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What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing a website with the use of, keywords, meta descriptions, pictures, videos and other elements to score a higher search engine ranking. Search engines will scan every website online for those elements, so that when a search is made, the search engine can provide the most relevant websites. Understanding what search engines such as Google look for when users populate the search bar, is how you will rank higher on search engines.
Based on your search engine ranking, you can start evaluating the success of your SEO strategy and key elements. At this point you are able to evaluate your SEO strategy and figure out if and what changes you need to make. Remember, you are one of thousands of people competing to accomplish the same goal, which is to rank number 1 on every search engine search.
Why is SEO important?
Once you’re ranking is improved, what exactly are the benefits of that? Raj S. Murthy, my marketing professor in college, used to tell us, “the best place to hide a body is the second page of a Google search.” Think about the last time you even ventured to the second page of a search engine – never. Quite often enough, we find exactly what we are looking for on page one, so when thinking about your competitors and how everyone has the same goal in mind, you get an idea of how important SEO is.
Your search engine ranking will determine the number of visitors that come to your site. Sales are driven by how many consumers visit your store, either online or offline. So the more consumers that walk into your website, the more potential you have to turn them into customers.
A well designed website with an optimal SEO implementation is key to your success in this new technology age. E-commerce itself has driven sale through the roof for many retailers and caused them to close physical stores. Music, movies, and all kinds of media you can think of are now being offered online instead of their cd adversaries. Even computer storage (which we never have enough of if you ask me), is being offered online through cloud services.
How to evaluate your SEO strategy?
Whatever excuse you were thinking about making as to why it is hard, or you can not evaluate your SEO strategy is b*%&^it. There are countless numbers of free tools you can use to analyze your site and its content, and correct whatever mistakes you were making. I will talk to you about one, which happens to be my favorite, and gives you immense amounts of data to structure your SEO strategy. Google Analytics. Also, did I mention its free?
Google Analytics, is a website tracking program that gives you detailed reports on user visit and behaviors on your site.
With Google Analytics, you can track numerous metrics, and the following are some of the most popular:
- Number of visitors to your site
- Breakdown of returning visitors and new ones
- Page session analytics including, bounce rate, # of pages viewed, avg. time on site
- Visitor demographic characteristics (geolocation, desktop or mobile, even browser being used)
- Sources driving traffic to your site, and where they are going after the leave
- Event and actions taken on your site. (Downloads, registrations, purchases)
These are just a few key metrics that will assist you in creating a powerful SEO strategy. There are countless other metrics that can be utilized, but as a starter, these will do the job. Use these metrics without over thinking them, they are as simple as they sound.
Understand your audience.
Track the number of visitors coming to your site, and then evaluate the demographics of your target market and optimize your site to the be compatible with the different devices and browsers they are using. With a smoother navigation of your site, your customers will spend more time on your site and are more likely to return.
Follow the footsteps.
Pay attention to where traffic to your site is coming from. Google Analytics will allow you to see if visitors are coming from Facebook, LinkedIn, Email campaigns, even organic searches. Following the tracks gives you the advantage to know where your consumers are coming from, then you can keep targeting those channels.
Interact with your visitors.
Interacting with your visitors is key to improving your SEO. The more visitors to your site, the more opportunities you have to push them into downloading your e-book, subscribing , and making a purchase. This actions can be tracked with Google Analytics, set conversions and monetize them.
The bottom line, though, is this: it does not matter what industry you are in, not having an online presence in the twenty first century is like walking naked down the street and having no one pay attention. So get started, create online content for your business, and implement an SEO strategy that is guaranteed to drive traffic to your site.