Search Engine Optimisation Benefits | 12 minute read
Search. Engine. Optimisation.
These three words can make or break a business. What other three words could represent such a drastic change of fortune? “STAFFROOM ON FIRE!” probably comes close. But fires can be extinguished, and staff rooms can be rebuilt.
As for SEO benefits, well they can change a business forever.
‘But what is Search Engine Optimisation and how can it affect a business?’
Well I’m glad I put words in your mouth and made you ask.
My name is Alexander Porter and I’m the Head of Copy here at Search It Local. At one stage I was like you, I didn’t know the first thing about the benefits of SEO.
But not anymore.
Now I’m here, with a thermos full of warm beer that my content team believes is coffee, fingers dancing on the keyboard like a flame dances over a dry and desolate staffroom, ready to impart the secrets of SEO and the broader SEO benefits with you.
Strap yourselves in. There’s a journey before us. We’ll drift leisurely down rivers of language, across copywriting currents and wander through worded woodlands and jungles jammed with jargon. We’ll blend the art and science of SEO like modern day alchemists, capture literary lightning in a bottle, confidence building and courage coursing through our digital veins until we reach that most sacred, surreptitious and sought-after place…
The first page of Google!
SEO Benefits 101
But let’s pump the brakes. We’re moving faster than the guy who asks a girl out on a date, picks her up for dinner and hands her a key to his apartment. It’s too soon, mate. Everyone knows you wait until after dessert to play the apartment key card.
Let me start by saying I’m acutely aware of how SEO comes across.
It’s not a real conversation starter. In fact, it would better be described as a conversation ender. For those uninitiated with the intricacies of Search Engine Optimisation, it’s tech speak. Something to do with Google, the vague promise of business growth, but certainly nothing to interest the average Joe or Jane.
I’m here to deliver you a truth bomb with such force you’ll sit down for a solid month so I hope you’re somewhere comfortable as you read this with close access to a month’s supply of food and fresh water.
SEO isn’t boring.
SEO benefits your business and makes you more money.
SEO is far from boring. In fact, for a business with an online presence, it’s the difference between running with the pack and pulling ahead of the pack to achieve real, lasting and financial success.
But still, it’s a topic that can bring about a yawn or two. Mention to someone that you work in advertising and they’ll conjure up and image of HBO’s ‘Mad Men’. A world full of early morning whiskey and suits so sharp you could cut the tip of a cigar with them. And that’s exactly what they’d probably do, those roguish devils.
“This is actually a no smoking office guys”
But that’s not what we specialise in here at Search It Local.
We’re many things. Website developers and designers. Copywriters and editors. Account managers and support team superstars. And it’s those things we tell our friends and family when they ask about work.
But there’s one thing we excel at that we keep close to our chest, saved only for clients who want to know the secret to growing their business and driving the figures off the edge of their profit sheets.
Because we know a mention of this aspect of our work will trigger a reaction that’s entirely unfair and unfounded. People think it’s boring, or too full of jargon, or not useful to their small business.
But I can’t hold this in any longer.
We’re SEO superstars.
And it’s time to tell the world.
It might not be sexy. But it’s the future of success for a small business. If you want to generate more leads, increase traffic to your website, get more work, and make more money, then SEO is the strongest, safest and most effective way to do it. All while setting up the long-term health of your online presence.
Sounds good, right?
Before we get into the importance of SEO for a small business though, let’s dive into some SEO statistics to get a feel for the current digital climate.
In 2017, 46.8% of the world’s population accessed the internet.
Of those people, there were 3.5 billion searches on Google. EVERY SINGLE DAY.
With 93% of online experiences starting with a search engine, and over 3.5 billion searches going through Google every single day, which works out to an 80.5% search engine market share, it’s pretty clear that appearing on Google’s search results pages puts you in front of a fantastic amount of people.
But are they the right people?
If all those people are looking up cat fails and the latest movements of the Kardashians, they won’t be much use to you (unless your business sells shirts for cats emblazoned with the various members of the Kardashian family. Which, if it existed, I’d suggest calling it the ‘Catdashian Collection’, but that’s just me).
“She’s taking my idea!”
Thankfully, there is data to tell us the opposite. 81% of people perform online research before they commit to a purchase. And with the first position on Google resulting in a 31.35% click through rate, it doesn’t matter what products and services you’re selling, you’ll have an audience looking to buy.
These figures prove it. If you want to present your business to an audience who is actively looking to spend money on products and services like yours, you need to be on Google.
I can hear you through your screen right now.
‘Great, I’ll make a website and find a comfortable spot on page 300 of Google. You said getting on Google was the goal, right?’
That’s more wrong than this unfortunate character.
75% of people never scroll past the first page!
That’s huge. There’s a famous SEO benefits expression (which almost feels like an oxymoron) that “the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google”. Beyond being a hilarious SEO line that always gets a chuckle at the type of parties SEO experts attend, it rings true.
