Marketers are publishing millions of blog posts every day in an effort to establish their brand’s presence on the internet. Even as you read this sentence, more posts are coming up. How, then, can your brand stand out? There are multiple answers, but SEO is too important to overlook as a solution.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of taking steps to get a website higher in search results. Specifically, brands want to appear at the top of the right search results. If you own a lawncare business in St. Louis, it doesn’t help you to show up in Google results for the best local restaurants. On the other hand, it matters a lot if you show up in searches related to grass cutting services.
Effective SEO helps a company rank higher in the search results that are most important to them. There’s an enormous difference between showing up in the first position and the 30th. People rarely look to the second page of Google results, and your customers will find you before they find your competition if you can get yourself to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
There are three critical components to a good search engine optimization strategy: technical SEO, user experience, and content. You can use both to make your site more attractive to search engines. On the technical SEO side, you have things like setting up redirects and making sure your pages load quickly. The right sitemap will make it easier for Google to crawl and understand your site, which allows the search engine to lead people to it with a higher degree of confidence.
The other important part of SEO is filling your site with great content. Identify keywords and key phrases, then include them (naturally) on your site. The search engine will start to understand that your site is relevant for people who search those words and phrases, so it will send them to you. Don’t just stuff keywords into your site wherever you can, though, because it’s also critical to add value to your visitors.
Great content will encourage people to spend more time on your site, and Google is watching metrics like average session length. If your content is especially awesome, other websites in your industry are likely to link to your pages. When you start to acquire backlinks, especially from trustworthy pages, it tells the search engines that you’re an expert in that field. Everything from what you write to the design you use should be created with your visitors in mind. Search engines will only get better at determining how good the user experience is on your site.
There are a lot of reasons to invest in SEO, especially if you want to stand out from the competition in a time where more than half of all web traffic comes from organic search, and 91.5% of traffic share goes to sites on the first search results page. People aren’t going to stop using search engines any time soon, so a brand’s position on the SERP will continue to affect site traffic. If you can climb to the top of Google results, then stay there, you’ll receive sustainable ROI over time as the search engine puts more people into your marketing funnel.
In short, yes, SEO is worth it. More accurately, good SEO is worth it. There’s no barrier to entry that prevents people from calling themselves search engine optimization experts, so it’s important to work with someone you can trust. Companies have wasted truckloads of money on fake SEO gurus, and it can be hard to know when you’re being taken advantage of since SEO efforts normally take several months to produce results.
When you first connect with an SEO professional, ask them what they do and why it works. You may not understand everything they tell you, but they should be able to explain their strategy in basic terms. Feel free to call Buddy Gardner at any time and start the conversation about your SEO strategy.