When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, everything moved to online as access to offline channels became limited. More businesses shifted to digital platforms to continue servicing their customers and clients.
With this paradigm change, it is essential to establish and sustain a strong online presence to keep up with the stiffer online competition among businesses.
As marketers managing a business website, you need SEO to build a strong online presence and gain an edge over your competitors in attracting new customers without relying on paid promotions.
In this article, you will learn what SEO is and gain a better understanding of how it benefits your business.
What is SEO?
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results page (SERP). This process helps businesses become visible to customers and potential customers using relevant keywords and phrases in search engines.
How does SEO work?
SEO can be divided into two categories: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO involves optimizing different aspects of your website that affect your search engine ranking. This refers to the optimization of the following common elements :
- Meta Tags – These snippets of code contain relevant information about what a web page is all about, so search engines can properly read and index it. Putting targeted keywords that accurately reflect your page’s content into meta tags like title tags, headings, and URLs increases your website pages’ searchability.
- Social Meta Tags – This specific type of meta tag allows you to optimize how your content will appear on social media when shared. Getting your page content shared on social media tells Google how people find your content helpful and relevant.
- Page Content – The content on your website must answer commonly searched terms and queries about your business.
- Internal Links – Adding links to other pages in your website within your own content encourages site visitors to see more of what you offer and keeps them on your site longer.
- Page Experience – This is made up of a new set of signals that affects your website’s Google search ranking. This set includes Core Web Vitals, which are metrics focused on the loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of the page. Other existing search signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitial guidelines are also included in this new set.
Off-page SEO focuses on aspects that are out of your control such as getting links from other websites. These links are called backlinks, and they serve as a good indication of the quality of the content they link to. A backlink from a website that ranks high in search results is considered a high-value backlink. The more high-value backlinks your site has, the better it will rank in search results. Websites with fewer backlinks or backlinks from websites that rank low on search results will likely rank lower.
Why is SEO important for your business?
When your potential customers want to get more information, they usually rely on Google Search as a quick resource. Thus SEO is absolutely essential if you want to leverage this behavior to improve your business’ online presence. Some specific benefits of SEO include:
- Expanding business visibility. As mentioned above, people use search engines to obtain quick and accurate information. A study on Search Engine User Behaviour showed that 90% of the search engine users only view the first three pages of search results, and 62% chose to view results only from the first page of search results. Another study on Google searches showed that users take, on average, less than 15 seconds to click on mostly from the first page of their search results. This shows that your website must rank high in SERPs to ensure your potential customers see your website, and give you opportunities to attract and convert them.
- Gaining more organic traffic. If your website has good visibility for relevant keywords, you will see a notable increase in organic traffic over time. This will continue to add up exponentially with continued SEO.
- Building trust and credibility. When your website appears on the first page of major search engines (e.g.: Google, Yahoo, Bing), it gives your business a sense of trustworthiness and credibility. Potential customers are more likely to trust your business if they see you at the top of rankings for their search terms compared to other businesses that rank low and don’t have a strong online presence.
With SEO, you can gain a lot of qualified traffic and improve your brand’s online presence without having to spend a lot on paid advertising. However, it takes a lot of knowledge and proper implementation of SEO techniques as well as a bit of time before your website can achieve high search rankings. SEO is not a one-time, big-time endeavor. Once you have successfully optimized your website, it’s important to monitor the performance of your website (e.g.: track the changes in rank, traffic, or activity) and update your SEO strategy accordingly to ensure its targeted keywords are still relevant so that your website will consistently top search rankings.
For more information on search engine optimization, reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org