We live in an instant age. If you want the latest eggplant parmigiana recipe you pull it up on your phone, tablet, or laptop and access it instantly. No more ringing Mum as you fire up the oven and ask for the recipe while she asks if you’ve got your life together yet (obviously not Mum, I wouldn’t be calling for a recipe last minute if I had everything together). Better than that, you can punch in your postcode and wait for Uber Eats to pull up with one perfect eggplant parmy without ever moving from the couch.
Whether it’s food, dating, entertainment or purchasing desires, we want things in the very same moment that the thought comes to us. And with technology as the facilitator, it’s become a reality for almost all aspects of our lives.
To put the speed of that internet usage in context, back in 1999 it took Google an entire month to crawl and index 50 million websites. As of 2012, that same number of websites was crawled and indexed in less than one minute.
Taking all this knowledge back to what we’ve learnt about Google so far, if the world’s greatest business isn’t on the first page of Google, it’s simply not going to get seen.
It’ll be tucked away with the dead body someone left on page two of Google along with the lost city of Atlantis, Amelia Earhart, and the enthusiasm I had when I bought an ‘urban unicycle’. And I know, that invites ridicule now, but I bought that deathtrap from a website on the first page of Google which proves my point – albeit at my own expense.
I’m going to read your mind again (and there’s some weird stuff in there let me tell you).
“Alex, so far you’ve taught me that advertising is important. I get that now. What’s stopping me from taking out an ad in the local paper, or cold-calling to drum up interest?”
To that I say, nothing! Absolutely nothing is stopping you from investing in advertising strategies that you believe would help increase the visibility of your business. You’re a strong-willed individual who tells great stories at parties and cooks a mean spag bol. You can print out a million tiny flyers, strap them to a million carrier pigeons and send them around Sydney in a guerilla style marketing campaign that’s sure to garner attention (some of which will likely come from the RSPCA). But whether it works, well that’s another story.
Research has shown that outbound leads, and these include direct mail, cold-calling, and other traditional advertising tools, have a conversion rate of 1.7%. That’s not great.
In contrast, leads from search engines have a conversion rate of 14.6%. That’s pretty great.
We don’t sugar coat things here at Search It Local.
The facts I’ve shared with you so far make one thing absolutely clear.
If you want your business to grow in the digital age, you must be accessible on a search engine. That search engine must be Google. And you must be on the first page.
Which brings us hurtling back to the benefits of SEO like an out of control carrier pigeon, burdened by the flyer that clings precariously to his leg, flying into a tree.
The first page of Google is the destination. But it’s all about the journey!
It’s how you get there that’s important, but it’s also how you get there that poses the greatest challenge.
Like I said, it may not be sexy (in fact it definitely isn’t), and it may not be what we mention to our friends and family when they ask what we do for work, but it’s vital to the success of your business.
The journey to the top of Google. The secret to success. The thing we do here at Search It Local. It’s SEO.
And if you want your small business to reach a wider audience and get more work, it’s time you jumped on board the SEO benefits bandwagon. Hold on tight though, because we’re going straight to the top!
Friends with SEO benefits
If you’re still reading this far, then you’ve made a monumental business decision. And before we go any further I just want to say, I’m proud of you!
Diving into the benefits of SEO is like diving into the deep end of a swimming pool.
Only the swimming pool isn’t a swimming pool it’s just a big tank full of sharks.
If you don’t know what to do or where to go, you’ll get eaten alive (the sharks represent your competition, for those keeping score of my simile usage).
For a small business to invest in SEO can be daunting. After all, you’re really only relying on the expertise of an SEO specialist (in this case, me). It’s a common reaction to push back against the offer of SEO help, with the technical nature of Search Engine Optimisation appearing overwhelming at times, while many business owners feel it’s all an industry scam perpetuated by SEO experts who sit in their ivory chairs and laugh at those who sign up.
I’m here to tell you that is far from the case.
My chair isn’t even made of ivory.
To make the plunge into this SEO benefits lesson a little more comfortable, let’s dive into an analogy first.
You’ve gone through your adult life in strapping health. You could run a marathon every day and if you stopped it was only to allow someone to congratulate you on your exceptional cardio, and maybe offer you a light refreshment.
Then, out of nowhere, you find yourself falling behind.
Your form is terrible. Your shoelaces are tied together. And you couldn’t tell the difference between a lazy jog and a hazy fog.
No matter how hard you try, your competition races away from you day after day, getting to the finished line first and leaving you in last place.
In these circumstances you’d head to the doctor and get a complete check-up. Inside and out, an analysis of everything that might be causing you to lag behind your competition.
“We’ll be making some changes” the doctor says. “If you want to start winning again, here’s what you have to do…”
Let’s hit the pause button
When given the opportunity by this doctor, would you:
a). Accept his diagnosis. Embrace his strategies to get you back in first place, and invest your time and energy in implementing his suggestions.
b). Wait until his back is turned and spring out the nearest window, heading down the street and into obscurity because you weren’t entirely sold on some of the things he was suggesting.
When SEO is viewed through this lense, it becomes clear how unique a position it is in.
In no other industry would someone slowly back away from an opportunity, let alone one proven to be successful, with a 2016 study showing the first 5 results on Google’s search engine results page capturing 67.60% of traffic.
