Early this year, Google changed its search ranking algorithms through a major overhaul once again. While Google frequently changes the way they rank and index domains and pages, significant revisions such as the one recently undertaken can severely affect a website’s overall rank within the SEO ecosystem. Depending on Google’s nebulous, secret formula, your site may have gone up or down in authority ranking. A rise or lowering of rank can drastically affect whether or not your page gets visibility for specific keywords on the first page of the search results.
95% of viewers only click on pages that are listed on the first page of their search results query, and there are over 63,000 new search queries performed on Google every second. Furthermore, there are over 30 trillion web pages on Google. That’s a staggering increase from ten years ago when there were only 1 trillion unique, indexed pages on the web.
Without a competent grasp of SEO and how it works within the wider internet ecosystem, you’re going to lose visibility and credibility online. And in 2018, you can’t afford to lose out on all the benefits running a successful online business has for you. 81% of consumers research a store online before visiting the business in-store and making a purchase, and a full 79% of American consumers shop online.
Without a proper SEO marketing strategy that is up-to-date with Google’s current algorithm, your website will quickly become buried, and you won’t get any visibility. Without visibility, you can’t reach your target customers, build your brand awareness, or find any sales traction.
Here at Top Rating SEO LTD, we know why an SEO marketing strategy is vital for your website and understand how to get the Google algorithm to work for you. In the following article, we’ll explore what SEO and SEO marketing is, how to do SEO marketing, and why you need it for your business.
A comprehensive SEO strategy will give your website or page organic visibility. It’s not something you can monetarily manipulate, and so it is imperative to formulate an SEO and content strategy that will answer your viewers’ most profound questions.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and it’s a formula or algorithm that crawls website pages, indexes them, and then ranks them. Basically, the SEO definition is how a page gets seen on Google, Yahoo, or Bing—the major search engines.
SEO is driven by numerous factors, such as a page’s keywords, how long the page is, what pages link to it, and how relevant the content is based on the viewer’s keyword search query. More than anything, SEO seeks to give the viewer the most valuable content for their search query. Pages need to be relevant to the viewer’s question and answer the question in a compelling, engaging way.
After all, even though robots are technically placing your page within the web’s algorithm-driven hierarchy, humans are reading your content, and therefore, driving the way a page is ranked. If you can’t give viewers relevant content, the site won’t rank, regardless of how many times your keyword or phrase shows up on your page.
SEO and SEO marketing are about giving your target audience content and websites that they will enjoy. Keeping the web ecosystem ‘clean’ and free of keyword stuffed, irrelevant, mumbo-jumbo content not only preserves it for future internet users, but will lend your business credibility, and gain consumer’s (and Google’s) trust.
Well, it’s a pretty complicated method and beyond the scope of this article, but for a better understanding of what SEO is and to see an SEO definition in action, the simplified version goes something like this:
Imagine the internet is a city. Every page or website is a house or a building on the city streets. The streets are “links.”
But, it’s a huge city, and people need a map to find their way around it without getting lost or ending up in the wrong building or on the wrong side of the tracks. Enter Google, the map-maker.
Imagine Google is your friendly neighborhood map-making robot, and he goes around the city via the links, or streets, and takes note of all the buildings (web pages) on the streets. This is called a “crawl.”
Once Google crawls every street and every building, he puts all of the information into a giant database. People who visit the city can access the database and find precisely what building they need and where it is located. They access the database through “keywords” or questions.
“Who serves the best Thai food in town?”
“Where can I get top-notch garden supplies?”
“Where can I find the most scenic, roof-top restaurant in Internet City?”
The more popular streets and buildings are accessed more. These areas of the city see massive growth. The buildings get frequent additions and remodels, and since they are so popular and growing, Google visits them often and updates their information into his database.
Their popularity continues to grow, and the streets they reside on are bustling hubs. They are so busy in fact that more links or streets are built to bring even more people to them.
