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SEO Matters

(updated 2020)

SEO Matters 101

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in a Nutshell
SEO enables search engines to find your website quickly, and helps to provide an enjoyable experience for the consumer, throughout their visit. It entails using verbiage/commands that instruct crawlers to provide the desired consumer experience. These commands can 1) maximize the visibility of your website, and 2) maximize the credibility of your website.

Why Should I Care?
Each search engine, (e.g. Google, Safari, Internet Explorer), has its own algorithm, and user interface, complicating the process of getting your business recognized.

Current research shows that 90% of us use search engines, and over 6 billion searches are completed each day. Approximately 80% of people say they research online, before making a large purchase, and ~85% of search engine users say that they found what they needed during their search. So, there is too much business to be procured online to ignore any major search engine, and any major SEO strategy. Paying for search is an option; but, it isn’t necessary, as most folks still have an aversion to advertisements. 

percentage of search generated by organic search, paid advertisements, social media, and other.

Only ~15% of search is generated via paid advertisements; ~50% of search traffic is generated via organic search, and ~10% is generated via social media.

Keywords and Position Matter
The top factors that impact the likelihood of a consumer finding your page are a function of keywords and your site's bounce rate. A keyword helps the consumer match their need to your offering, and the bounce rate is indicative of how often the consumer could not accurately match their need to your product or service. The right keyword(s) and lower bounce rates encourage search engines to place your site in the top ten search results. 

percentage of sites visited according to page placement.

Sites listed in the top five search results receive over 60% of all click-through traffic, and the first ten search results receive ~70% of all click-through traffic. 

Obtaining a search result position ahead of your competition improves the likelihood that the consumer purchases the good or service they need from you versus your competitor. 

Choose keywords that provide an accurate description of your product or service, and use them as often as possible on your site, within reason – without becoming spam-like. Maximize the relevancy of your keyword by identifying the most sought after verbiage across search engines, and optimize your keyword positioning by using them in unique combinations, to distinguish yourself from the competition. Keyword research is free at Google Adwords.

SEO encompasses all facets of making a website or a brand visible and readily accessible to the consumer through unpaid search engine tactics. What's the ROI of SEO, Exactly


Metadata
Metadata is located in your site’s header, individual pages, photos, and blog posts. It provides explicit instruction on how your site should be presented to the public, and other crawler actions:
  1. No-index identifies pages that should not be crawled and indexed.
  2. Nofollow identifies links that should not be considered in the ranking of your site; esp. good for blog posts that may include links to outside sources.
  3. Noarchive forces crawlers to maintain a current non-stale version of your site visible.
  4. Adding a caption to photos is also metadata and can serve as strategic keyword opportunity.
Instructions such as these ensure that search engines focus where you specify, and don’t attribute potentially harmful information to your site. Harmful information will reduce your ranking, and thus your visibility in search results.

Other Tips and Pointers
The statistics stated in this article change significantly from year to year, as internet use is still in it's adolescence, and we're still finding new reasons and methods to engage online. Most updated statistics can be obtained via a search, with the stats appearing bare in a dropdown list in the search results. For more in depth studies and practical tools, HubSpot and Moz have been consistently reliable sources, for more than a decade. 

Optimize your business’ visibility by implementing as wide an array of SEO tactics as appropriate, such as a a social media presence, a blog, a newsletter, white papers, business listings, and press releases. It’s not necessary to have a presence on every social media outlet; it’s more important to choose the mix that best suits your needs, and to make that presence the absolute best. The goal is to optimize your online retail space, making it both customer and search engine friendly. In the end, you’ll reap the rewards of increased awareness and visibility.