A mechanic understand what’s best for your car. Just as a surgeon understands what’s best for your health. And an SEO expert? We know what’s best to get your business ranking on the first page of Google.
But it’s not enough to just SAY we’re experts on all things Search Engine Optimisation and have you trust us.
I want to SHOW you how SEO benefits work at their core so you can see where I’m coming from yourself.
The journey from being completely fresh to Search Engine Optimisation and the way it works, to becoming your very own SEO expert as you understand the way subtle touches improve your website across the board, is an important one to undertake.
For a small business, effective SEO can be the difference between pushing through that difficult first year, with the latest 2018 figures suggesting that roughly 20% of new businesses will fail within the first year. While this figure rises to a whopping 50% of businesses failing to take off within the first 5 years.
No matter how incredible your products and services may be, without visibility putting them in front of customers who are actively looking for those same products and services, you’ll be attempting to swim upstream until eventually your business is washed away.
When Search Engine Optimisation is properly implemented, the SEO benefits have a positive impact across your entire digital presence.
But I don’t expect to convince you of why you should use SEO to grow your business without unpacking a subject that is too often overcomplicated.
So, let’s start at the beginning.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation is the ultimate marketing tool. It’s the process of appearing on search engine results when people search for your products and services. Better than standing on your roof and shouting at people who walk past. Better than advertising in every local newspaper.
Remember when I told you how 93% of online experience start with a search engine? Getting your business on to Google means tapping into the massive numbers of consumers who are looking to spend their hard earned money on businesses like yours by searching online.
To determine who gets those juicy first page rankings, which would allow you to take advantage of the huge numbers of consumers online, Google uses a complex ranking algorithm that is a closely guarded industry secret. This is similar to KFC’s secret herbs and spices, or whatever it is that goes on in Area 51. Despite their intentions to hold their digital cards close to their digital chest, Google is not immune to revealing their personal secrets and, in perhaps the most glaring example of ‘hidden in plain sight’ they routinely share some of the ranking factors that go into their advanced ranking algorithm.
Take this, for example, from the official Google Blog back in 2011. And while much has changed in the digital landscape since then, the core message of ‘provide high-quality content to users that is valuable and reflects the intent of their search’ remains a defining characteristic of successful SEO in 2018.
Take it away Google:
“Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find “high-quality” sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content.
To step into Google’s mindset, the questions below provide some guidance on how we’ve been looking at the issue:
Would you trust the information presented in this article?
Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
How much quality control is done on content?
Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?”
Tell us more Google…
Google’s latest ‘Search Quality Rating Guidelines’, a lengthy document that details what Google looks for when determining the quality score of a webpage, also had this to say on the subject of keyword optimisation:
“Pages may be created to lure search engines and users by repeating keywords over and over again, sometimes in unnatural and unhelpful ways. Such pages are created using words likely to be contained in queries issued by users. Keyword stuffing can range from mildly annoying to users, to complete gibberish. Pages created with the intent of luring search engines and users, rather than providing meaningful content to help users, should be rated Lowest.”
Just one more secret please Google…
While a 2016 quote from Andrey Lipattsev, Google’s senior search quality strategist, was crystal clear on the subject. When asked to confirm two ranking factors perceived to carry the most weight in terms of achieving success with organic search results, he explained:
“Yes; I can tell you what they [the number 1 and 2 ranking factors] are. It’s content, and links pointing to your site.”
So while no one knows the exact order of the roughly 200 ranking factors that Google uses to determine the order of organic search results, there are a number of clues that give SEO experts a direction to point their strategies.
The delicious 3D pie chart below illustrates some of the latest industry beliefs regarding ranking factors in 2018.
While the information above might be a little much to digest, it’s essentially saying – If a business wants to get their website to the top of Google, they’ll need to adhere to the most important of these ranking factors.
With so many ranking factors at play, SEO may be better defined as the process of increasing your website’s rankings in organic search results to generate traffic and leads.
Or, to simplify the definition even further, SEO benefits your business by making you more visible. More visibility means more customers. And more customers means more business.
Would a greater digital presence, with a far-reaching visibility, and more website traffic be good for your business?
For any business owner who’s serious about growing his or her business, the answer is a resounding yes.
The challenge then is to give you the insights you need to feel confident and comfortable in using SEO to grow your business, outside of endless statistics and frustrating tech speak.
And the best way to do that, is through some good old fashioned pop culture.
So I went and scoured the internet (let me tell you there is some WEIRD stuff out there) to find something you and I can connect over. It wasn’t easy, because I get distracted easily, and I ended up watching the most quotable movie lines of all time somewhere between 2am and 3am.
So, here it is.
SEO EXPLAINED THROUGH THE MOST POPULAR MOVIE QUOTES OF ALL TIME
Everyone has a favourite movie quote. And in most cases, a terrible impression to go along with it. But did you know, among that warm, fuzzy feeling your favourite movie quotes give you, that you were actually learning about Search Engine Optimisation benefits?
