To succeed online you need two things: content and search engine optimization. Great content will convince your customers to choose your products or services. However, without optimization, even the greatest content remains invisible to search engines and without content, you have nothing to optimize.
Obviously, these two factors are inextricably linked.
First, let us focus on optimization. Optimization is about a set of actions that help search engines understand why your site is the right answer to a question posed by a search engine user. To understand what kind of content you need to create, you first need to understand what your potential customers are looking for and how they are searching online.
Search engines are becoming more and more intelligent. In addition to the keywords entered in the search box, they understand and use synonyms, different word forms, and related keywords. User behaviors are also changing. According to data by moz.com, search engine users use multiple words to search (usually three) and search in the form of questions (8 percent of searches are submitted in the form of a question).
Search engine optimization is no longer a choice and is a mandatory part of any marketing strategy
Search engine ranking has become an important part of success online. The web is a winner-takes-all environment and nowhere is this more true than on the first page of a search engine. Let me tell you about why search engine optimization is no longer a “nice-to-have”:
Most online experiences begin with a search engine
Where do you turn first to get information about something that interests you? How do you go about shopping? How do you meet people? I believe that search engines help you find most of the answers to your business or private questions. The internet helped us learn about everything and search engines help us find information about practically anything. This is also confirmed by research, which says that 68 percent of all online experiences start with search engines.
Each second, Google processes thousands of queries
Search engines, led by Google, have become a core part of the online experience and we cannot imagine using the internet without them. Each day, Google processes 3.5 billion searches, which translates to about 40,000 search queries every second.
The number one result takes 31.7 percent of clicks
What’s good for your (potential) customer is also good for search engines
These enormous search volumes are a great business opportunity. Search engines send users looking for specific information and products to websites. In doing so, they also guide companies that can use this information to design their marketing strategies.
But getting to the top of the search engine result page is a difficult task and you cannot get there without a well-thought-out content strategy that is supported by great search engine optimization.
A quick introduction to optimization
Search engines use special bots called crawlers to constantly scan information about websites and index them. This means that they store data in a giant database that they use to look for information. When retrieving this content, search engines determine a website's relevance to certain queries based on topic and keywords as well as some other factors, such as page load speed, mobile readiness, social media signals, domain age, and so on.
Website authority is measured using backlinks. These are links from other websites leading to the website we want to optimize. In a way, backlinks are similar to word of mouth marketing. The more backlinks we have from other high quality and credible sites, the more trustworthy it is for search engines and users.
Website discoverability is improved by creating high-quality content on the topics a company wants to be known for.
For example, if you are an organization with a recognizable brand that users already talk about and share your content online, you do not have an authority issue. To make sure you remain visible in the long term, you should still review and evaluate the quality of your content and adapt it or create more.
However, if you are a new organization without backlinks, you should focus on both factors. Create better content than your competition and make it shareable so users can easily share it with others.
Where should you start?
First, identify where you are today. You can follow the below recommendation or the seven steps to optimization, which we will write about in our next post.
If you use HubSpot's CMS, take advantage of its features, and the HubSpot SEO Tool that will help you optimize your website. The tool first looks at your content like a search engine would and provides a list of recommendations. It helps you identify optimization "errors" and suggests improvements for each page. The great thing about this is that you can immediately resolve any issues directly from the list.
If you use another CMS, you can use the Website Grader tool, which analyzes your website and provides more than just search engine optimization tips. It also evaluates the performance of your website and recommends performance improvements, mobile optimization tasks, and security tips.
Do not hold off and start working on optimization today. Just like websites have become a precondition for business, search engine optimization is an aspect of your business you no longer have the luxury of neglecting.