Are you curious about SEO as a marketing strategy for your business’ products or services? Given its high stock value in the online marketplace, it’s a marketing tactic worth investing in. Even if you don’t hire an agency or consultant, you’ll benefit from insight as a business owner or marketing professional. If you’re eager to learn more, order SEO for Dummies by Peter Kent for a deep dive into the basics on how to become an SEO expert.
SEO for Dummies | Overview
This short guide provides a brief description of the most important aspects of SEO. You’ll get the most of this guide if you have a willingness to learn and a drive to execute and test concepts. The basics covered here include how to find terms and phrases (“keywords”) that generate qualified traffic, technical SEO (making your site “friendly” to search engines), gathering links to your website from 3rd parties (“link-building,”) and marketing the unique value of your website.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, a.k.a. “S.E.O,” is the process of increasing the quality and quantity website traffic through organic search engine results. Organic traffic refers to any traffic from search engines that is un-paid. Alternatively, traffic from advertisements are referred to as paid traffic. SEO develops brand exposure and is as much about people as it is search engines. Technical SEO is the first priority. Second is a marketing strategy that considers what people are searching for online and what words/phrases they are using.
Search Engine Results Pages or “SERPs” have become increasingly advanced over the years. As search engine developers gain a better understanding of what people are searching, they add features that correlate with user needs. Some of the SERP features offered include “ask” boxes, image carousels, weather forecasts, local packs (the maps that show local businesses, descriptions, and reviews), featured snippets (short descriptions of definitions etc.,) and “people also ask” boxes. It’s to the benefit of search engine providers to keep users on the SERPs because it increases the likelihood a user will click an ad, which is how search engines generate revenue.
Why is SEO Important?
The majority of online traffic is generated through search engines as compared to paid advertising, social media and other online platforms. Search engines receive way more clicks than paid advertisements. Out of all US searches, only about 2.8% click on paid advertisements. In brief, SEO has around 20 times more traffic opportunity than pay-per-click advertising on both mobile and desktop.
A significant advantage of SEO is that, when set up correctly, it continues to pay dividends over time. If you provide a valuable piece of content that ranks for the right keywords, the traffic can snowball over time. Advertising requires continuous funding to send traffic to your website.
SEO for Dummies | Should I Hire an SEO professional, consultant or Agency?
There’s no correct answer here. Depending on your willingness to learn and the complexity of your website(s), you can certainly perform some basic SEO yourself. You might also prefer the help of an expert. Whichever path you choose, either way is perfectly okay! It’s important to know that SEO services can vary widely in quality. Moz.com has a great guide on how to choose a good SEO company that you should definitely check out for further insight!