Those lines delivered by your favourite actors and actresses, were reinforcing how important SEO is to your business this whole time.
All you needed was an interpreter, fluent in SEO and pop culture, to bridge the gap between those two worlds.
So, without further delay, let’s dive into the top ten movie quotes of all time, as decided by the American Film Institute and a panel of 1500 leaders from creative communities.
These quotes were chosen for the way they’d transcended popular culture and become entrenched in modern lexicon.
I haven’t done anything but take the top ten as they appeared, and translate them word for word through my SEO benefits filter, just for you.
There’s no digital manipulation to be found here. The benefits of SEO are explained everywhere, you just needed an SEO expert to translate them.
Are you ready to rank? Let’s get straight into it.
Number One – ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’ (Gone With The Wind, 1939)
Voted the number one movie line of all time, Clark Gable’s devastating reply to a tearful Vivien Leigh asking “where shall I go? What shall I do?” is quoted around the globe. Delivered with all the roguish charm of an early Hollywood superstar, it’s used to show the character of Rhett has reached his limit with his wife, Scarlett, and he doesn’t give a damn what she does with her life (to be frank).
But to the expert SEO eye it means so much more. And outside of being the number one greatest movie quote of all time, it’s also the first step in an SEO journey.
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”
“Honestly, I’m not interested in SEO.”
It’s the roadblock put up by small business owners. The obstacle standing in the way of ranking on Google, getting more website traffic, and growing your business. But a totally understandable reaction when approached by someone who claims they can help your business grow.
Promises out of the blue and other similar sorts of statements are seen as coming from the realm of snake oil salesmen, promising miracle cures to everything from baldness to blindness and everything in between. They’ve made it challenging to get through to small businesses who run on limited budgets and can’t afford to jump at any old opportunity.
It has to be the right opportunity. A small business who’s full focus is on the day to day running of their services isn’t interested in signing up for a website service that takes 3-6 months to see results. And when asked if they’d like to give it a try, frankly, they don’t give a damn.
But I’m here to speak on behalf of SEO experts the world over.
SEO is an investment in your business and future success. It’s a minor cost upfront for a major return on investment down the line. With the top 5 websites on the first page of Google capturing 67.60% of traffic, and that’s traffic coming from the 3.5 billion Google searches each day, there’s going to be people visiting your website. There’s no way around that.
If you had hundreds of additional visitors to your website each day, would you feel confident that your products and services could convince them to become customers?
That’s half the battle. And if you are confident in what your business has to offer, the other half of the battle is fought and won by SEO experts who put your business right where it need to be.
In front of a waiting audience.
Number Two – ‘I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse’ (The Godfather, 1972)
There’s no one who hasn’t uttered this famous line at some point in their life. Taken from the American crime film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando’s ‘Don Vito Corleone’ provides a line for the ages that’s dripping with subtext and innuendo.
And while his use of the line carries a not so subtle threat, it means the exact opposite in SEO circles.
SEO is the offer that can’t be refused. The facts and the figures speak for themselves.
“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”
“I understand you’re hesitant. But let me tell you how SEO would help your online business grow, and make you more money”
This is the counter from the SEO expert like myself. He’s armed with facts and figures across every aspect of Search Engine Optimisation.
Did you know that organic search results are 8.5 times more likely to be clicked on than paid ads occupying space at the top of Google? With 3.5 billion Google searches every day, you’re putting yourself right in front of customers who are statistically likely to click through to your website.
Or that 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within 5 kilometres of their location? So if SEO was able to put your business on the first page of Google in your local area, those 72% of people would have you on their list of businesses to visit.
Or that over 60% of clicks go to the top 3 results on Google’s search results page? That’s priceless visibility, not just for your business, but ensuring your competition doesn’t get the space in the spotlight that you do.
The takeaway here? That the number of consumers using the internet to search for products and services is huge, and growing every year. For a business it feels natural to resist SEO.
After all, it does cost money and take time.
But as an investment in your business, SEO has the potential for a huge return on investment. The organic search results results brought about by Search Engine Optimisation are the number one way to drive traffic to your website, beating social media by a whopping 300%!
But while the first step is always the hardest, the subsequent steps are towards more customers, more work and more of that cold hard cash (unless you deal with plastic, in which case it is still cold and hard). Because when you commit to an SEO marketing approach, you’re committing to increased visibility, more website traffic, and more leads.
And there’s no business owner who’s turning down an offer like that.
Number Three – ‘You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum. Which is what I am’ (On the Waterfront, 1954)
This famous line, dripping with lament, was delivered by Marlon Brando for the 2nd of 3 entries in the top ten movie quotes of all time (making our mate Marlon somewhat of an SEO aficionado). Playing the talented young boxer, Terry Malloy, he’s crestfallen at having thrown away the opportunity to make the most of his opportunities while mobsters take advantage of his inside information to make themselves more money.
As this line gets fed through SEO translation, the irony won’t be lost on anyone. While Marlon’s character is distraught at missing his opportunity, it is those around him who benefit financially.
And that’s exactly what happens when SEO benefits a business, and leaves their competition feeling regret.
