There's good reason why search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the preferred search tools for most web users. These platforms have made strong and lasting names for themselves by establishing reliable systems for producing relevant search results. When you use any one of them to look for services, products, or information online, they have a very high likelihood of providing the answers you need. They do this by leveraging complex algorithms to sift through the vast sea of information that currently exists on the web. These algorithms assess the value of websites, their usability, their authority, and the quality of content they supply. In every search, they additionally determine the relevance of websites to the individual query and web user.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ongoing, multi-pronged process that improves how websites rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). It accomplishes this by tailoring sites and their content to perfectly meet the expectations of search engine algorithms. For instance, the typical SEO campaign includes:
- Efforts to improve the technical fitness of websites
- The curation of high-quality content that meets industry-specific demand
- Building organic links that either draw traffic to a website or promote the flow of traffic to other high-authority platforms
SEO has both technical and creative components. This is because it must appeal to both search engine bots and human users. Search engines look for acceptably high page loading speeds, maximum website uptime, ease of navigation, and the ability to access and use web pages on a diverse range of devices among other factors. Most consumers want many of these same things. Web users are generally too impatient to wait for excessively slow sites to load, and they're easily frustrated with site designs that are clumsy, don't load well on their tablets or mobile phones, or are difficult to navigate overall.
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Why SEO Matters
Search engine optimization is one of the most important forms of digital marketing that any company can invest in. After all, fewer than 5 percent of web users travel beyond the first page of search results. Thus, when businesses aren't positioned high up on SERPs, they don't have a very high likelihood of being seen. Companies that aren't committed to optimizing their websites and their online content won't be found unless consumers directly key their web addresses in. In every industry, this can mean missing out on nearly all online business, and losing countless customers and prospects to competitors with sites that are optimized.
Not only does ranking high on SERPs make it easier for consumers to find businesses, but it also fosters a sense of trust. Consumers recognize prominent companies as being well-established, high in industry authority, and worthy of their business. In an increasingly digital age, not having a website and not having a website that's optimized are two things that are guaranteed to work against companies. It's also important to note that while SEO might not be a top priority for you, it's guaranteed to be a top priority for most or all of your competitors.
Keyword Selection and SEO
One of the most important elements of SEO is keyword selection. This is the process of identifying the keywords or key phrases that people are most likely to use when searching for your business. For example, if you own a car repair service in Memphis, many of your prospects are likely typing in "Memphis mechanic". If you're a plumber in Albuquerque, your prospects may be using search engines to find "the best plumbing companies in New Mexico". Identifying and targeting the keywords that consumers are using allows you to create and publish content that actually matters to them. It additionally ensures that you're publishing articles, blogs, images, videos, links, and other elements that show your site as being relevant to these searches.
Bounce Rates and What They Mean
Bounce rates are one of countless measurements that search engine algorithms use when ranking businesses. A bounce rate can be seen as a fair indication of how relevant, high-in-value, and rank-worthy a website is. When consumers visit your web pages and then instantly bounce back to search results, this might be an indication that you're simply not offering what they need. High bounce rates can be indicative of a number of website and content problems. Your available content may be low in value, difficult to access, or lacking essential information. A high bounce rate can also mean that your pages are slow to load, unresponsive, or unpleasant to use on devices with small-sized screens.
SEO is structured to increase your prominence on SERPs. This in turn produces:
- Increased site traffic
- Increased visits from qualified prospects with a high likelihood of converting
- More opportunities to educate, engage, and close deals
Bounce rates and the ability to analyze and improve them as part of SEO is an excellent example of how optimization additionally improves bottom lines. As the technical fitness of your website is improved and more quality content is published, not only will more people come to your website, but more site visitors will remain on your pages throughout the entirety of the sales process. You'll close more deals, make more lasting connections, and significantly increase your profits.
SEO shows major search engines that your website is worthy of attention. By taking steps to ensure that your site ranks well, you can connect with and engage more of your targeted market. With a strategic and well-managed SEO campaign, you can additionally position yourself as an industry authority, build trust, and share valuable information that effectively walks consumers through the purchasing process.
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