives. Your revenue gets the opportunity to increase, which allows for your business to expand.
Like we said before, if you aren’t on the first page of results, you are pretty much non-existent. We live in a world that is technology-driven. People rely on the internet for almost everything they need, using their favorite search engines to find answers, discover services, and research products.
Building brand awareness should be an aspect of any successful marketing campaign. Though brand awareness doesn’t equal to be immediate leads or sales, it does have an impact on future clients. Even loyal customer bases need to be aware of your brand as their ideal option for services/products in your industry.
When your company has an appearance high in the results of searches, you become a recognized brand, and then from that point, you become trusted. Eventually, customers will be returning to your website for purchases, calling to inquire about information, or even utilize your services before other brands.
Your business may have a strong focus on generating leads, depending on the business model and industry. That means you want your leads to be high-quality so your team can close sales. SEO actually makes this a possibility.
SEO and Digital Marketing provides dozens of data points for your company about your audience. You can use the analytics of your website to gain useful insight into your audience based on their browsing behavior.
Gain valuable insight into your audience with data points derived from SEO.
Because of the fact that 80% of consumers, as well as 71% of business-to-business clients, use the internet to search for products, companies in all industries use this information to leverage SEO in their favor, generating sales.
That being known, only 25% of individuals that use the internet to search for products make it past the first page of results. Without SEO, you are most likely not appearing on the first page. That means you are missing out on needed revenue, sales, and leads. Just observe the success of businesses that have invested in SEO.
How Does SEO Actually Work?
A quick explanation of SEO can be confusing if you don’t know how it works. Trying to get a company to sign-off on SEO requires that they fully understand it. That means you need to explain it in a way that makes sense for the leaders of the company to understand while answering any questions they may have.
Here are 4 points that help businesses that adopt SEO:
- Research on Keywords
- Website Optimization
- Site Audits
- Website Re-Optimization
Research on Keywords
We said it before, SEO will build your online visibility. Your in-house team, or the agency you hire for SEO, determines which results in search engines are important to the goals and overall business of your company. That’s where research on keywords is important.
When you research keywords, the relevant phrases and keywords used to find businesses in your industry are considered. This research is done by browsing social media or observing competitors. There are a few tools available online that help companies research keywords, such as Keywordtool.io.
Your company needs to optimize your website, and this involves building a strategy. This strategy will detail your game plan, as well as goals for the company using SEO.
Once you audit your website and research your keywords, your company can start optimizing your site. In some cases, your business may develop a strategy, which details your game plan and what your company wants to accomplish with SEO. Working with a full-service agency that specializes in SEO services will give you the chance to optimize your site based on the information you find from audits and keyword research.
However, before you are able to optimize your website, you need to have your company evaluated. A Site audit will help show your team where they can improve and where they have the potential to excel. Having regular audits done will keep that data current and allow your business to grow in a positive way. You are able to find free SEO checkers, but with a paid audit, you can get a deeper look at your current SEO.
Investing in SEO isn’t something you have to do once and forget about. In fact, it is considered an ongoing and long-term investment. You aren’t able to optimize once, then leave it be. The reason being, your competitors, are constantly acting on their SEO strategies, meaning you have to constantly re-optimize your site to maintain your ranking. Otherwise, your visibility will just cease to exist.
That is the reason why you need to be constantly creating new content for your company’s internet presence. You also need to be refreshing your old content to keep it proactive. Doing so will allow you to gain additional progress, making your company appear to your audience in relevant search results. Re-optimization means your company is following the process of optimization and auditing.
What can an SEO agency do for Businesses?
Small and midsized companies struggle to manage their own SEO. It requires an in-house team, and that means a lot of money, benefits, and overseeing. Even some massive companies find it challenging to manage an in-house team on the budget they have for SEO. That is the whole reason SEO agencies exist.
A company that specializes in SEO will provide your business with all that it needs, relative to SEO. A full-service company will:
- Develop a Strategy
- Optimize Your Website
- Measure The Results
They will have access to technologies and tools that will provide your company with reports to help make important decisions.
What is the average cost of SEO services?
If your goal is to partner with an agency that specializes in SEO, you probably want to know what you should expect in costs. Well, a Midsized or small business will spend (on average) $350-$2,000 a month. A lot of businesses find this cost-effective when they look at how much more they would spend on an in-house team. You should also consider the responsibilities that come along with managing an SEO campaign/strategy.
Now, when you decide to look for a company that handles SEO services, picking the cheapest one isn’t always the best choice. You get what you pay for. Low prices, or low monthly rates, can result in cheap work with little to no results.
With all this information, you can safely say that you know more about SEO than the average start-up business. Take this information and explore your options with SEO in improving your company’s brand, leads, sales, and traffic. If you decide to go with an SEO agency, then make sure you are choosing one with reasonable prices, reputable background, and relevant services to your campaign.