SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a discipline in the digital world. Simply put SEO is used to improve the visibility of your business for organic search results to make sure you are reaching your target audience. The buzzwords with SEO are rank and relevance.
SEO combines creativity, metrics, and technical strategies to drive traffic and increase your ranking and relevance for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. When you increase your ranking among search engines it expands your brand awareness by making your website more relevant, accessible, and visible to potential customers, or leads. Simply put SEO increase traffic to your website.
Every search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) uses bots to crawl a website looking for Indexing and SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page). If your page is optimized it will include SEO tags, SSL, Speed, Backlinks, Crosslinks, Google integration, Sitemap.xml, Keywords, Robots.txt, Meta descriptions, and keyword saturation.
Let’s say you work in commercial real estate and have put together your website and listed the experience and bios of your individual team members. If you leave them alone without any SEO efforts potential customers won’t find much about you when they Google “experienced commercial realtors near me” or something similar. However, apply best SEO practices and there will be keywords for each bio including key words such as commercial real estate, realtor awards, top commercial realtors, etc. The bios should have about 70 characters including a “space” as a character. This is the title tag. However, you will only be able to provide one title tag per each page on the website. A meta-description is 200 characters and should be the elevator pitch you would use to promote the realtor. This is the text Google will show when someone finds your company through a search. Now you are in the game and Google is going to grab those criteria in search results to make you more visible and relevant as opposed to not having.
Think of site content as the base of your website and SEO as the science or metrics used to promote it within the search engine world. The more relevant and valuable content you have with the right SEO tags, key words, phrases, and meta descriptions only increases your digital relevance and brand awareness. This is not something you want to do in-house and assign to someone who has other responsibilities and very little SEO experience or knowledge. Marketing expert Steven McGrath, a strong proponent of SEO writes, “When search engine optimization is not done in the correct way, however, a website may be penalized and its rankings may not be good enough to receive traffic from Google and other major search engines.”
In the hands of trained and experienced SEO specialists, your ranking and relevance will grow over time. In this example, the goal of SEO is to increase your site’s ranking and get to the first page (the highest ranking) with Google search results because Google will then send you targeted leads for people interested in commercial real estate purchases, brokers, realtors, etc. The free traffic from Google and other search engines increases your site traffic, brand awareness, and revenue.
Next time we’ll look at Thought Leadership and blogs as content drivers.
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