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SEO 101: What It Is, Why It Matters & How to Optimize Your Site

Search engine optimization (SEO) is far more than just a marketing buzzword. It is a complex discipline focused on achieving organic (or nonpaid) search results. When done properly, SEO can:

  • Boost rankings for a business’ website, helping it get to and stay on page one of search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Drive more organic traffic to websites, enhancing a business’ online visibility.
  • Increase conversions, turning more online consumers into new customers.

SEO in 2018: A Quick Look at the Statistics & Facts

The latest statistics regarding SEO reveal just how critical optimization can be to the success and growth of businesses:

  • 30% of traffic to a business’ website is organic traffic.
  • Up to 25% conversions rates are linked to organic traffic.
  • 35% click-through rates are associated with sites that are ranked #1 on Google SERPs.
  • 51% of mobile searches lead to the discovery of a new business AND result in a visit to the business within 1 day.
  • Google’s 2 most significant ranking signals are effective linking and high-quality content.

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How SEO Works: Leveraging SEO for Your Business

As technology and search engine algorithms advance, so too do the elements and tactics associated with search engine optimization. The latest advances in SEO involve a combination of on-site and off-site factors.

On-site SEO factors and tactics include (and are not limited to):

  • Information architecture – This refers to how the pages and content on a website flow and are structured. The information structure, or silo, can impact how users navigate a site and find the content they are looking for. Consequently, developing sites so that they have a clear, well-organized information structure – and so that users can readily find whatever content they want – is an important component of on-site SEO.
  • Unique, high-quality content – Well-optimized content will be free of typos and grammatical errors. It will also be unique, deliver value to the audience and be easy to read. Content that’s poorly written, plagiarized from other sites and/or not well formatted will degrade SEO and can tank a site’s rankings, traffic and conversions.
  • Linking – The way that the pages of content on a site are linked is crucial for two reasons. First, linking can provide signals to search engines regarding the most important pages on a site, pages that relevant to each other and the flow of the user experience. Second, linking can be essential to how users navigate a site. The right linking strategies can make a site appealing to both search engines and users.
  • User experience – Google’s #1 philosophy is, “Focus on the user, and all else will follow.” Essentially, this means that providing the best possible user experience should be the number focus when it comes to websites. Features that degrade the user experience (like, for example, obtrusive pop-ups ads) can also detract from SEO.
  • Technical aspects – A number of technical aspects related to websites will also impact SEO. These factors include site loading time (with loading times over about 5 seconds degrading SEO) and bounce rates (meaning the frequency at which users quickly leave a site because it’s not what they thought it would be). These aspects can also include any broken features on a website, like broken links, buttons, plugins, chat features and/or forms.

Off-site SEO factors and tactics include (and are not limited to):

  • Backlinks – These are links to a business’ website that are put up on other or third-party sites. For instance, a home improvement blog may feature a backlink to a site for a business that sells home appliances or fixtures. The more high-quality backlinks that a website has, the more credibility and authority it will gain in the eyes of search engines, thereby enhancing SEO.
  • Social media pages – Optimized social media pages that link to (and are linked from) a business’ website can also boost SEO, providing an effective way to drive traffic across the various online channels a business has established. This is particularly true if a business is actively promoting its content on social media and/or if there are direct calls-to-action or purchase options on the social media pages.
  • Online reviews – The reviews and ratings customers put up online not only generate “social proof” of the quality of a business’ products or services, they can also influence SEO. This is because search engines can evaluate reviews to assess the relative authority a business has, when compared to similar businesses.

The Bottom Line on the Value & Importance of SEO

When it comes to search engine optimization, the bottom line is that SEO is a vital part of successfully marketing a business online. In fact, the right SEO strategies can:

  • Position businesses to be found by customers who are looking for them
  • Convince users to look for more information about a business and, ideally, compel them to become new customers
  • Launch a business above the competition, helping it achieve next-level success.

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Call (720) 498-3513 or Email to info@gtgplus.com

GTG Plus is a full-service marketing firm providing custom, innovative solutions for any type of business. Backed by extensive experience and proven results, our team of experts is highly skilled at devising and managing flexible, fully integrated marketing campaigns that include traditional (print) and online promotions. We are ready to create a state-of-the-art marketing plan that can optimize brand visibility, effectively engage your target customers and deliver exceptional results.

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