What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation; more than just another acronym, this marketing channel is pivotal to building traffic to any new or established website.
As the main driver of site traffic for the top 100 online businesses globally, Organic search is an indispensable part of these top companies online marketing strategy; any activity that involves improving your organic ranking in Google is considered SEO. If you’re not already using the Google Analytics tool then set it up for your account, along with Google Tag Manager, and take a look at what drives traffic to your site to see if it’s the same for you.
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Sceptics of SEO need only look at their search history to see how often they rely on Google to connect them with retailers, information, even brands they already know. I know that Amazon can be found at amazon.com, but I would still often type ‘Amazon’ into Google to take me to their site. An analogy I often use for describing Organic to the noobs is that the pay-per-click advertising model you see, e.g. AdWords, Facebook Ads, are like renting property. You can pay to get what you want straight away, but it costs a lot, and the investment is never-ending.
On the other hand, building you Organic ranking is like buying a house, it requires more planning, more time, but in the end, when you have a solid Organic strategy in effect, the traffic you get is there without you needing to constantly invest money and time into it. Just maintain it. Now are you getting excited?
The problem with acquiring Organic traffic is that you are guaranteed there is someone out there trying to rank for the same keywords as you. Rank is key when we’re talking about SEO. Not only is page 2 – and beyond – a total graveyard for traffic (page 1 gets over 90% of the traffic) but Just the first 3 positions take almost two-thirds of all the traffic following a search result. Appearing in Google is not enough. Depending on your industry, it can be incredibly competitive to rank up here so getting started as soon as possible is prerogative numero uno!
Problem number 2: There’s quite a bit in it. The algorithms Google use to calculate how your site should rank for a particular keyword are not only extremely complex, but no-one knows them! Unless you work at Google that is :). If Google publicised their algorithms then the system could be gamed. There is a black history to SEO when people realise tricks and hacks to boost their Organic rank without improving the user experience (and in some instances make it terrible) all for the sake of Organic rank. This is an important thing to consider because Google relies on the results they provide for search queries to be relevant and reliable. Relevance and reliability are what the person using Google require and if Google cannot provide this then it fails its core function. Therefore when we optimise our site for the algorithm we are optimising for the user in turn. Google actually takes this a step further. In their Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide, Google said:
“you should base you optimisation decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors of your site. They’re the main consumers of your content and are using search engines to find your work”.
Basically, people are your consumers, not Search engines.
What I’m getting at here is that Google’s Algorithm is unknowable, but we can figure out how we can improve our rank by:
1.) doing what we know will improve the user experience such as creating captivating content, having fast page-load speeds, building an easily navigable site, not disrupting the session with pop-ups such as interstitials, and so on.
2.) Chasing shadows. What I mean by this is that we don’t know the algorithms, but we do know when we mess up. Following major SEO blogs will keep us in the loop when it comes to SEO mistakes companies have made that lead to drops in Organic rank, and how to avoid them. The community is wide and vocal so be proactive to keep ahead of the curve.
SEO can seem overwhelming but it just looks that way, and the results are too good to ignore.
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Peace out 😉