Our Guide to SEO: The Importance of SEO for the Modern Digital Business
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website on search engines. SEO can help increase traffic to a business’s website, which can, in turn, lead to increased revenue. To optimize a site for search engines, businesses must understand how search engines rank websites and what keywords are most important for their target audience.
Search engines are a key part of the online world, and without them, websites would not be as accessible or as successful.
Search rankings directly affect the bottom line of all digital businesses and should concern any business owner looking to maximize the benefits of operating within the digital business landscape.
The logical question of course then becomes: How can my website appear on the 1st page of a Google search? In pursuit of answering this question, we will introduce the concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and detail how SEO can be used to maximize a website’s search prominence and increase user traffic. After going over some SEO basics, we will highlight the benefits of SEO and the ways in which it can be successfully implemented. All of this should serve to both highlight the importance of Search Engine Optimization and point the way towards successfully boosting your website’s search ranking.
How do search engines rank a website?
Search engines like Google and Bing use software programs known as crawlers to index information from websites. This allows search engines to understand the vast amounts of data available on the internet at any one moment, making it easier for users to find what they are looking for.
Crawlers index this information by following the internal and external links of a webpage. These links are then used to analyse the content of a website, and understand its semantic connections to other web pages that populate a search engine’s database. Once crawlers have collected this data and indexed it into this database, complex search algorithms allow a search engine to provide relevant links to users in response to specific queries.
Search engines use a variety of factors to determine which websites should be returned in response to a search query, including what content is most relevant and what sites are most popular. Relevance is determined using an algorithm that takes a number of factors into account, the most important being the existence of keywords. These keywords allow an engine to select a set of pages that it knows contains information on a certain topic or issue.
Algorithms that rank websites use a complex set of calculations to determine which sites are most relevant based on factors like trust and authority. Broadly speaking, algorithms rely on two metrics to measure relevancy: trust and authority. Trust is determined by the legitimacy of information found on a website, while authority is determined by how other websites interact with a particular site.
Both of these measures focus on a website’s link profile. A website with a strong set of internal links, that link to other trustworthy sources, and that are linked to by other high-ranking websites will have higher authority and trust scores, and therefore be displayed higher in a set of search results.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search engine algorithms use a variety of factors to determine how websites are ranked when searched for by users. This is important information for anyone seeking to increase their online presence and reach potential customers. Rankings within search engines have a significant impact on website traffic. 95% of users never make it past the first page of Google results, and websites that rank within the top-3 generate 100-200% more traffic than those that appear towards the bottom of the page
SEO is a set of techniques that allow businesses to improve their rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can lead to an increase in organic web traffic, user retention, and sales volume. Beyond just improving rankings, SEO also offers other benefits such as being a cost-effective alternative to other common ranking strategies.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of a digital business’s marketing strategy because it can lead to an increase in organic traffic and attract more customers than traditional advertising. Studies estimate that only 2.8% of searchers actually ‘click-through’ paid advertising, so SEO is a very effective way to reach potential customers.
SEO strategies also have a cascading and multiplicative effect when implemented over a longer timeframe. Higher search rankings result in more high-quality links and trust, which leads to even higher rankings.
SEO and its implementation
The benefits listed above only serve to underline the crucial importance of SEO to the current digital business landscape. Well implemented SEO strategies can reap significant and long-lasting rewards for a business and are an increasingly crucial part of the digital business toolkit. SEO implementation can take a number of forms, and the exact shape of a particular business’s SEO strategy depends on that business’s specific needs. In broad strokes, SEO strategies first seek to ensure that a website is developed in accordance with practices viewed favorably by search engines (e.g., internal linking, metadata content, and keyword placement). After ensuring that the website has been constructed according to best practices, SEO then seeks to boost ranking through a set of keyword strategies. Keywords are an essential means by which search engines determine relevance, and in order to optimize a website for search, it is necessary to construct a comprehensive keyword strategy that covers the entirety of a website. As coherence (of both keywords and content) is viewed favorably by search engines, these strategies require careful preparation and research in order to be implemented most effectively.
Website construction and keyword approaches work to improve the way a search engine analyses a particular website. However, it is important to also ensure that a website contains informative content that contributes fruitfully to a subject on the internet. Novel and original content that is linked to by other high trust and authoritative sites significantly boost your site’s trust and authority ratings in the eyes of a search engine. SEO content writing is a response to this set of search engine preferences and consists of practices that work to maximize the rankings gains from the placement of content on a website. These strategies should not be overlooked, as producing and placing original content on a website, and implementing a strategy geared towards developing organic external links that point towards that content is a tried and tested means towards increasing your search ranking.
SEO as a Service
There are obviously a large number of benefits to SEO. However, these benefits can often prove difficult to unlock.
To be successful in SEO, you must decide which keywords are important to your business and incorporate them into the design of your website and any content you produce. You also need to coordinate your marketing efforts with SEO content so that visitors who are searching for those keywords will see your site. This requires a degree of coordination and planning that falls outside the normal bounds of business operations, and extends beyond the standard tasks typically left to web developers or UI designers.
SEO can be implemented at any stage in the development of a website, but it is especially important to consider implementing SEO when starting out because it can yield powerful benefits down the line. Any digital business can benefit from SEO analysis, which helps you gauge your website’s search ranking and identify metrics related to your keyword scheme, link profile, and content strategy.
A thorough analysis provides the digital business owner with the means to understand their website’s SEO strengths, while also allowing for an examination of the areas where a website could be better optimized for search.
SEO analysis can help identify areas of improvement on a website, which can then be addressed in order to improve its search engine ranking. In order to achieve the most successful results from an SEO campaign, it is important to understand both the strengths and weaknesses of a site before starting work.
As we have hopefully demonstrated, the benefits of SEO are hard to overstate. Search engines are the point of departure for any online interaction between business and consumer. They are the means by which customers connect with the digital business, and therefore should occupy a prominent position in the mind of anyone looking to maximize their participation in the digital ecosystem.
Search Engine Optimization is thus best seen as a set of tools and techniques that allows the business to respond to the centrality of search and utilize that fact to its advantage. As high search rankings lead to high user engagement, a steady stream of new visitors, and the ability to convert those visitors into customers and clients, it is incredibly important that SEO be implemented as a long-term strategy that covers the length of a website’s lifespan.
We should repeat that it is never too late to optimize a website for keywords and search. SEO can be used to improve any website. The benefits of SEO are very much “there for the taking.”
How will you use SEO to unlock your site’s full potential?