SEO isn’t just an industry buzzword; it’s an integral part of reaching and attracting customers to your business in a modern market. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and when it’s done right, can boost your authority ranking with Google to get more visibility online.
To truly understand how important SEO really is, you need to know how it works, why it matters, and how to incorporate it into your business strategy.
The Future of E-commerce
It’s common knowledge that businesses that lack a web presence– either via social media or a traditional website– are viewed with skepticism. The prevalence of e-commerce has grown exponentially over recent years, with no end in sight. Online sales continue to grow while brick and mortar stores struggle, and renewed focus is being put on content marketing to drive traffic on the web.
So what does this all mean in relation to SEO? Content is the bread and butter of SEO and the key to engaging customers to build brand awareness and trust. This extends beyond the core SEO strategies to social media as well. After all, you have to have something to share via social media that links back to your brand. There’s a great guide that dives into this concept further, and you should definitely check it out.
Evergreen content built on the premise of SEO allows businesses to take part in the ever-evolving opportunity of B2B and B2C e-commerce. The best time to start building SEO content was ten years ago, the second best time is right now.
How SEO Works
When you post a website online, it’s “read” by the Googlebot, which is Google’s main crawler. The Googlebot evaluates the site to identify what it’s about and if it has the components that make it a voice of authority on the web. As the Googlebot doesn’t read in the human sense of the word, it looks for how the website is set up, how frequently it’s updated, if other sites are linking to it, and for keywords that are related to a given topic.
Keywords have significant value in SEO, as they are what the Googlebot identifies as relevant terms. With an understanding of SEO, businesses can create content that highlights these keywords to improve their standing with Google over time. In SEO, the more a link is clicked and viewed, the more authority it will be given over time. Thus, using keywords can exponentially increase your web traffic.
A caveat when dealing in keywords: while littering content with relevant terms was once sufficient for the Googlebot, things have changed. Quality is still important in the article, and using too high a concentration of keywords raises the alarm that you’re pandering to the Googlebot rather than being an expert in your industry. This is why SEO knowledge is essential.
Site quality has also become more important to the Googlebot in recent years, to ensure that prioritized sites are of high quality. Some of the features the Googlebot looks for include how the site is organized from the backend, page loading speed, and any site errors (such as broken links).
Google is also starting to take an in-depth look at mobile optimization. It’s expected that mobile e-commerce sales will make up 73% of e-commerce sales by 2021. As Google’s methods are meant to be user-centric, it’s expected that mobile optimization will move up the list of the Googlebot’s priorities.
By the Numbers
Still don’t understand how important SEO is? Take a look at the numbers. When industry leader Wall Street Oasis decided to implement an SEO strategy, their already impressive traffic increased by 32%. 9% of this stemmed from changing titles of content for SEO. Improving subtitles and length within an article resulted in a 14% difference. A MarketingSherpa case study showed a 2000% increase in traffic and a 40% increase in revenue when SEO was implemented.
Learning SEO is a valuable skill that will only become more in demand in the future. Both entrepreneurs and large enterprises should learn about the importance of SEO and how to use it.
Article by Wendy Dessler
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