“You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum. Which is what I am.”
“I regret not taking the SEO opportunity to improve my site, increase my visibility, and attract more customers!”
This is the forlorn realisation of those on the outside looking in. They had the opportunity to occupy prime real estate at the top of Google. But missed their opportunity to strike while the iron was hot.
Here’s a statistic to put their sorrow in perspective.
That’s how much traffic the websites on the first page of Google for any given keyword receive.
If you’re not on that first page, you’ve got a tiny slice of the pie when it comes to consumers.
When you combine this with the fact that companies spent a combined $65 billion dollars on SEO efforts in 2016, it’s pretty clear that there’s a great desire to get on the front page of google.
This quote is for those who missed their chance to do it.
Their business could have been a contender, it could have been somebody! But as it is, it’s stuck in the middle of the pack while others reap the rewards of a highly targeted and comprehensive SEO benefits optimisation strategy.
Number Four – ‘Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore’ (The Wizard of Oz, 1939)
I’ve never been to Kansas. But thanks to the whimsical film adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic novel, I know it doesn’t have a yellow brick road, an emerald city, and a hoard of flying monkeys.
While Judy Garland’s Dorothy delivers this line with a beautiful mixture of trepidation and bravery, it carries the same meaning for a business owner who’s made a similar plunge into the unknown.
Effective SEO is carried out as an integrated and comprehensive diagnosis, and subsequent surgery, of your entire online presence.
For example, at Search It Local we’d carry out an extensive onsite optimisation to ensure your website ticks all the boxes Google’s ranking algorithm requires of it.
This includes an overview and increase to your website speed, with Google taking into account the loading speed of your website when determining rank. With the massive increase in mobile searches, Google announcing recently that more searches come through mobile devices than traditional desktops for the first time ever, the speed of your website and its ability to work across mobile devices is at the cornerstone of a successful SEO benefits approach.
To make things easy in this regard, Google provides a free page speed insights tool so you’re able to test the speed of your own website to make sure you’re not lagging behind.
Best SEO practices would also include a well organised and easy to crawl internal linking structure, as well as seamless keyword usage that reflects the search intent of your customers.
With changes to the navigational structure of your website, as well as adding additional pages to reflect the full range of services you provide, the end result is a fancy new website that has the DNA of your original, but is updated, fresh, and ready to rank.
“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”
translates to the SEO benefits of…
“I’m noticing the SEO changes and I love how smooth, intuitive and user friendly they are”
This is the first stage of an SEO journey. Life as you know it has changed. Like Dorothy ripped from Kansas, you’re transported to a world that looks the same in many ways, but is anything but.
Sure, things look similar. Your recognise your website, but it’s changed. What was once a collection of vague ideas and products is now streamlined. Re-organised and leading visitors through your website towards the end of their purchasing cycle via a yellow brick road of compelling calls to action, engaging content and an irresistibly intuitive design that demands to be enjoyed.
Your website loads faster than the Wicked Witch of the West melts. Your customers can reach any page of your website through a highway of helpful internal links. Your content is fresh and new. While your visitors love to explore, increasing the time they spend on your website, and turning their conservative curiosity into convincing conversions.
Things work a little different in this new world. But you won’t be alone. You’ll have a team with you every step of the way. Not so much a cowardly lion as a courageous web developer (you’d have to be brave to choose coding as a career). You won’t have the tin man, you’ll have the support man (or woman), an account manager devoted to providing support as your web presence slowly transforms before your eyes. And you can forget the scarecrow. The only hay we work with is to get your attention, as in “hey, the SEO changes we’ve implemented on your website have started to take effect. You’ve risen 4 places for the keywords we’ve targeted”.
You are definitely not in Kansas anymore. You’re headed to a place far more difficult to reach.
The first page of Google.
Number Five – ‘Here’s looking at you, kid’ (Casablanca, 1942)
The 1942 romantic drama, Casablanca, gives us the 5th most iconic movie quote of all time with Humphrey Bogart playing ‘Rick Blaine’ (which is the manliest name I’ve ever heard) and delivering the famous line, “here’s looking at you, kid” several times throughout this award winning film.
An enduring affection, a verbal toast to times gone by. It’s meaning takes on quite the opposite when translated to SEO speak, implying the exact opposite.
“Here’s looking at you, kid”
translates to the SEO benefits of…
“Let’s take a moment to appreciate the positive decision you’ve made for your business!”.
This is a toast. To your business. To the decision to implement an SEO benefits marketing strategy.
When you commit to an SEO optimisation process your website gets the full treatment.
Beyond putting lipstick on a pig (which is truly difficult by the way, they will not hold still) the benefits of adding new content and streamlining your website goes beyond the simple aesthetic surface reasons that create stunning websites that cast a shadow over those of your competitors.
Here’s a statistic with some serious value.
Content creation leads to 434% more indexed pages than those pages without updated content.
Let that sink in for a moment.
If you feel like your website is perfect as it is, and that the tide will turn without SEO, or that you’ll find indexing success to appear on the first page of Google somehow, it simply isn’t the case.
