Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful way to increase the visibility of your business. At its most basic, SEO is about increasing the rankings of your website. At its most complex, it is about managing the programming, content, visibility, and success of a website. SEO enables you to know what your customers want and helps them find you on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Those in SEO have to interact with people who create quality content that is engaging and credible.
With important updates to Google over the years and how they rank sites – search engines reward websites that provide relevant (technical details) and valuable content (high quality-content). SEO has changed over the years as the search engine algorithm has evolved. However, SEO is still the number one activity of successful businesses (Rutgers University), and best practices call for continuous improvement with constant updates to search algorithms. Therefore, it is crucial to develop new SEO skills and keep oneself up-to-date on the latest information and be able to drive a successful business online. Search engines are the primary way that visitors will find your website and is the core activity that extends to all other digital channels. But why is SEO important?
Importance of SEO
There are three major “players” in SEO; Users, Search Engines, and SEO. Users are people all over the world who use search engines every day and drive the SEO profession. Search Engines are technologies owned by tech companies, and SEO focuses on organic search rankings. The incentives for each create an ecosystem.
The User will search for more information with the desired outcome of the most relevant results and don’t care where that information comes from. Search Engines provide relevant results to users through either paid or organic results with the desired outcome to attract as many users as possible. They gain users by providing relevant information fast and in the least expensive way.
SEO with local search features can enhance your visibility and help you reach people in your local area. It is cost-effective, and the skills necessary for SEO are integrated across multiple digital-marketing disciplines like:
- Link Building
- Target Audience
- Page Speed
- Page Quality
- Keyword Research
- Article Marketing
SEO is focused only on lifting organic rankings (own or clients) with the desired outcome of showing that information to searchers or audience. The ecosystem stresses the importance of all “players” in SEO and will produce long-lasting results and ROI. According to Forrester Research, companies allocate 30-35% of their marketing budget on digital marketing. Customers acquired through organic search have a lifetime value that is 54% higher than average. Search Engine Marketing is the largest share of spend (paid and organic search) at 47% of total online marketing and 14% of the overall marketing budget.
One of the most critical factors of your website and SEO is the first page people see or the Home Page.
• 71% of the searches result in a click on the first page results
• The first five results account for 67% of all clicks, pages 2 and 3 get less than 6% of clicks.
Overall, SEO is vital to businesses and must be adopted correctly. Companies must optimize their websites for search engines to have visibility in the search results. It is less expensive and longer-lasting than alternative channels, yet it is continually changing and very competitive. Therefore it is essential to know you are on the right path through analytics.
What to Measure?
There is a common misconception that search rankings are the most accurate measurement of SEO success. The problem with this idea is that search results are mainly contextual, and they do not always directly correlate to the bottom line of business. Conversions are the best method of ranking SEO marketing success. Organic results conversion should define success in SEO as it does not matter how many people visited/viewed something, but if they purchased or used the intended product or service.
SEO enables a clear Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). It is the contribution to profit attributable to marketing (net of marketing spending), divided by the marketing “invested” or risked. ROMI is not like the other return-on-investment (ROI) metrics because marketing isn’t the same kind of investment. Instead of money that is “tied” up in plants and inventories (capital expenditures or CAPEX), marketing spending is typically expensed in the current period (operational expenditure or OPEX).
Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) = [Incremental Revenue Attributable to Marketing ($) * Contribution Margin (%) – Marketing Spending ($)] / Marketing Spending ($)
- Usually, marketing spending will be deemed as justified if the ROMI is positive
Other Measurements of SEO
- Impression – number of times search result has been viewed
- Clicks – and click-through, and click-through rate
- Engagement – clicks, views, downloads, responses, readings
- Referral – where the visitor came from – search, links, social
- Bounce – visitors who visit 1 page, and leave
SEO is more than optimizing a site for keywords; it’s about anticipating customer’s problems and reaching them first. It is still the most powerful free channel and unlikely to go away. At its core, SEO is about enabling users to find content and information they are looking for. Some principles of SEO, such as catering to user intent and creating an intuitive design, overlap heavily within other marketing disciplines. By adhering to best practices and Google’s updates – SEO is a necessary practice for every business to attract more customers and revenue.
For more information on your SEO efforts contact SPF Marketing today at (313) 641-0134 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a Free Site Audit. For other digital marketing needs, check out other services like:
- Mobile Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Conversion Optimization
- Social Media Marketing