Everyday millions of searches are performed worldwide by internet users in the pursuit of information. Search engines such as Bing, Google and Yahoo are used to perform search queries, though Google accounts for about 94% of all organic search traffic on the internet. With over 81% of consumers on the internet finding products they’re looking for by using search engines, websites like Google play an increasingly important role in the marketing strategy of business owners. This is where SEO comes into play.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of increasing organic website traffic by improving search engine rankings. Let’s say you’re a small business owner providing plumbing services to your local area. Every month, there could be hundreds of internet users employing the help of a search engine to find a plumber near them. To capture as much of this traffic as possibly, savvy website owners and marketers engage in SEO to appear at the top of search engine results.
Why is SEO important to business owners?
SEO is a long-term inbound marketing strategy that brings valuable and relevant traffic to your website. Search engines are unique in the sense that they provide targeted traffic i.e. people searching for your product. They also bring the most traffic. While marketing channels such as social media provide traffic to websites, most web traffic is driven by commercial search engines.
Here are some SEO facts that should resonate with you as a business owner:
- 81% of consumers on the internet find products and services by using search engines
- 72% of people who conduct a local search will eventually visit a physical store as a result of that search
- 78% of local searches on search engines lead to a purchase being made offline
- Websites that secure the top position on Google search results inherit 34.36% of all clicks related a given query.
See below a percentage breakdown of the click share that websites receive for keywords based on the top 10 positions. Results based on findings for August, 2018.
As you can see above, just being on the first page of Google is not enough. You want to be right at the top. That’s where good SEO practices come into play. We’ll take you through some of that below.
How does SEO work?
There are multiple stakeholders to think about when you consider how SEO works – the searcher, the search engine and the website. As far as the searcher (or customer) is concerned, they enter a search query and Google (or any other search engine) returns the most relevant results based on that query. That seems simple enough. Though, there’s a whole lot that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to generating results for users.
SEO experts like ours at DesignQ engage in two types of optimisation to tell Google that your website is the most relevant for any given search term, known as on- and off-site optimisation.
On-site optimisation is all about configuring various elements of your website i.e. title tags, URL structure and content to tell search engines what your website is about.
Off-site optimisation is all about giving search engines confidence that your website is the best source of information for a given search query, achieved through link building, Google My Business profiles, referrals etc.
Ultimately, on- and off-site optimisation work hand in hand to get you to that top spot on Google, or any other search engine.
Below are some of the most common questions that SEO marketers get asked, particularly by those engaging a company for SEO services for the first time.
How long will it take to get to the first page? Every case is different. It all depends on how competitive your market is. For example, lawyers inherit one of the most competitive markets when it comes to SEO. As a general rule of thumb though, it can take anywhere between 6 and 12 months to get to the first page for more competitive markets and anywhere upward of 4 months for less competitive ones.
What’s the difference between SEO & AdWords: SEO is a long-term inbound marketing strategy that focuses on organic results (those you don’t pay for). One of the key pros of SEO is that your click-through rate (CTR) is significantly higher than AdWords.
AdWords is a short-term inbound marketing strategy where you pay per click. This is great, as you get what you pay for, immediately. However, the drawback is that Google Ads are more likely to be seen as spam by customers and thus have a much lower click-through rate.
If your next question is which of the two is better, then the answer to that is, both! SEO enables you to develop a real online presence through domain authority and organic brand affinity. AdWords, on the other hand, allows you to focus on granular targeting of prospects through demographics, behaviours and keywords.
If this has been a little too much to take in, why don’t you book a no-obligation free consultation with us? Simply fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you swiftly.