Search Engine Optimization: A Look Beneath The Surface
What happens when you Google a specific term or question? Chances are, you’ve done this countless times and understand the answer. You see a list of results, which are links to websites. You may also see some suggested advertisements, pictures, and Youtube videos. For the most part, the ten websites listed that are not part of the advertisements are called “organic results”.
Continuing with this scenario, you probably look the results one at a time. You may read the title and the brief paragraph included below. Once you see a result that might be what you are looking for you click the link and are taken to a website. That’s the search engine experience for most people and rarely do they wonder about what’s happening beneath the surface.
However, as a website owner, entrepreneur, or marketer, you must concern yourself with what’s really happening. Why is it important? Because you want people to see your website, read your page’s description, and click the link to your website before they go to someone else’s. You can then convert that person into a subscriber, regular visitor, or even a customer.
So how do you make that happen? How do you increase the likelihood of people clicking on your website? First, you have to get your website near the top of those organic results on the first page. You accomplish this through search engine optimization(SEO).
Why The Top?
SEO is all about getting to the top of that list. Even if your goal is only to reach the third, fourth, or fifth spot, everyone secretly wants the number one spot. Is it that important? Absolutely.
Remember that in the original scenario you read the results and their paragraphs one at a time starting from the top. That’s how most people browse through the results they are provided. They tend to skip the ads and start reading through the titles and descriptions. For that reason, about 40 percent of the people who search a term are going to click on the first organic link.
Of course, even if you are at the top, that’s no guarantee the person will click your link. Your description may not suit them so they move on to the second description and so forth. Each rank below the first receives significantly fewer clicks than the last. Only about one percent of people click the tenth result. Even fewer than that follow through to the second page.
Thus, the closer your link is towards the top of the list the more likely it is someone will click on it. That means more traffic will be coming to your site, which increases leads, registrations, subscriptions, and purchases. If you run a blog, that means more people are reading your blog and potentially sharing it with others.
You may be thinking, “is traffic from a search engine that important?”. It absolutely is. More than 80 percent of website traffic originates from a search engine. Most of that traffic is originating from the search giant Google. It’s for this reason that SEO often refers to optimizing websites for Google’s rankings, though it can also apply to other search engines as well.
How It Happens.
Most sane business owners don’t tackle SEO themselves. There’s quite a bit going on beneath the surface, as mentioned earlier. Google relies on a very big, fairly old, and extremely secretive algorithm for determining the ranking of websites in their organic rankings.
But if the algorithm is secret, then how do SEO experts know what to do to push a site towards the top of the rankings? They rely on two different methods of learning. First, Google engineers and workers do share a small amount of information related to their algorithm.
For example, they let people know that links leading back to your websites are important. They’ll even let you know that links coming from reputable sites are the best. However, they won’t tell you how many links it takes to make a difference. They won’t even tell you if links are more important than keywords. That’s where the second method of learning comes into play: experience.
Most professionals agree that links are the most important metric for ranking a website. They determined this through sheer experience and analysis. Are they 100 percent correct? Google won’t confirm or deny anything, but the results of their work tend to speak for itself.
Why Hire A Professional.
If it’s a simple matter of experience, then why not tackle your own SEO project? Google’s algorithm is not only massive, but it’s constantly changing. Links may be the most important thing today, but tomorrow too many links could result in having your website banned. Nobody knows what Google is going to do next. SEO professionals have to stay up-to-date with the latest changes around the clock. That’s nearly impossible when you’re trying to run a business as well.