SEO services that craft engaging new content to reflect your products and services as they grow and change, and that regularly add to your website’s blog, are driving that incredible figure. And when you make the choice to bring on the services of a professional SEO benefits team to send you to the first page of Google, well then it won’t be a simple ‘here’s looking at you’, it will be everyone looking at you.
Visibility is the first step. Then once you’re in front of an audience, we’ll identify exactly which niche audience is ready to be targeted. With a targeted audience looking to spend, your business will be there to provide the products and services to bridge the gap between demand and supply.
Number Six – ‘Go ahead, make my day’ (Sudden Impact, 1983)
With all the tough guy grit of a classic Clint Eastwood character, Eastwood’s ‘Harry Callahan’ growls his way through this movie moment in response to a diner robbery that interrupts his morning coffee. It’s visceral and raw, but more than that, it’s an SEO challenge.
Competition online is fierce. Google is aware of roughly 130 trillion websites. While a huge number of those would fall under the category of spam, the fact remains, the internet is full of websites jostling for position in front of consumers.
No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll have competition.
Factor in the data that tells us that the average user spends just under one minute on a website before heading back to the search engine results page to start over.
With so much competition and so little time to capture attention, what could possibly help you stand out from the crowd?
A little SEO magic.
“Go ahead, make my day”
translates to the SEO benefits of…
“I’m so confident in my SEO that I’m not worried about what my competitors are doing”
This confidence comes in response to your competitors who will rise up to try and take back the real estate you’ll be occupying. They’ll do whatever they can to wrestle control back from you. But it won’t be enough. Without the help of SEO experts, they can’t match the speed of your new website. Nor can they build the authentic and reliable highway of backlinks that both tell Google your website is one that’s popular and relevant, and send entirely new referral traffic your way.
While SEO benefits take time, once established, those results are built on the hard work both on your website and off your website. If your competition want to try and rise to the challenge of your new optimised website, let them, your digital empire is only just being built.
With your website optimised and your keyword usage seamlessly integrated into your wider content, you’ve built the platform for lasting success.
The next step in your SEO journey is to ensure that you’re ready for the increase in website traffic that’s soon coming your way.
The key here is to ensure you break the massive amounts of consumers online into niche markets. You don’t want everyone to visit your website, it’s about quality not quantity. With the benefits of SEO comes the right type of audience as they approach the end of their purchasing cycle.
A targeted market who’s not searching for information using search engines, but looking to buy products and services. All you have to do now is speak directly to them.
Number Seven – ‘All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up’ (Sunset Boulevard, 1950)
The 1950 film noir, Sunset Boulevard, gave the world the unhinged ‘Norma Desmond’, as played by Gloria Swanson, who boldly proclaimed to a waiting media circus that she was ready for her close-up. It’s a Britney spears circa 2007 breakdown and one forever etched into pop culture thanks to the wild delivery and deep commitment to leaving the sanity of her character behind.
Of course, outside her perceptions, she was living within her own delusions and was actually being interrogated for murder, but why let a little reality get in the way of a good time?
Despite existing a solid 40 years before the internet was brought into our collective lives, the SEO message was planted loud and clear.
Search Engine Optimisation benefits you by putting you in front of a wide audience, but it’s the niche audience who’s most likely to spend money on your products and services and it’s those people who you really want close to you.
“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up”
translates to the SEO benefits of…
“It’s time to use targeted keywords to get the right type of customers to your website”
It’s time for your moment in the spotlight. With improved search engine rankings you’ll see an increase in traffic, and a greater visibility for your business and brand. While SEO benefits you through the process of improving your organic search engine listings, they encompass a wide range of optimisation techniques.
For your customers to get up close and personal with your website, you need to know what they’re searching for.
By understanding their searching preferences, you’ll better be able to target them with solutions to their problems.
How is this done?
Through detailed keyword research and analysis.
People use search engines as answering machines. When a person jumps into an online search, the search engine, typically Google, instantly runs through its entire database to return the most relevant results. Once it has chosen the most relevant results, it ranks those results according to a complex algorithm to determine which is the most useful, second most useful, third most useful, and so on.
The goal of SEO is to place your website at the top of Google as the most relevant, and in turn take advantage of the purchasing desires of online consumers who click through the top websites on Google’s first page at impressive rates.
By writing content containing the keywords that search engine users are searching for, your website puts its digital hand up to be selected by Google as the chosen one.
As a result, every blog post and web page attached to your website must be written around the phrases your customers are using to search, and with the strategic ability of a Monopoly player down to his last $50 and rapidly approaching a hotel lined Mayfair.
When your content is written around these phrases, otherwise known as ‘keywords’ you’ll be better placed to rank when people type in those words. And if you’re a business selling formal beachwear, who’s written several outstanding articles and blog posts about formal beachwear, then when a user searches for ‘where to find the best formal beachwear’, you’ll be well placed to turn their curiosity into a sale. (Patent pending for that idea).
Keep in mind, the goal of keyword research is to find the balance between high search volume and low search volume.