The people of Internet City love these certain buildings in town, and Google is more than happy to reward these places with more publicity in his database. Google loves it when people’s questions are answered, and they can get to the places they most desire in the most efficient and relevant way possible.
SEO and a page’s popularity within the ecosystem of “Internet City” compounds upon itself. Once a page begins to see an influx of organic traffic, more links are built to it. More people visit it. It ranks even more favorably within Google.
Popularity, or the relevance of a page, grow the page’s SEO ranking. This is how you get the Google algorithm to reward your page with visibility—by being relevant and popular.
Now that you have a better grasp of how Google and SEO work, let’s explore how SEO marketing boosts your brand’s visibility.
Let’s go back for a moment to how the people in Internet City are finding their way to your building. How are they accessing Google’s database?
Through keywords and keyword phrases.
The next section will cover what keywords are, how they are rewarded, and how they work with an SEO marketing strategy.
You’re probably very familiar with what a keyword is. After all, you use them all the time to find things on Google. A keyword phrase is a question or a search query that an internet user types into the search bar.
When you craft content for your website, the material is supposed to answer a specific question or lead the viewer to a particular solution to a problem, i.e., a product or a service that you sell. Therefore, your content needs to be geared toward keywords and phrases that the consumer will use to find your product.
You need to be able to get into your target customer’s head and figure out what kinds of keywords they are going to use in their query and how it relates to your specific product or service. Keywords and phrases, plus backlinks, are how people will land on your page. Without a targeted keyword strategy, there isn’t a way for your viewer to search for you, nor can Google index your site and add it to the database.
Let’s go back to our sock business analogy from earlier.
You’re rolling out a new product line of women’s argyle patterned, thigh-high socks for the fall and winter season. You want this new product page to start ranking in the search engines, so you devise a keyword strategy along with relevant, high-value content for the product’s landing page.
When you write the content for your page, you want your keywords to appear throughout the piece naturally. Since a human being will be reading the material and they require the words to flow well, you can’t keyword stuff just for the sake of having them in the piece.
Remember, Google rewards your popularity with the reader. The more valuable and enjoyable the content, the more popular it’s going to be. If your piece sounds stilted because you’re stuffing it with keywords, that’s not going to work with either your viewership or the search engines.
Anyway, now you need to choose your relevant keywords. How will customers find you? What kind of phrases are they going to use when they search for new socks for the winter season? They are probably searching for something to keep their feet and legs warm.
Here are some examples of relevant keywords and phrases you can use. Note how they are detailed, and related to your product you want people to find.
Notice how the keywords and phrases indicate what kind of socks you’re selling? Note the material, the pattern, the motif, and the utility of the socks in the keyword phrases. This kind of information is also going to be on your landing page.
In essence, your keywords that your customer is going to use in their search, and the phrases you’re going to put on your landing page will match. This is the “relevance” of your keyword strategy. Relevant keywords and phrases are what indicate to Google what your page is about and how the information contained therein is going to solve the reader’s problem.
Remember, Google wants web content to solve problems for the consumer. It wants content that is relevant, valuable, authoritative, and trustworthy.
Also, keep in mind the length of your keyword phrases. Consumers aren’t searching for short, or single keywords. Semantics are important when it comes to the search queries. Studies as recent as late 2016 have indicated that half of keyword search phrases are 4 words or longer.
Now that you understand the specific metrics that go into an effective keyword strategy and SEO marketing technique, you might still be unsure of where to start. SEO, it’s definition and its execution, is a complex area of technological study, and it’s not something you’ll get right on the first try if you’re not educated or up-to-date on how the algorithms are working.
How can you formulate a winning SEO marketing strategy if you’re a beginner? Or maybe you understand how to execute an SEO campaign and realize its importance, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you’re a student of SEO, but as a busy entrepreneur, you don’t want to spend valuable time always remaining vigilant and watching for new Google algorithm changes.