This is the first part of a multi-part series that explains the major factors of a successful SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. In this part, we will explain the first step before starting any SEO effort, and the different types of SEO.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of making changes to your website design and content in order to help it appear in the search engines. Today more than ever search engines have replaced the Yellow Pages for people looking for products and services.
The numbers are staggering:
- Search engines like Google handle over 75,000 searches per second.
- Google accounted for over 75% of all global search traffic, followed by Bing at 10%, Baidu 9%, and Yahoo at 2.8%.
- Google’s search volume grows by 10-15% per year.
- Local business searches account for 46% of all searches on Google.
Before We Begin.
The first step before any level of SEO effort to begin is to determine if SEO is going to be beneficial to the business. In the digital space, no two marketing verticals are alike. Doing in-depth research your digital strategist should be able to determine if there are enough opportunities from SEO vs. other forms of digital marketing such as social media, email campaigns, etc. Often they might recommend a proper mix of SEO, social media, and email campaigns.
Initial SEO research should include:
- Number of online searches specific to your business and their monthly search volume
- Trend analysis of every search term to determine if it is growing or contracting in popularity
If there is sufficient online opportunity from SEO then a choice has to be made on what type(s) of SEO to be implemented in the strategy.
Sprint or Marathon? Both?
There two major types of SEO: Organic or paid-per-click (PPC).
Organic SEO is when we align the existing/new content on your website with key search terms or keywords that people are using to search on search engines.
The goal here is to get your website to appear on the first page of a search engine for a particular search term(s). Organic SEO campaigns often take time to show results. Depending on the difficulty of the keyword and how long it takes search engines to find, process, and index your new content. This could take months of continuous SEO effort before measurable results are realized. Once a search term is ranking on page one depending on the level of completion requires little attention during the campaign and efforts can be spent on ranking for more search terms. Exponential growth in people going to your website can be achieved through organic SEO.
PPC or paid-per-click SEO involves purchasing key spots (usually top of page one) on search engine displays to place listings showcasing your business and the ability to click on that ad to direct the viewer to your website.
Paid-per-click (PPC), as the name implies, when a user clicks on your ad to go to your website you will be charged an amount for that click. Professionals develop proper PPC campaigns with experience in developing ads, finding the correct search terms, and preparing an optimized budget. The benefit of a PPC campaign is instant. Once the advertising campaign is started the ads immediately appear on search engines. Another benefit of PPC is the tools available to specifically target demographics for a particular search term. The downside of the PPC campaign is when you turn off the advertising (cut off the money supply) the ads instantly disappear from that point onward.
A strategic approach (budget permitting) to SEO is to use both organic and PPC when starting an effective SEO campaign. The PPC side will give you the instant traction to your website while organic SEO is growing. The overall goal is to reduce the PPC campaign to zero while the organic SEO campaign takes over. Consult with your digital strategist for options.
What About Local SEO?
Local SEO involves listing a local business onto various search and business listing platforms. There are other factors that are involved in optimizing local SEO such as reviews, maps, etc. As Internet users utilize these platforms more, and competition increases for local ranks, local SEO will be needed for businesses to attract people to your brick and mortar location.
In the next article, we will explain how the health of your website affects SEO.