Effective SEO isn’t solely about how your website ranks in an organic Google search
Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to your company’s online presence. The purpose of SEO is to obtain high visibility for your website on Google, Bing, Yahoo! and elsewhere by ensuring it ranks on the first page of the organic searches people perform. In other words, SEO makes it easy for your customers to find you online.
An oft-misunderstood online marketing tactic, SEO is an increasingly vast and complex methodology, and it’s one of many crucial elements comprising a holistic digital marketing strategy. Search engines rank websites based on multiple factors; no one digital marketing method alone will rocket your website to the top of Google’s list and keep it there indefinitely, and that includes SEO.
The effectiveness of SEO is reliant on many other components and services including:
Done well, SEO can improve your search engine rankings, thereby increasing your website’s organic traffic, and in turn, helping you score new customers, earn more revenue, and realize a high return on your SEO investment. But understand SEO isn’t only about your site’s ranking. One of your webpages may be ranking well for a keyword you’ve identified as relevant to your business, but if visitors to that webpage aren’t finding what they need quickly upon arrival, they’ll “bounce” or go elsewhere. Thus, user engagement is a major factor in Google’s determination of the value of any website. If large volumes of visitors are leaving your website rapidly, it will hurt your overall SEO ranking in the long run.
Research from multiple sources has quantified the value SEO provides for companies in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) industry verticals. For instance, when conducting online procurement research an estimated 89% of B2B professionals start with a generic search. From a B2C perspective, about 72% of consumers who perform an organic search for a specific product or service visited a store or business within 8 kilometres of their location, and four out of five consumers use a search engine to find businesses in their vicinity.
However, like all things within the realm of business, there is no magic wand to wave that will produce instantaneous results. SEO involves research and analysis. Among the first steps to improving your site’s SEO ranking requires what’s known as an SEO discovery and audit session. It helps to determine which of your webpages are ranking as per targeted keywords, which ones aren’t, and what needs to be done to improve overall performance.
“Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.”
– ALBERT SZENT-GYÖRGYI DE NAGYRÁPOLT
Learning about Your Business and Customers
Before an in-depth site audit is performed to gauge the health of your website’s current SEO ranking and how it can be improved, a pre-audit discovery session is required. An integral part of an effective SEO strategy, the purpose of a discovery session is straightforward: it sets the stage for an organized, useful, and strategic audit.
There are five things an SEO discovery session should include:
- A comprehensive client interview. We need to learn about your business and industry and your products and services. We need to know who your existing, and prospective customers are, the lexicon you and they use, how and where they connect with you online, and what’s driving online conversions or sales today.
- Determining what your goals are. A goal without a plan is but a wish. Setting realistic, executable goals serves two important functions: it clarifies what it is you want to achieve with your website, and how compiled data should be measured.
- Access to real-time analytics. Assuming your company uses Google Analytics to track how online traffic arrives at your site, how long visitors dwell on your webpages, and whether they buy or bounce. The more historical data you can provide, the better it is during the audit phase and for plotting your future. If your business uses or has used Google AdWords, the data it can provide helps paint a more complete picture of your website’s performance to date.
- What keywords you think are best and why. Forget about your current SEO ranking for the time being. In the discovery session, we need to have a clear understanding of the keywords you think are relevant to your business, and why you think your customers would use those keywords to search for your products and services.
- The quality of your site’s current content. How often do you refresh your website’s content? What is the quality of the content on your site? Your content needs to be well-written, impactful, and it should accurately and succinctly articulate what benefits your business and products provide. If it’s rife with spelling errors, poor grammar, and rambling, incoherent jargon, it will severely diminish your SEO ranking.
Auditing Your Website
With the discovery session complete, we conduct a thorough SEO audit of all of your web properties, and subsequently, provide you with the details of that review and our strategic recommendations that are tailored to your company’s needs.
Our SEO audits and assessments typically include:
- Competitive intelligence on your competitors
- Keyword analysis and recommended targeted keywords
- Reconfiguring your Google Analytics and AdWords to reap more insightful data
- Local search optimization for Google My Business and other directories
- Gauging your site’s mobile responsiveness and how mobile search impacts your SEO
- The usefulness of your inbound links versus your competitors’
- Recommendations about your site as a whole to improve engagement and increase visitor conversions
An in-depth SEO audit and discovery session takes the guesswork out of what resonates with your existing and potential customers, and it helps to determine a path forward based on data and your business’s strategic goals. It also lays the foundation for building your ongoing marketing plan to ensure you’ve got inspiring and effective content and messaging, a high-quality, responsive web presence, and above all, a compelling reason for the world to land on your pages first and foremost.
Do you have questions about SEO and its effectiveness in conjunction with other digital marketing methodologies? Talk to us. Whether your company is big or small, a startup or a recognized brand, we have the expertise and the experience to optimize your site and boost your website traffic.