What is SEO?
The word SEO is thrown around a lot as being an essential tool in digital marketing, but what exactly does it mean? Like any tool, you can’t be expected to use it if you don’t understand what it is and how it works!
With that in mind, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. In short, SEO helps businesses create user-friendly and searchable websites that rank higher in search engine results. Read below our latest blog thoughts on what is SEO and 4 great reasons why SEO matters.
How SEO works
So, if a customer is looking for, say a local shoe repair store on Google or Yahoo!, they will receive a list of websites that best match their query. This is called ‘search results’. At the top of this search are the paid advertisements that businesses pay to have there. Apart from this, the vast majority of results are non-paid organic results.
This is where SEO comes in. Its main goal is to make your website appear at the top of this organic list underneath the paid advertisements. Considering that X% of users don’t go past the first page of their search engine results, it is absolutely essential that you are appearing on the first page of results in order to be part of the conversation. After all, you don’t want your competitors to be doing all the talking!
The Main Elements of SEO
There are two parts of SEO that achieve this. The first one is called on-page SEO, and the second is called off-page SEO. On-page SEO is everything on your website that you control, from keyword presence (for example ‘local shoe repair store text on your webpages’), the load speed of your website pages, header text, and so on.
Off-page SEO refers to anything done on other websites that might influence your ranking. An example of this can be links on other websites that direct people to your website, thus improving your SEO score. Blogs on external websites are great ways to link directly to your website and thus influence prospects.
Going back to on-page SEO for a second, it is so important for your SEO strategy. Below are the on-page SEO markers that you need to be hitting in order to have a strong SEO presence. By implementing these markers your SEO strategy will improve dramatically.
Content is king in many ways. If you are looking to attract customers, you need to make the content relatable for them. If you are a café owner, you can do this by starting a blog about your favourite recipes, tips on how to make the perfect latte, characters that come for a cuppa, and so on.
Building a relationship with customers before they become a serious sales lead is an important tactic to put you front and centre in their decision-making mindset while also providing them with interesting and educational content.
Content comes in many forms:
- Webpage content
- Social Media Posts
When it comes to asking what is SEO and the 4 great reasons why it matters, keywords are king in many ways. They are integral to a successful SEO strategy. They are effectively the words and phrases that people use to find content online. When looking to add keywords to your content, make sure to research what ones have high search rates.
By adding short-tail keywords (e.g. cafe), long-tail keywords (e.g. best cafe), and local keywords (such as best cafe Dublin) you will develop a three-pronged approach to capturing the attention of customers. To get started with such an approach, check out these top SEO tools for 2021.
As you can see, the question ‘what is SEO’ involves a variety of strategies and actions that need to be taken into account in order to rank highly in search engine results. The site with the most relevant keyword presence matches, good quality header text, load speed, and external links is going to rank higher than those who don’t possess these key ingredients.
By seeing your website in their search engine results, the customer is more likely to visit your website and thus become a paying customer. If you have poor quality SEO ranking, you probably wouldn’t even feature in a person’s Google search results. That is quite significant as you are losing out on potential customers to competitors who are bypassing you with their better SEO strategy.
In a nutshell, SEO will make your website more visible. With more people visiting your website you will naturally have more opportunities to convert them from prospects into paying customers.
4 Reasons Why it matters
1. Website Traffic
Organic traffic is very important for businesses as it provides the vast amount of people coming to your website. To increase it, you need to optimize for the biggest search engine there is, namely Google.
X% of search queries are carried out on Google search engine. That’s x out of x users who use Google over the other competition out there, such as Firefox, Bing, and Yahoo! Google gets x amount of searches a year. Let that sink in!
Google is the main game in town, so optimizing for this search engine should be an absolute priority for any business.
2. Trustworthiness and credibility
People trust search engines to provide them with the information they are looking for, so if you appear on the first page of results then they are probably going to take you at face value that you are a trustworthy and credible business that understands what is SEO.
By appearing in the search result, the likes of Google are effectively giving the green light to say that you are a reliable source to do business with. In other words, this means that your website is high quality, relevant, and provides the solution to what the person is looking for. By maintaining these factors and adding to them with a regular SEO strategy, your search engine ranking will only increase.
3. User experience
By having an easy-to-use website, your SEO ranking will improve. Search engines can interpret if this is the case or not and so affect your scoring.
For example, if people are arriving on your website and leaving without taking any actions (this is called bounce rate) then that tells the search engine that they are not enjoying your website experience. A lower bounce rate will do the opposite and so the search engine will recommend your website more by improving its ranking and searchability.
Another way to improve your ranking via a great user experience is to ensure the load time of your web pages is low. Customers will get impatient at a low load time and will more than likely go back to their search results to find another website. X% percent of users expect web pages to load within X seconds or less. If you’re not within that timeframe, it’s time to make some changes to your website.
4. Visibility and rankings
To recap on the what is SEO explainer above, one of its most important functions is to increase the visibility of your website so prospects can find your business more easily when they are searching for something you have to offer.
The higher you rank on a search engine result page (SERP), the more likely you are to convert people from prospects into paying customers. It’s as simple as that!
Now that you know what is SEO and 4 great reasons why SEO matters, you can action these tips into a working SEO strategy by getting in touch with us! Glassfull Media specializes in SEO strategy, having worked with many customers previously to help them achieve their goals. If you have questions about working with digital marketing agencies, then check out our recent blog ’10 great questions to ask when hiring a digital marketing agency’.
We’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have. You can book your free consultation here with our team of specialists and also view the various SEO price packages we have on offer here.
If you’d like to get started and get these questions answered, then speak to us now by booking in a free consultation here.