What if I told you there was a way you could reach thousands if not millions of potential customers for almost no cost every. single. day? I must be crazy right? There’s no way that something like that exists. Well, prepare to have your mind blown *cue “boom” sound effect*!
What is this magic bringer of site traffic I speak of? Search engine optimization – or SEO. If you’ve been in the marketing world since the early 2000s then you know what I’m referring to. But, if you’re new to this whole “business and marketing” thing then this article is for you. It gives a basic overview of what SEO is and why your startup needs to be taking advantage.
What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is exactly what it sounds like – you are optimizing your site for search engines. Before we go any further though, let’s go back to the beginning for a bit so you really understand exactly what is happening.
Google is a robot. Okay, maybe you knew that, but it uses machine learning. This means its algorithm (the system for sorting and classifying information) is constantly changing and learning based off of how the searchers (oh hey, that’s us!) are behaving. Hold on, constantly changing? Yes. Google has small, insignificant changes that happen every day. Usually, they go unnoticed and you don’t really have to do anything. However, every now and then, there is something that could cause your traffic to drop or increase without any real explanation. If this happens, you usually have to do some digging to better understand how Google is looking at content all over the web.
Then, there are the huge updates that Google actually (kinda) announces. The last one of these was way back in 2015 called RankBrain. Long story short, RankBrain is very content focused. What you put out on the web and how trustworthy or informative your audience thinks your site is, is the ultimate factor in how your site ranks on a search page. Meaning, with just one article or even a paragraph you can go from #1 to somewhere on the 5th page (not good).
Okay, so now that you have a basic understanding you might be wondering what we can do about it. So, Google does this thing but what does that mean for my site? What can I do? Well, that’s where SEO comes in. See, an SEOs job is specifically to help your site rank better on a SERP (search engine results page). They do this through technical SEO that goes into the specific code and organization of your site and on-page SEO that focuses on content, keywords, and the structure of your pages.
Yeah, it’s a lot.
All of this then helps you to rank and gain relevant traffic that is interested in your business so you can cash in on some serious revenue. If you have a site, you need to have it well SEO’d. And, if my long-winded explanation didn’t convince you, here are some more reasons.
It’s Basically Free
I know, I know – nothing in this world is free. And, it’s true. If you’re interested in SEO you most likely have a site already that you are paying for hosting or paid a developer to make, etc. However, using an SEO plugin like Yoast for WordPress is free. You SEO your site correctly with the help of this plugin and working closely with your developer then you should be good with no major cost to you! The next best thing? Awesome tools like SEMrush let you create a free account where you can use their crawler to audit your site for any key errors that could be impacting the performance of your pages.
Pretty cool right?
Your Competitors Are Doing It
When doing an audit or competitive analysis for a client there’s one thing I always tell them – what are our competitors doing and how can we leverage their work? A quick Google, Bing, or even Yahoo search will show you how your where your competitors are coming up. Now, you need to be there too! The best way to do this is through awesome SEO. Or, if you notice that they aren’t appearing when you search for main services and products, you need to beat them to the punch.
Search is Skyrocketing
Before doing anything for SEO, think about your own habits. After all, you’re a customer too and you search on Google and other search engines. What do you search for? What content makes you want to click into the link? How often do you search? Chances are, you search quite a bit and it is most likely questions (just a guess).
Studies have shown that 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. Additionally, Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads.
Basically, if you aren’t taking advantage then you’re missing out.
It’s no lie that SEO takes time and resources. Just choosing random keywords and created a title that sorta matches your page simply won’t due. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to gather more traffic. With a bit of research (stay tuned for future articles), you can better understand SEO basics so that you can monitor the health of your site and make, at the very least, content adjustments to help you rank better.
It’s time to start reaping the benefits of modern technology.