By Catherine Knoll
The coveted first-place ranking in Google’s search-engine results is every business owner’s dream.
It sounds so easy--use the keywords your audience would use to find your site, set up great content, and then you are guaranteed top ranking in search engines. Right?
The reality is that much of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is complex and created over time. Considering there are over 6.6 billion web searches performed every day with the goal of obtaining relevant information to a particular set of keywords, setting up your SEO can be a web of confusion.
Search engines, such as Google, rank and index websites based on relevance and importance. This is your site’s report card from Google. These aren't determined manually, but by a set of algorithms that would take trillions of man-hours to conduct manually.
Determining your current relevance and ranking is the first step in the SEO process. Equally important is crafting SEO-friendly content. Content is often referred to as the "king" of SEO. It is one of the main drivers of engagement on the web and is a key indicator of relevancy.
Modern search engines are based on the science of information retrieval. Search engines need to see the information provided on your site to measure the relevance of your site to particular keywords. Your average user cannot see your site’s relevance score, but it is a critical aspect of the ranking system. Content that users see, along with the backend information read by the algorisms, must align for your website to gain relevancy and have high domain authority (ranking).
Even an SEO expert considers this complex. Rankings and relevance are constantly changing based on the information added each day to the web and how users are changing their search habits. Understanding your target demographic is essential to building content on your site that a search engine deems relevant.
SEO strategy should be focused on increasing organic exposure for branding keywords. It is critical to driving website traffic and acts as an online sales person bringing users, who may have otherwise been unfamiliar with your brand, to your site.
ROI is usually a central determination of success with any business strategy and SEO is no exception. SEO is highly effective and can generate a larger ROI than traditional marketing with the right strategy. It should also be treated as an on-going investment rather than a one-off project. Results will not be instantaneous, but businesses that make a genuine commitment to building SEO generally see high returns over time.
Catherine Knoll, Digital Marketing Strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.