SEO - What Is It And Why Do I Need It?
SEO - What Is It And Why Do I Need It?
The not so quick guide for our local cities (Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario and Claremont).
I get this a lot in my line of work, many people hear about SEO and are told by all the experts that they need it. We also love to use complicated terms to confuse people and make us marketers seem super smart and that you can't do this thing without us!
Well that's kind of true, but mostly wrong - but I’ll dig into that later.
First let's talk about what this three letter acronym stands for:
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION.
Simply put, it’s: A series of tasks to make your business more visible online when people search for your services.
While it helps to have someone that knows the ins and outs of it, you can actually improve your SEO yourself. I’ll be sharing more on how to do that in future blogs.
For now, let's talk about some SEO basics.
Where it starts to get complicated is doing the actual tasks. It takes a lot of research and time to find out what you should do, not to mention actually doing it. It’s similar to math, most of us hate doing it but we can if we need to.
We can look up advanced equations or formulas online, then we just need to get the right numbers in the right boxes. When we do that we usually get the right answer.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a mathematician. I would rather use my accountant or phone to do the math for me. When I can’t avoid doing math, sometimes I make mistakes even though I’m following a formula. We’re all human, it happens.
SEO is just like that.
You can do it, and don't let any “expert” tell you otherwise. But the reason you would hire someone like us is that we have the time and expertise to do it faster and avoid the common mistakes. The biggest benefit is that with us doing it, you have more time to run your business and focus on the things that you’re most passionate about.
There are three parts to SEO:
Driving Traffic to your website
This is the stuff us experts love to confuse you with: H1 Headers, Alt Tags, on page optimization, blah, blah, blah. This is the boring stuff, but without it your website won’t become visible on search engines. The hard part of this process is researching it all. Completing the tasks for this is fairly easy, it just requires a lot of clicks and a lot of time. Once done it's usually stays done. That is unless you move, change services, update your website, etc.
This one is a big pain in the butt! These days there are countless directories saying they have the best database of businesses for potential buyers/users to find you. And they are all correct.
The best examples of these are Google, Yelp, Facebook and Bing.
They are all places where people search for businesses. So why not be on all of them? It's a task that isn’t necessarily difficult, but man is it time consuming.
Just make sure as you add your business to these directories to keep is consistent.
We use a NAP Sheet (Name, Address, Phone) that way we never add the wrong info for our clients. Like I said, it's not hard but it will take some time to do all of them. For a detailed list look no further. LINK
Driving traffic to your website
This is the real moneymaker! We call this “Ongoing SEO” and it’s the most complicated process of SEO. If you've done the first two parts that we’ve talked about and have wondered, “Why am I not #1 on Google yet?” This is why.
Google and other search engines have something called “rank authority.” This basically tells them how long people are on your website, if they click on things or fill out forms, and most importantly how many people go to the page. Google pays attention to all of these things (and more) and thinks, “Oh, people love this page! Let's tell other people who search for this service that this is the best or #2 or #3” and so on.
Videos, blogs, social media posts, events etc., are all things people want and will take the time to interact with. The more they like it the longer they stay, and the more people that come the higher your website will rank for those topics (keywords).
This process takes some time to get a handle on for a few reasons.
You have to create content that people like and this takes insight into the minds of your customers. Next it takes time to create the content, and lastly it takes time to get the quality traffic that Google prefers. It’s not impossible to do all of this, just lots of objective thinking and time.
Ok, if you've made it this far you're a champ!
Next on the agenda, why do we need this nonsense?!
Our society has created a verb: “Google it.”
When someone has a question or need, they search for it. When your website has the content that answers their question, delivers the right product, feature or price that they can't get anywhere else, you're the person they want to buy from. It’s a win-win. Their problem is solved and your business receives more revenue.
So we've established that people are searching for your services, but why does ranking matter? Well, according to Google your rank has a lot to do with if they will even click on your website. For example, look at the click through rates by rank: (all CTRs are averaged for ease of reading).
CLICK THROUGH RATES (CTR) BY GOOGLE RANKS
If there are 1,000 people searching for your service a day, the clicks to your website, based on your rank, will be as follows:
CLICKS TO YOUR WEBSITE BY RANK
Being at the top matters, especially since not all of those clicks will turn into customers.
Generally the average conversion rate for all industries is between 1-5% of all clicks! Not much, huh?!
The #1 ranking website will receive an average of 350 clicks. At 5% CTR (click through rate) the total customers are a grand total of 17.5.
Like I mentioned before, I hate doing math. :)
Luckily for most businesses there are FAR more searches a day! By a lot!
You might be thinking, “I have done SEO and create lots of content, I’m ranked #1 in my area and I’m still not receiving business from my website.” We can help with that too, but we’ll cover that in another blog on features, offers and industry competition.
So with all the people searching for services in your area, it's really important to do the technical SEO, be visible on local citations like Google, Facebook and Yelp, as well as create quality content that drives searchers to your website.
If you’ve read all of this and are interested in learning more or know you need SEO but don’t want to do it yourself, shoot me an email!
I'd love to get coffee with you and share more insights specific to your industry and business.
Till the next blog, Skol (aka cheers in viking). ;)