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Posted By on 01/05/2022 in Category 2

Giving the People What They Want

Giving the People What They Want

Written by CS Design Studios

In any list of terms that we hear all the time but perhaps understand less than we want to admit, “SEO” has got to be at the top. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is optimizing web page design, structure, and content in order to compel well-known search engines, like Google, to give that page top ranking. SEO has become a modern buzzword for online advertising and marketing, but why is it important? How can it help–or hurt–your business? And can you do it yourself?

 For example, if I go to Google and search the phrase “best hamburger near me”, Google is going to return results that its algorithms have decided, in a fraction of a second, have the greatest chance of being what I wanted. Results are returned in a specific order, called search ranking. Google ranks the sites with the best user experience and the highest level of relevancy at the top, while less desirable results are shown on the pages that follow. They say if a murderer wanted to hide a body, they should put it on the second page of Google because nobody ever looks there.

 The idea is to build a meritocracy of sorts. You get top billing if you deliver the best user experience.

 The problem is, many businesses feel they have to trick Google and other search engines into ranking their site higher than everyone else’s, regardless of merit. The days of keyword-stuffing a web page are over. Not only can Google’s modern algorithm see through such machinations, but it’s a violation of Google’s best practices and Google may de-rank and even blacklist a site for doing it.

 How CAN you optimize your website without getting into trouble? Actually, SEO boils down to one simple thing: giving people what they want, and letting Google see you do it. 

 Google cares about two things: one of them is, of course, money; but the other is staying at the pinnacle of the search engine game. Competitors like Duck Duck Go and Bing have upped their game recently, but what word has literally become a verb meaning “to search the internet”? To find out, you’ll have to google it. 

 SEO works because it’s all about making Google’s job easier: giving people what they want. 

 The WHAT may be simple, but the HOW gets a bit more complicated. SEO tends to be treated like a secret recipe. But here are some of the facets of optimizing your website to get a higher ranking:

  • 1. Site architecture that follows Google’s best practices
  • 2. Well-researched, up-to-date, hyper-relevant content
  • 3. Pages that load super fast on any device, from phones to tablets to computers

 These are the things that Google wants to see, because essentially that’s what PEOPLE want to see. People want something fast, something that looks great no matter what device they’re using, and most of all, they want the information they were searching for to begin with.

 How does SEO help? By ranking higher in search results, your website is bound to get more visitors. More visitors means more calls or form submissions, and that means more money in your pocket. 

 If the total number of people who are searching for keywords related to your business is represented by a pie, you and your competitors each get a slice. What matters is how big your slice of the pie is. SEO can’t increase the number of people searching for your business or niche, but you can definitely increase the size of your share...and that means a higher return on your marketing investment.

 A solid SEO strategy starts with competitor analysis: What are they doing wrong? What are they doing right? And how can you do it better? 

 Ask yourself: What does success look like? What will it take to reach that goal? You’ll need to determine how much you’ll need to spend in order to get the kind of results you want from your SEO campaign. Through competitor analysis, diligent keyword research, page architecture, and careful content curation, companies who prioritize digital presence will definitely see a bump in web traffic–and their bank account.

 And remember, just like sugary cereal tastes great but is only a PART of a well-balanced breakfast, SEO is only a part of a well-balanced digital marketing campaign. Paid search ads, compelling YouTube videos, a robust social media presence, and your Google Business Profile will all play a role in the health of your marketing campaign.

 If all of this sounds like it’s too complicated to figure out…you might be right. Unless you can program websites and have extensive digital marketing experience, don’t try this at home. You wouldn’t just jump off your sofa to safari through Africa…on foot…by yourself, right? You’d do some research to find a professional and serious guide with a proven track record who has done it before, and will do it again.

 In the world of Google, this guide takes the form of a digital marketing agency. In the web design and digital marketing industry, more than many other industries, you tend to get what you pay for. It’s more than a science; it’s an art. It takes finesse to get it right.

 Take a real-world example of two comparable British news websites: the Daily Mail, and the Daily Mirror. After a seismic 2019 shift in Google’s core algorithm, the Daily Mirror got a nice boost in ranking…while the Daily Mail tanked overnight, and to such a degree that a lawsuit is pending to seek damages to its business. But other companies who were affected similarly, when supported by a competent digital marketing partner, were able to quickly adapt and make the necessary adjustments to regain ranking within weeks or even days.

 Here are the top criteria for selecting a marketing partner to help you navigate your digital journey:

  • 1. They have a well-established team with a great reputation already, preferably a Google Partner with a real office.
  • 2. You like their website and others that they’ve built. You recognize the names of some of the brands in their portfolio.
  • 3. They don’t require a contract and will presume that you’ll actually WANT to keep paying them rather than being held hostage by a piece of paper.
  • 4. They are already doing for themselves what they say they’ll be doing for you. Chances are, if you can’t find them on Google, nobody will find you, either.

In this article, we’ve broken down what SEO is and isn’t, and we’ve examined a few of the criteria for effective optimization of your site, as well as some things to keep in mind while you’re looking for help. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than a single article can highlight, but if you take away just one thing, SEO is all about giving people what they want. While winning the SEO game sounds complex, it can be a lot simpler with the right partner. SEO is more than just a buzzword. It’s a bona fide requirement to grow your business online and succeed in an increasingly competitive digital marketplace.

Searching is believing.