The Huffington Post once stated, and we quote, “The best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google Search results.” As alarming as this homicidal quote sounds, it’s meant to highlight the importance of ranking on the first page of results since that’s where over 71% of all search traffic clicks are captured. While there are different ways to build and improve online presence, one of the most popular methods of increasing online visibility through search engine optimization or SEO. Yet, many people continue to ponder the question, “What is SEO and why is it generating so much buzz in the digital world?”
In this post, we aim to clear the confusion once and for all by sharing everything you need to know about search engine optimization and its importance for modern businesses and website owners.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is simply the process or set of practices designed to increase online visibility and website traffic organically. It’s a smarter and potentially more valuable alternative to pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and the go-to choice for businesses with limited budgets looking to rank their site or content higher on Google and other search engine results. However, with organic search becoming a prominent way for people to find and access online content, most online businesses use this tool as part of their integrated digital marketing strategy to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to their sites.
The Four Main Elements of SEO
Before we dive into the importance of this trending marketing practice, let’s check out the four main elements of SEO:
1. On-Page SEO
This refers to the process of optimizing web pages for specific keywords. When tackling on-page SEO, marketers typically consider:
- The Content (Web pages, blogs, videos, infographics, listicles, social media posts, etc.)
- Keyword selection and placement using tools, such as Ahrefs, Google Analytics, Alexa, etc.
- Page design and layout.
2. Technical SEO
This process involves optimizing your website for search engines to easily crawl and index your web pages. To ensure your website structure makes sense from a search standpoint, you need to consider the following aspects:
- Link structure
- Meta tags (title, descriptions, etc.)
- Image optimization
- Site speed, etc.
3. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO involves using different off-site techniques to improve your website’s rank through link building, including:
- Blog and forum commenting
- Social media posts
- Guest posts
- Content marketing
- Press releases
- Video content, etc.
4. Local SEO
Since search rankings vary according to the destination, local SEO involves refining on-page, off-page, and technical SEO strategies to help businesses target local visitors and potential customers. This is typically done by creating and using geo-targeted keywords that reference cities, countries, regions, and terms like “near me” or “around.”
The Importance of SEO for Modern Websites
While most tech-savvy professionals and business owners are familiar with this digital marketing tool, only a few understand how valuable it can be for brand awareness, building relationships, and increasing revenue. So, without further ado, here’s why your website needs SEO:
1. Improving Search Ranking and Visibility
The core function of search engine optimization is to increase visibility and make it easier for prospects to find your business when they search keywords related to the products or services you offer. The math is simple; the higher you rank on search result pages, the higher the chances of prospects visiting your site.
2. Web Traffic
Another essential function of SEO is to increase web traffic. According to recent stats, the top spot on a Google search gets nearly 32% of clicks. Even if you can’t make the top, you should at least aim for the top 10 results and continue to move up to increase your click-through ratio. Since, ads usually occupy the top three spots in most search results, ranking slightly lower can actually benefit you as modern consumers like to steer clear of them.
3. Page Authority
Google and other search engines are programmed using a set of algorithms designed to show the most relevant results. One of the key metrics used to determine whether a site is trustworthy, relevant, or has something valuable to offer is Page Authority (PA). PA scores range from 1-100 and the higher you score, the more authority your site has.
When you implement an SEO strategy for your site, you could rank highly for certain keywords and steer clear of the competition. By the time your competitors catch up and start using the same keywords, you could top the ranks and generate a higher number of clicks. With millions of businesses rapidly going online following the pandemic, an effective SEO strategy could give you a competitive edge in your industry.
By opting for SEO, you steadily build traffic organically, meaning you don’t have to spend a fortune on PPC or other paid marketing tools once you’ve established a reasonable rank. Although SEO does cost money, it’s significantly less compared to paid marketing channels.
Now that you’re well-versed on what search engine optimization is and its importance in the digital age, it’s time to get started on building a killer strategy to increase your digital footprint. At Ignite Marketing, we offer a one-stop solution for all your marketing needs. Our team of highly experienced digital marketers, developers, and eCommerce specialists are equipped with the latest digital tools and solutions so whether you’re looking to improve your rank organically or build a fully-optimized website from scratch, we’ve got you covered.