SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is represented by the effort of helping a website rank higher in the search engine results pages (such as Google) for specific keywords.
This is a beginner’s guide to SEO.
Let’s say you are a pizza shop owner and you want locals or anyone traveling through your area to find your pizza shop when they are typing pizza shop (specific keyword) in Google.
SEO is the process of helping your pizza shop’s website rank higher in the search engine results pages. This results in being discovered by more people (website traffic increase) and thus achieving a higher visibility which is usually paired with a revenue increase for your business by having more clients walk through your door-step.
Search engine optimization should be an intrinsic part of every digital marketing strategy as it has been an essential part for almost all successful businesses with an online presence.
Organic traffic increase and higher Google ranking (or any other search engine ranking) are the ultimate goals of any SEO campaign.
The entire principle behind SEO might look simple, but the work itself is not. If you are a beginner and are testing different SEO techniques on your website you might make it or break it.
Adjustments have to be made on the website following an overall analysis where optimization needs are identified and acted upon. Randomly making changes according to various SEO advices across the internet might turn against you.
Contact an SEO expert if you are not one hundred percent confident that you know what you are doing, otherwise you may end-up see your website actually decreasing in ranking instead of going up.
Here are the main steps of how an SEO campaign usually works:
1. Analysis of the current state of the website;
2. Analysis of business niche and competition level;
3. Website optimization;
4. Start of the link-building campaign;
5. First quantifiable results kick-in after three months of SEO;
6. Continuous website optimization and on-going link-building campaign.
Each of the points above have complex sub-points behind them that take years to perfect and we’ve more than once had customers come asking for help after they’ve experienced sudden and sharp drops in their main target keywords rankings.
Such ranking drops can be caused by many reasons and each project is unique in its own way, but we can proudly say that we’ve made many customers happy.
For a better insight of factors influencing a website’s ranking position for specific keywords, see the graph below:
Only an SEO expert can correctly address all of the factors above, and only by addressing each one of them can enable your SEO campaign to be successful, and a question comes to mind:
Is it all worth it?
The answer is inevitably yes. Would you be here otherwise? The long-term gains of a properly handled SEO campaign are worth far more than most people think.
The immediate ROI (return on investment) levels of SEO are not as high as those from Pay-Per-Click advertising, but the fact that you can record higher rankings for your target keywords and an overall traffic increase for a long time after you have stopped the SEO campaign speaks volumes, and makes SEO unbeatable in terms of ROI in the long term.