For example, it would be very difficult to rank for a generic term like ‘travel insurance’. The market is crowded by insurance giants like AAMI, NIB, GIO and HBH who, outside of their love of acronyms, have access to monstrous marketing budgets that ensure they stay at the top of their relevant search queries.
Luckily, it’s easy to search for keywords and check their search volume on your own. The free and extremely helpful Google keyword planner tool allows anyone to dive into the exciting world of keyword research, with a wide variety of filtering options available to find the keywords that best suit your products and services.
While effective SEO comes when the full range of on-page and off-page optimisation tools are brought into effect, focusing your content around the keywords that customers are using to search is an integral part.
By avoiding keywords that are too competitive, and those that are so underused they reflect the lack of a viable market for your business to work in, you can find lush middle ground. Choose keywords that have solid search volumes without incredible competition and use these as you write about your range of products and services.
Remember, you’re never limited to just one keyword. If you have several products, then detailed keyword research could provide search data for all of them, allowing you to target a range of customers who may not be searching for one of your products, but are actively looking for others.
With an understanding of the targeted audience you’ll be pivoting towards, it’s time for a well deserved toast to you, the business owner whose made the decision to take things to the next level.
Number Eight – ‘May the Force be with you’ (A New Hope, 1977)
Since making its debut in the 1977 classic, Star Wars: A New Hope, this line has become a bastion of pop culture. Delivered by several characters throughout the film, it’s actually misquoted to Alec Guiness’ ‘Obi Wan-Kenobi’ who says a variation of the line including “the Force will be with you…always” and “Luke, the Force will be with you”.
But I’m not here to start an argument over semantics. I’m here to help you understand SEO in the simplest way!
Because the latest SEO benefits and trends, implemented by SEO experts who deliver results with the relaxed exterior of a Jedi master, bring on a state of peaceful acceptance for business owners who now understand their place in the digital world.
“May the Force be with you”
translates to the SEO benefits of…
“You’ve made the right choice for your business”
It’s a state of calm. When you know your SEO expert has ticked every box, there’s nothing to do but wait for the increase in website traffic and the new leads generated.
It’s an inevitability, just as it’s inevitable that the Force is harnessed by the light side, and abused by the dark side.
SEO is no different. On one side there are white-hate SEO experts. The good side of SEO.
On the other, black-hat SEO operators. The dark side.
‘May the Force be with you’ is a nod to the side you’ve chosen. The good guys. The SEO experts who have your best interests at heart, not their own. You’ve made the right choice, now it’s only a matter of waiting to see the outcome.
Because there are dark forces at play in the SEO world and these are typically collected under the ‘black hat’ umbrella. These refer to the use of aggressive SEO strategies and techniques that ignore the human’s who visit websites to find information or make purchases. And instead focus only on search engines, in many cases violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Black hat SEO is most often used by those people who are looking for a quick ranking result, without putting in the necessary work. Google, in a nod to how serious they are about maintaining the integrity of their search results, can (and does) ban websites for turning to the dark side.
If you’re still on the fence about utilising SEO benefits to help your website rank on Google, and in turn grow your business, here’s a few of the most common black hat SEO techniques to be on the lookout for.
Unrelated keywords – Adding irrelevant keywords to your website copy to try and attract extra page hits is a big red flag. By keeping your content specific and focused on a single topic, you’ll give your users what they want.
The same goes for keyword stuffing. If your website sells picture frames and your content reads like this, –
“picture this, a picture frame that frames you and your pictures, if you’re looking for picture frames, our picture frames make other picture frames look picture tame”, then that’s a red flag.
When you write content that makes sense, is written for the human visitor, and places your keywords in naturally and without coming across as spam, then you’ll be on the right track.
Hidden text and links – It’s a black hat SEO tactic as old as the internet itself. Hiding text within a website that’s obscured from human visitors, but read by Google’s indexing algorithm, is a flag.
Guess what colour.
The same concept of hiding things from your human visitors extends to cloaking. This is the concept of presenting a certain content to attract visitors then replacing that content once visitors reach your website. This extends to using duplicate content by taking it from another website and publishing it as your own. Whether this is done word for word or through spinning programs designed to marginally change the text to make it look original, you’ll be flying the reddest of red flags.
Paid links – With links becoming one of the most important ranking factors as of 2018, the temptation to purchase links to manipulate a website’s search engine results is great.
But such black hat SEO tactics don’t get pa
st Google, with Google’s former Head of the Web Spam Team Matt Cutts having the following to say;
“The vast majority of the time things are incredibly clear: people are paying money outright for links, trying to get high the rankings. Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s abundantly clear that these are links that are being bought and paid and sold and all that sort of stuff.”
But thankfully, none of these matter to us on our SEO benefits journey. Specialised SEO agencies aren’t interested in the dark arts. We’ll wear white to a black tie event. And we use the full range of white hat SEO tactics to get your business to the top of Google, without breaking the rules.
When you understand Search Engine Optimisation like we do, it’s easy. We don’t have to force a thing.
