When broadband technology became available in 2004, it was only a matter of time for the Internet to assert its influence on business and everyday life. Within 10 years, mobile devices made it possible to access the Internet anywhere and everywhere.
Today, more than half of the world’s population is online every day. It has become clear that the battlefield for market share has shifted to the Internet. With 91% of Internet users favoring organic search, it is imperative for your business to be found online. If your business was not found online, that is more than half the battle lost. And that is why your business needs SEO right now.
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a marketing discipline which utilizes different techniques and processes to drive your website up the SERP or Search Engine Results Page.
In the Internet, launching search queries is the number one method used by consumers to find information. According to statistics, 75% of users do not go beyond the first page of the results. In fact there are studies that show 60% of Google users only click on the top 3 links on the SERP with 33% going to the website in the number one position.
The objective of SEO is to get your website in the first position of the results page. But the race for search engine rankings can get quite competitive considering there are over 1 Billion websites operating on the Internet.
You can view SEO as the way your website communicates with the search engines. To launch a search query, a user types in a series of words that best describe the information he is looking for.
For example, if you want to know which types of equipment to buy to set up a home gym, you might type in “best equipment for home gym”. Once you press “Enter” the search engines’ web crawlers will seek out websites which contain these keywords.
Once found, the crawlers will index the web page and store it in massive databases for recall whenever a similar search query is launched. The search engines will only present results which are relevant and useful to the query. Also, the search engine will base its rankings on the popularity of the website.
Search engines use mathematical equations or algorithms to measure the levels of relevance, usefulness and popularity. But it is not just about having the right keywords. Search engines want to know if the keywords used were relevant to the content.
Keyword density or the ratio of keywords to total word count is another factor that could influence your website’s search rankings.
Based on Google’s adjusted algorithm, the recommended keyword density is between 0.5% to 2.5%. So in a 1,000 word blog, the main keyword should appear between 5 to 25 times within the content.
But in the end, “Content is King”. You should always focus on producing high-quality content over keyword density. This means content that is relevant, original, informative and engaging.
In addition to keyword usage, there are other techniques and processes in the SEO toolbox that can be used to help your website get found.
5 Best SEO Strategies for Your Website
In its early days, SEO was widely criticized as a marketing discipline which ostracized other online marketing tools and techniques. But that was the mistake of its first practitioners because effective SEO is more than just integrating keywords in code and in content.
There are other SEO strategies that can be used to drive traffic to your website.
Here are the 5 best ones to consider:
1. Content Marketing Process
People are on the Internet 6 hours every day. 23% of the time is spent reading content. 61% of consumers report their decision to purchase was influenced by a blog or a post they found online. The statistics supporting a sound content marketing strategy are overwhelming.
That’s why keywords must be used judiciously and strategically. When writing content, don’t just integrate keywords for the sake of getting found. Keyword density should not come at the expense of presenting relevant, usable, engaging and original content.
Your audience must find value in your content. And it’s not just in written format. Other powerful avenues to drive content include videos and podcasts. If you consistently deliver great quality content, you build up your reputation as an expert on the field and as a valuable resource.
2. Create Backlinks
Backlinks are links from another webpage that point to your website. The number and quality of links that direct to your website can influence its position in the search rankings.
A strong content marketing strategy can help create backlinks for your website. If the user considers your content a valuable resource, he may want to reference it in his own webpage as a hyperlink. Anyone who clicks on the hyperlink will find himself on your website or web page.
Thus by creating backlinks, you can potentially increase the number of views or followers of your website.
3. Transition to Mobile- Responsive Design
Search engine giants such as Google will penalize websites that are not mobile responsive in their rankings. User Experience or UX is one of the most important criteria for search ranking consideration by Google.
If users cannot access your website via their mobile device or if they can but the experience was unpleasant, 61% will click out and patronize a competitor with a mobile-responsive website.
On the other hand if the experience is positive, there is a 67% chance the user will buy a product or service.
Studies have shown that Google prefers mobile- responsive design because having only 1 URL makes it easier for its search bot to index the website. It also minimizes the risk of on-page SEO errors.
