There are many myths and misinformation out there when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Whether you are a curious business owner looking to expand online or an entrepreneur interested in starting the best SEO company The first thing you need to do is read up on the facts about SEO.
SEO began in response to the increasing number of websites populating the World Wide Web. At that time, developers foresaw the need to put in place an indexing system for websites. Through this system, users can find and access websites by entering certain keywords in a search bar. This idea finally took shape in a so-called search engine.
When coding the software, the developers faced a number of challenges: What determines the order of the search results? Which parameters decide why a certain website is positioned over another website with similar content? While the algorithm’s criteria were never published, some people noticed a pattern among the top search results. When they identified their common traits and built them into their websites, they found a positive impact on their search rankings. This practice became known as SEO.
Does SEO even work?
With all the buzzwords and grandiose promises, it’s almost too easy to believe that you might be betrayed. The truth is that search engine algorithms evolve and change over time, so the SEO techniques that might have worked a year ago may no longer be effective. This means that in order to run an effective SEO campaign, you need to constantly monitor trends in user search habits and website design. You might even be wondering whether the outcome is making a big enough impact on your business to make the effort worth it. To answer this question, let’s look at some statistics.
- 53.3% of all website traffic results from a search
- 28.5% of users click the first search result on the first page, and only 0.78% of users check the second page
- SEO generates over 1,000% more traffic than social media
- 76% of local searches result in a visit to a physical store
- 28% of local searches result in a sale
- 51% of users discover a company or product through an online search
What can we conclude from all this information? First, it removes the misconception that running a business on social media is good enough. Social media is a good place to build a community and build loyalty from consumer brands. However, in order to maximize your company’s potential, you need to build a website and employ SEO tactics. Second, it shows that advancing in search rankings increases your organic traffic significantly, which leads to increased brand visibility, which then leads to higher sales.
How do I start SEO?
- Research your customers’ search habits. It makes sense that by understanding your customers’ searches, you can optimize your content to match the keywords they use most. For example, if you are a Glendale pastry shop, you can assume that the most common way people search for your business is through “Glendale Pastry Shop” or some variant thereof. Also consider the people who search with voice-controlled virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri. Most of them may be looking in the form of a question like “What are the pastry shops in the Glendale area?” By identifying the most common keywords for your business, you can include them in key elements of your content such as meta descriptions, titles, tags, body text, etc.
- Optimize your websites. Your website is the representative of your brand in the digital space. A slow, confusing, and unsafe website does a bad job of reflecting your brand and preventing visitors from continuing to access your website. Invest in the necessary resources to keep your website safe, stylish, and functional. In addition, generate content that is valuable to your target market. A game store will not benefit from generating content through music or TV shows. Know what format your users want to display information in. Are your videos and podcasts generating more engagement than your blog posts? Then focus on making more videos and podcasts.
- Start a link building campaign. Google developers have confirmed that the number of backlinks is one of the top 3 ranking parameters. So it is of the utmost importance that as many external websites as possible are linked to your own website. The reason most search engines see backlinks as a good thing is because they believe websites would not risk damaging their own reputations by directing their users to a website that is not safe, of high quality and for it is relevant. Ideally, you should be linked through websites with content and a similar user base as yours. It is also preferable to have multiple external websites linking you rather than one website linking you multiple times. You should also make sure that the websites you are linking to are legitimate and not suspicious or spammy. Linking too many of these sites to yours can have a negative impact on your search rankings.
- Track your success indicators. The only surefire way to confirm that your SEO campaign is working is to monitor several key metrics. Starting a campaign without knowing your goals is like running a race without a finish line. By tracking your indicators of success, you can optimize your efforts on tactics that work best and instantly alert you to any stagnation or negative impact caused by implementing certain methods. There are many great SEO tools available online like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, NightWatch, and the like, and you can easily choose which one suits your needs better.
When it comes to tracking site metrics, the sheer amount of data available makes it easy to get overwhelmed. Focus on everything instead of keeping an eye on everything:
- Search rankings. Obviously, one of your goals in performing SEO is to increase your rank on search engines. If you see your rank rise, it is a sign that you are on the right track.
- Organic traffic. If you find your search ranking rising, it should coincide with an increase in organic traffic too. If it doesn’t, it may indicate a problem with your SEO strategy. Make sure your keywords and backlinks are relevant to your primary consumer base.
SEO is an industry that is constantly changing. Search engines change their algorithms so often that you have to religiously monitor the trends and parameters so you don’t lag behind your competitors. Also, don’t expect overnight success. Depending on how competitive your industry is, it can be months before you see any tangible results. Most companies choose to outsource for this reason. When you get advice from an expert, you spend less time guessing and taking unnecessary risks. Given the amount of misinformation and people viciously taking advantage of the high demand for SEO services, you need to do your research before hiring an SEO company to do your marketing online. With a lot of patience and extensive research, you are sure to find the best SEO company for your business.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger who enjoys writing about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.