The 2nd Page is a Lonely Place
In today’s search-dominated digital environment, it’s crucial that your business’s website be easily found by potential visitors. With 40,000 Google searches conducted every second, and 75% of users never looking past the first page of results, the task of driving users to your website is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and it has never been more important.
Phase 1: The Basics of SEO
SEO is a combination of tactics, both on your website and off, that work to get your website ranking at the top of a search results page for your most important terms. When a person searches on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc, for the items or services that you provide, SEO is the behind-the-scenes work that will get your site to show up toward the top of those search results.
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself: ”Do we really need to focus on this?” or “We’re okay being on page 7 of the search results.” Consider this:
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
- The top listing in Google’s organic search receives 33% of traffic. (Source: Search Engine Watch)
- Page 1 in search gains 92% of all traffic, leaving 4.8% of traffic for Page 2 and decreasing figures on each page after. (Source: Search Engine Watch)
SEO Crash Course Notes:
- SEO deals with “organic” rankings, meaning these search results can’t be bought.
- SEO helps drive people to your site, but doesn’t help them once they’ve arrived.
- Conversions, purchases, and engagement are a different beast (which Cazarin also loves to tackle.)
But HOW does SEO work?
Google uses “web crawlers”, a special type of software, to find and index webpages. They follow links from page to page much like a human surfing would, and creates an index of what it finds. That’s the beginning, but then it still has to search this information. For that, Google has engineered algorithms that take into account over 200 “signals” that work off of a search query, trying to find what the most relevant search results for that user is. To learn the whole process, visit Google’s interactive infographic on how exactly search works.
Quality > Quantity
There is no exact science to SEO, and that’s what makes it so challenging.
The algorithms used by search engines are constantly changing, meaning the work of SEO is constantly changing as well. Tactics that may have been effective in the past (link farms, keyword stuffing, etc.) are now frowned upon by search engines and can actually end up penalizing your website in the rankings.
The factors that do affect a website’s search ranking now include a multitude of marketing efforts, including social media, blogs, and content engagement. (We’ll get to those in later blogs.)
SEO Crash Course Notes:
This is only a very brief overview of what SEO is and why it’s important to today’s digital marketing landscape. Over the next few months, Cazarin will be publishing a series of blog posts that will provide a better understanding of what SEO is, how it has changed, and how it fits within your overall marketing strategy. So buckle up!