4. Get SSL Certificates for Your Website
As the threat of hacking continues to grow, data protection and security of information have become the paramount concerns of search engines. In fact, Google gives secure websites a boost in the search rankings.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is technology that establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. When you transmit information through the Internet, it may go through a number of servers and browsers before it reaches its destination point.
SSL encrypts the information you send out to make sure it cannot be intercepted by shady third parties.
5. Write Long Form Blogs
Studies have consistently shown that long form blogs or those that exceed 1,600 words rank higher than short form blogs.
In fact there are studies that show websites with the highest search rankings feature content exceeding 2,400 words.
Long form blogs that are well-written, loaded with valuable information and embedded with the right keywords will present you as a knowledgeable resource. It will also keep readers engaged in your web page for a longer period of time thereby improving your bounce rate.
5 Benefits of SEO for Your Business
After going through the different strategies optimization professionals use to give your rankings a boost and to drive more traffic to your website, it should be very clear why your business needs SEO right now.
As consumers continue to grow more dependent on the Internet for information, it becomes more important for your business to increase its visibility online. SEO is a proven strategy for enhancing your online presence.
Here are 5 benefits of SEO for your business:
1. SEO Works
For years naysayers have proclaimed “SEO is dead”. But today, it continues to thrive as an integral point in the online marketing strategy of many businesses.
SEO works because organic search will continue to be the number one go-to approach by Internet users for finding information. An updated study by Search Engine Journal showed that 93% of consumers launch a search query to find products, services and general information.
If you do not work on improving the search rankings of your website, your business will not get found by consumers.
2. SEO is a Cost Effective Strategy
Traditional advertising and marketing strategies are expensive and unsustainable. Production costs for flyers, press releases and print ads are rising and it is not cheap having them featured in local or national publications. Once the campaign is over, your collaterals will just line up the bottom of a trash bin.
SEO presents a cost effective and sustainable strategy. As discussed earlier there are several ways to drive traffic to your website and push your rankings higher up the SERP.
The SEO professional can design a framework that incorporates strategies to fit your budget. For example, he can emphasize content marketing and create long form blogs for distribution to various online channels such as social media, large scale informative sites and aggregators.
The long form blogs that have been published can be reused again after a few months to attract a new audience.
3. Consumers Do More Research
Consumers are taking advantage of the accessibility of information by conducting more research. An estimated 80% to 90% of consumers search for online reviews and product information before making a decision to patronize a business or not.
If your website cannot be located by the consumer, how do you expect to generate business? In the Internet, the probability of becoming a “hole-in-the-wall” success story is highly unlikely.
There are no avenues where consumers can stroll down by chance and find your business. It is all about your positioning in the SERP.
4. SEO is Measurable
SEO Professionals use keywords analysis to determine the size of your market as well as their buying behavior and preferences. The data gathered can be used to fine-tune or customize your online strategies to make it more focused toward your target audience.
Thus the measurability of SEO makes it possible to create more flexible marketing strategies. Flexibility is an important quality in strategy design because the availability of information makes it more difficult to pinpoint consumer tastes, preferences and changes in demand.
5. Everyone Else is Doing SEO
In today’s highly competitive business environment, you should use every available tool and process to your advantage. If you are not using SEO, there is a very good chance your competitor is. Is this a chance worth taking?
It is also possible that your competitor is not very good in SEO. In either scenario, including SEO in your business development plan at the very least, evens out the playing field with your competitors.
In view of the continued growth and influence of the Internet and the increasing popularity of mobile devices, online marketing will remain your best option to market and promote your business.
Having a mobile-responsive website is a step in the right direction but optimizing its content will certainly help accelerate its growth and visibility on the Internet. Thus it is very important to invest in an SEO program now more than ever before.
Think of SEO as the Sun with the various processes as the planets revolving around it. An effective SEO strategy will keep the processes aligned and in place so your business can identify, capitalize and monetize on the opportunities available on the Internet.
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