Your Guide to Understanding Digital Marketing: Search Engine Optimization
When customers search something related to your business, will your website be on the first page of Google? Or is it maybe on the second, third, even fourth page? Search engine optimizing makes sure your website appears front and center. As the next part of our digital marketing series, we’re talking about all the details of SEO.
WHAT IS SEO?
When you Google something and can’t find the answer on the first page, do you feel like there’s no answer at all? Don’t worry, us too. Nobody wants to scroll through a bunch of pages to find the piece of information they were looking for. So what if there was a way to ensure your website appears near the top on the first-page for customers to easily find? Spoiler alert, there is! SEO is the perfect solution to put your brand right in front of your customers.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of ranking higher in an organic Google search. When you Google something, the first three to five options that come up are search ads, but after those begin the hundreds of pages of organic results. Appearing higher in those organic results ensures customers can easily find you.
HOW IT WORKS
By optimizing your website with specific keywords based on unique SEO strategies, you expand your reach in organic search results. Using advanced keyword research tools, you’re able to find the exact words and phrases that people are using to find your business. Optimizing your web pages with those keywords and phrases is then what allows you to rank higher in Google search and become more easily visible to your customers. While keywords are the driving factor for SEO, there are several other elements you should consider that can affect your ranking.
User engagement is all about what people are doing on our website. How long do they stay? Are they interacting? How often do they come back? The time people spend on your site can have significant results on your SEO. The longer customers stay, the better. If customers arrive on your website and then immediately exit, you’ll have a high bounce rate and lower rank in Google. Same goes for the way customers interact. Do they actually complete an action on your site such as making a purchase or filling out a form, or do they just browse and exit? Always keep your user in mind when optimizing your website; it's their actions that are going to impact your SEO.
We all know what it’s like to go to a page that takes forever to load; we feel discouraged before we even attempted to find what we were looking for. Well, we aren’t the only ones who feel this way. Google also takes it into account in its website ranking algorithm. The longer it takes your site to load, the lower you’re going to be in the search results. When coming to a website, seconds can feel like minutes; in fact, 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Keeping your loading time as low as possible is critical for having successful SEO.
A responsive website is more important than ever before, and Google has even started to penalize sites that are not mobile-friendly. While it varies by industry, it’s safe to say that mobile traffic now exceeds desktop traffic in most cases. So if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, customers probably won’t even waste their time. This factor also ties back into user engagement, if customers are trying to view on mobile and it’s not working, they’re going to exit and leave you with a high bounce rate.
Blogging is a great way to increase your SEO; websites with blog content have 434 percent more search engine-indexed pages than those that don’t. 434 percent! But what makes blogs so great for SEO? Blog posts help your SEO because it shows that you have answers to your customer's questions. When a customer finds a brand that can answer all their problems, they’re probably going to stay around to learn more about you and browse your website. The longer they stay on your site, the higher user engagement, and higher you’ll appear!
There are many benefits of being ranked higher, such as improving website usability to drive leads for your business, becoming more relevant in Google search, and receiving more organic traffic. Website optimization should be a big part of your digital marketing strategy, but there are even more ways to expand your digital presence. In the next part of our series, we’ll be talking about social media advertising, stay tuned!
Are you ready to learn the ins and outs of social media advertising? We’ll be talking all about specific platforms and strategies. If you’re ready to start the conversation now, contact Matt at Matt@beUNANIMOUS.com to schedule a consultation on how you can benefit from search engine optimization.
UNANIMOUS is a Lincoln, Nebraska based agency that assists clients with branding, marketing, and web design. With over 350 active clients across 15 states, the agency is known for its collaborative style and prides itself on rhyme, reason, and results.