SEO. The three-letter word that punches above its weight

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What is SEO?

SEO. It may only be three letters long, but Search Engine Optimization can pack a big punch.  With most online queries beginning on a search engine, SEO is essential to an inbound marketing strategy.  A strong SEO strategy can help increase the number of quality people (meaning people who fall within a company’s target audience) being driven to a website. Search optimization is critical to the setup and ongoing management of any website because search engines still drive a huge chunk of online traffic. 93%, to be exact.

So, what does this look like in practical terms? Let’s use Bob to demonstrate the role SEO can play within e-commerce.

Bob is looking for red patio umbrellas for his new deck, so he pulls out his cell phone, opens Google and types, “where can I buy red patio umbrellas near me?”.  After clicking search, he finds a list of 10 organic search results that match his query.  An SEO optimized website optimized to rank for Bob’s keywords has a good chance of showing up on the first page of his results.  And that’s important because there’s a 95% chance that Bob won’t look beyond the first page. He clicks on the second link that he sees, and it takes him to a local retailer’s website.  Bob reviews the product specifications, the warranty, and other customer reviews before clicking “Buy Now” to add the red umbrella to his shopping cart. He inputs his payment information and voila! An SEO strategy working to its full potential.

Now that we know it’s essential, let’s break down how it works.

Search engines like Google or Yahoo crawl hundreds of millions of websites and index all of the information available to ensure that people can receive the most relevant, useful results to whatever it is that they’re searching for. There are approximately 200 factors that Google considers when ranking a website.  But the fundamental elements remain how the search engine is able to find you and organize your content (your sitemap); the quality of your content; and whether or not your content can be trusted (your backlinks).  A strong SEO strategy will always map search intent against awareness, interest, desire and action and conduct keyword research based on various stages of the marketing funnel.   Having a strong foundation can help make sure that the work you’re putting into SEO will get you the results that you’re looking for.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
We’ll give it to you straight – SEO is not a quick fix.  It takes work, and it takes commitment.  Results typically take anywhere from 3 months (in the short-term) to 12 months (in the long-term) to appear.   But businesses who stick with it, will reap the rewards over time and see top rankings that help drive more website traffic, a better user experience and higher conversion rates (among others).  It makes a lot of sense for any modern business and is critical to a brand’s web presence and, ultimately, their bottom line.

For most of our clients, SEO is not entirely foreign.  Most know they need it; few have the time to do it.  Taking the initiative to understand the importance of optimizing search and identifying whether or not you have the resources to manage it can put you ahead of the game. We can help get the ball rolling or finish what you started – either way, we’re here to help.  Get in touch today.

~ Horn and Mane

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