Have you ever wondered why your business doesn’t seem to get a lot of traffic directly from Google or other search engines? While you may have successfully shared content on social media or email, getting organic traffic from search results requires a different marketing approach.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of conforming your content and site to the requirements of search engines so you are more likely to get a higher ranking for relevant searches. Here are ten frequently asked questions about all things SEO.
When search engines need to choose listed results for a query, they rely on spiders (or site-crawling bots) and algorithms to determine rankings. The vast majority of clicked links are from results on the first page of Google. According to firstpage.com, the first organic listing on Google gets 39.6% of all click-throughs with the second listing falling off at just over 18% and third place dropping to only 10% of click-throughs.
And that’s just for the first page of results. Most users will enter a new search query rather than click to the second or third page of results. So, getting your content on the first page for select keywords is crucial if you are trying to increase organic traffic from search engine users.
In order to optimize your content for search engines, you need to understand what the search engines are looking for. SEO is the process of improving your content in ways search engines will appreciate, naturally increasing your ranking for specific keywords.
Keyword research is the first step and one of the most important activities when creating an SEO strategy. Keyword research is the process of identifying and selecting the key terms and phrases that your audience is searching for. Without focusing on keyword research, you may not ever show up when your target customers are actively searching for the things you sell.
SEO is not a quick process—especially if you are trying to improve your ranking for competitive keywords. With a consistent effort to improve content and site structure, you might be able to see movement in about 4-6 months. It’s important to give your SEO strategy time to work before you evaluate your progress and reassess.
When you haven’t tried to optimize for Google, you may not land on the first page of search results for your targeted terms. There are several things that can cause your site to not rank for keywords:
Google goes through hundreds of algorithm changes each year. There is no way to know exactly what will improve your SEO, but there are a few key things the algorithm is designed to catch:
Using internal links helps direct your visitors to other pages on your site. It’s important to give your users somewhere else to go and help direct their buyer’s journey. With the right internal links, you can keep visitors on your site longer and increase the likelihood of conversion.
However, outbound links are important too. While it might seem counterintuitive to include links to other sites, including the right links will give your visitors important and valuable resources. Using outbound links will help signal to the search engine what kind of content your page contains. It’s important to remember outbound links to authoritative sources shouldn’t be directly competing with the intent of your site, so you aren’t really taking away from your end goal of conversion.
Some sites will attempt to buy backlinks in order to increase their domain authority and search engine ranking. This process often backfires because the sites selling links are often spammy and won’t offer quality placements. This blackhat SEO practice is called link farming and can hurt your site ranking. Google has been clear it is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
SEO is a continually changing algorithm that never settles on its rankings, so you can’t rest easy just because you get to a good position! It’s important to continue updating content and optimizing your site to keep up with the requirements of the algorithms and visitor expectations.
Pay per click (PPC) offers a top ad spot for select keywords. Not only can PPC help you land in the top results for keywords you don’t yet rank for, but it can also help you land more spots for pages where you are a top ranking page. You might notice that some businesses will have the first organic result for a specific keyword and one of the top ad spots—this isn’t an accident. The more places you can land at the top of the results, the more likely you will gain a click from a search engine user.
Your website could suffer from lower ratings due to poor site structure, slow loading times or content that doesn’t appeal to your audience. A knowledgeable team of experts can help make sure you are getting the most out of your content.
Have lingering questions after checking us out? We’re here to help! And don’t worry—we won’t go into sales-stalking mode. So please feel comfortable filling out the form below and take us up on our offer to help.
Strategic 7 Marketing
6685 Beta Drive
Cleveland, OH 44143