When you provide a particular product or service, it’s understandable that you want your target market to know you are there. When someone even thinks about your product or service, it makes sense that you would like your business to be the first place they think of. Advertising including radio ads, putting up a billboard, sponsoring an event, and hundreds of other ways to get your name across is certainly important. They are all great ways to build brand recognition and expand your market; but what about the web?
Why is Rank Important?
It has been found that 89 percent of consumers currently use the internet for purchasing decisions. Google is number 46 on the 2014 Fortune 500 list. In fact, they are by far the most popular search engine in the world with an estimated 1,100,000,000 unique visitors per month. When you put it all together it’s clear that the world finds and chooses the companies they do business with primarily through search engines on the internet. They simply type the product or service they are looking for and a list of businesses that are related to their search appear. The question is, are you on the list? And even more importantly, where are you on that list?
A look at how Google users select the websites they visit shows the importance that your site is ranked high. According to a recent study, over 61 percent of all clicks from users are received by the top 3 listings on the first page. Additionally, page two traffic drops by 95 percent from page one. If your site isn’t on that first page, then the vast majority of users simply won’t know your site is there. Here are some eye-opening statistics that further illustrate the importance of rank.
- 70-80% of users ignore the paid listings and select only organic results
- Leads from SEO have a 14.6% close rate compared to 1.7% for outbound leads such as direct mail or print advertising
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine
- 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase
What Determines Your Rank?
Google uses a complex algorithm to determine what pages go in what position on their search results ranking. This mathematical equation is used with technology to continuously “crawl” through the internet. In doing so, they are able to test your website for performance, content objects, content relationships, page context, links, patterns, design, layout, and over 200 other determinants. Points are assigned for the many qualities and websites are given a score which decides where in the list they will appear.
The reason is to provide their users with relevant and quality web pages to meet their needs. Search engine results come in two different forms. First, there are paid results. This means that an organization has paid money to the search engine so their ads will be listed first for certain keywords that are searched for. They are basically paid advertisements meant to drive traffic to their site. The second type of results is called organic. Organic results are pages that do not pay for their listing. Websites are given a rank based on how well they fit the algorithm. In other words, they are websites that have been designed and are managed through search engine optimization (SEO).
Organic Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the work done to make sure that your website is high on the list. It is using different methods to increase a website’s algorithm score to ensure that it remains at the top of the page one search listings. It’s also important to note that not all SEO is helpful. In fact, the algorithm can also subtract points or ignore completely some of the different means used to grow in rank. Because of this, it is very helpful to use an experienced and professional company to build SEO into your site.
There is a lot of work that goes into SEO, but generating high rankings is clearly worth the trouble. One of the first things to focus on is the keywords you use in your site. By doing some research to determine what keywords are most commonly used in relation to your products or services, you can plan an SEO strategy that will ensure that your website contains those keywords people are using to search. Another important ingredient for organic SEO success is properly coding your website. HTML is the backend coding that makes up a website and there are certain words, called tags, which search engines look for and reward. Tags for page title, Meta tags, page heading, page content, as well as others should be included in your HTML coding.
Also regarding the website design, you want to make sure the elements you include in your website are optimized for the web. For example, using code that explains what an image on your website represents allows the search engine to know what that photo is. If you don’t include that code, the search engine will have no idea what it is and cannot include it in your score.
The Importance of Content
Aside from the more technical aspects of organic SEO rank, placing high quality written content that is compelling and relevant can be an excellent way to increase rank. It’s important that your content engages people and is interesting to keep them coming. Quality content will attract visitors and can also go viral when those visitors share it in their own networks. Also, search engines cannot reason with items such as photos or videos. Having text including keywords will garner more attention in the algorithm. It’s recommended that your keyword phrase counts for three to five percent of the total content. That is enough to catch attention, but not so much that you are penalized for keyword stuffing. It’s also important for your content to be original and unique. Posting new content regularly will also help maintain a high spot on the list. Adding content regularly will keep people coming. However if your content is stagnant there is little reason for visitors to return.
When it comes to content, consistency is also important. Posting several pieces of content all at once and then posting nothing for a month or two is not going to help you much. It’s better to post less but more regularly. There are many forms that adding content to a website can take. One of the most popular methods is by implementing a blog. Blogs are great because with a blog, you can consistently post fresh content. Because Google also includes how fresh content is, a blog makes it easier to include things such as recent events, popular topics, and relevant news.
Without SEO, You’re Invisible
To sum it all up, if you are not using SEO to promote your website on the search engines, you are missing out on the biggest opportunity to advertise your business in the world today. You may have the best product or service in the world, but unless people find you, it’s likely your competitors are cornering the market. SEO is an investment that takes time and effort. There are things you can do on your own to increase SEO rank, but a professional who is current on the fast-moving changes that occur and has the knowledge and skill to properly optimize your page is worth the investment.
Contact us for a free consultation and we would be glad to answer any questions and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.