What is SEO
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as “organic”) search engine results.
Despite the acronym, SEO is as much about people as it is about search engines themselves. It’s about understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they wish to consume. Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to connect to the people who are searching online for the solutions you offer.
If knowing your audience’s intent is one side of the SEO coin, delivering it in a way search engine crawlers can find and understand is the other. In this guide, expect to learn how to do both.
Benefits of SEO
If you buy an ad on Google, you pay every time someone clicks on it, whether they buy from you or not. But with organic (unpaid) site traffic gained through effective SEO, you don’t pay any more even if you get millions of clicks. Plus, if your content is well-designed with the key words and phrases that resonate with your priority audiences, your quality score will increase, reducing the cost per click and your campaign will receive more leads for every dollar spent. Without good onsite SEO, spending money on search ads is like throwing your money away.
Optimised pages remain optimised. You can continue to rank highly for optimised keywords for years after your investment into SEO. Depending on how thorough the optimisations and how motivated your competitors, your rank could theoretically be maintained forever. Add to this monthly blog content to keep new ideas and inspiration in front of your readers and there’s nothing stopping your brand!
Higher return on investment
With digital ads, the average conversion rate is 3%. With strategic SEO, the average conversion rate is 5%. If there are a thousand searches a day for your products or services, that’s roughly 60 leads a day you didn’t get yesterday, and it repeats every day! Plus, search engines will reward good, consistent communication and onsite SEO, so your site will grow in authority and relevance.
People trust that the first organic listing in Google, Yahoo and Bing is a reputable company, perhaps the best in category. They also tend to believe that the top search results contain the most reliable information. After all, why else would they show up at the top? With SEO, you can claim that spot and become the person to beat. If your SEO is good enough that your top tier listing includes a display of subpages right in the search results, you can gain credibility and visibility that supports your advertising and you can dominate the page!
4 Costly SEO Mistakes to Avoid
1) Mobile-Unfriendly Website
Search engine optimization involves much more than content and keywords. It includes the experience users have when they visit your website. And since more than 50% of people will find you on a smartphone or tablet, your site must deliver a mobile-friendly experience.
Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm update of April 21, 2015, which now penalises websites that fail to do this, shows how important your website’s design is for SEO.
2) Broken Links
Don’t you hate it? You’re reading a web page, intrigued by the information, click on a link and …it’s broken! You get an error page.
Guess who else hates broken links? Google. Broken links will get your website downgraded in Google because they deliver a bad user experience. This can wreck all of your hard work in content creation and SEO.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Sweep your website regularly to find and clean up broken links.
3) Missing Links
Just as broken links can hurt you, a lack of high-quality outbound links can cause your web page to rank poorly in Google.
Take the time to insert external links to relevant, high-ranking websites with good reputation. And don’t forget to link back to any high-quality websites that link to you, as this can further boost your search rankings and web traffic.
4) Ignoring Analytics
This is so obvious, but many people miss it. The only way to know if your SEO efforts are working is to analyse your progress. Failure to set up and review traffic data for your website is a serious blunder.
But it’s easy to do. Google gives you two incredible resources — Analytics and Webmaster Tools — to measure and analyse your website’s performance. By creating conversion goals and weekly reports, you can see which web pages are converting browsers into buyers, for example.
It’s critical to know what’s working, what’s not, and what to do next in your optimisation. Otherwise, you’re simply flying blind.