Number Nine – ‘Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride’ (All about Eve, 1950)
The 1950 classic, All About Eve, gave us Bette Davis playing ‘Margo Channing’, an ageing Broadway star struggling to handle life in front of the camera long before it was in vogue.
With a flair for the dramatic that would see her do well in the social media scene of 2018, she demands the spotlight with the now famous line ‘fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride’.
And in the most positive ways that’s what SEO is. After all, with a greater visibility comes more work and that means expanding your business to accommodate. You’ll also
want to contact the bank to let them know you’ll be making greater deposits on the mortgage this month, and also pick up the phone and contact your tailor to let him know you’ll need deeper pockets.
“Fasten your seatbelt; it’s going to be a bumpy ride”
translates to the SEO benefits of…
“Get ready for some serious business growth”
SEO starts slowly, but once the wheels start moving you can expect to see some impressive results. You’ll be moving up Google’s search result listings, and while seatbelts won’t be needed in this case, it might be worth looking into some extra resources. Whether that’s an extra employee to help with the work that your new ranking will bring you, or an increase in inventory to cover the increase in customers, planning ahead is key.
The benefits of SEO on your ride to the top of Google are far-reaching and can result in some serious business growth. That’s why roughly $72 billion will be invested in SEO in 2018, with businesses in every imaginable industry realising the benefits of appearing on the first page of Google.
It’s clear that such a massive sum is being spent on SEO benefits, not because SEO just pulls in traffic.
It pulls in the right type of traffic.
By placing yourself in front of customers who are actively looking for solutions to their problems, your business proposes itself as the solution. In contrast to pushing out paid advertising to target customers, SEO brings in search traffic that is already targeted and close to the end of their purchasing cycle.
Even better, SEO never clocks off and goes home. While you sleep, your SEO strategy continues to work for you, with the range of onsite and off-site SEO optimisation techniques constantly pushing to help you rank.
When it comes to SEO benefits, your business can also take advantage of the tectonic shift towards mobile based consumers.
80% of internet users own a smartphone. While 48% of mobile users start researching their products and services using a search engine. Throw in the fact that 78% of mobile searches result in an offline purchase at a physical store and it’s clear that appealing to the cultural shift of mobile based decision making is at the core of ongoing business growth.
Well that’s where SEO experts like myself have you covered. We take the websites of our clients and make them mobile friendly, not just suited to mobile usage but designed to speak to consumers on the go. Through prominent calls to action, short, sharp and to the point copywriting, and intuitive designs that users love, the process of SEO optimisation has always taken the brick and mortar of a business and put it online.
It’s time to take that a step further. When your digital presence goes mobile, you’re plugged directly in to consumers who are using their mobile phones to facilitate their purchasing desires.
Once you’re seeing the positive impact of your targeted keyword content by reaching the right type of customer, on all of their devices, you can use SEO to continue climbing. Target entirely new markets to double or even triple your business.
No matter what way you look at it, SEO benefits your business as the secret to growth and it’s a ride that’s going to propel you to the top. That’s to the top of Google, on top of your competition, and to the top of your industry too.
And once you get there, it’s just a matter of sorting through all the attention you’ll be getting and turning the interest you’ve attracted into concrete sales, and tangible profit.
Number Ten – ‘You talking to me?’ (Taxi Driver, 1976)
It’s been some journey, and together we’ve learned a lot about SEO.
Which brings us to the end.
We’ve reached number ten on our list of the top ten most well-known movie quotes of all times.
It’s a line delivered by Robert De Niro’s ‘Travis Bickle’ and imitated by everyone who ever stood in front of a mirror in the years since. While De Niro draws his gun and points at his reflection in the mirror, threateningly asking his own subconscious, ‘you talking to me?’, this line for the ages takes on a new meaning when translated through SEO speak.
In the context of SEO it reflects the difficulty you’ll have as a business owner finding the time to deal with all the contact from your new customers.
“You talking to me?”
translates to the SEO benefits of…
“I have more work than I know what to do with!”
This is the end of journey. It’s the tenth step on a process that started between three and six months ago. You knew that it was time for your business to grow, but you needed convincing as to just how and where the SEO benefits would come from. And you were hard to break at first.
You had the willpower of this good boy.
But I let the facts and figures speak for themselves. We realised that roughly 18% of organic traffic goes to the first ranked website, 10% going to the second ranked and 7% finding their way through to the third. With your business growth in mind you made the decision to let professional SEO benefits find their way to your website with the type of makeover that would turn the digital life of your business around.
We sped past your competition who’d missed their chance to build a digital empire on the first page of Google and undertook a series of optimisation approaches that brought your website screaming into 2018. Fast, responsive, beautifully written, and impossible to ignore.
There were moments for reflection along the way as the SEO changes st
arted to take effect, until you were so confident in what was happening that you lost sight of your competitors as they slipped away in your rearview mirror.
It was time for a new audience to find you, with your optimised content directly linking you to their keyword searches, and the calm that comes when you know your SEO strategies are white hat and tailored to your success.
With the growth that followed, we’re here at the tenth step.
It’s time for us to part ways. As the SEO expert in your corner I’ll always be there for you. With Google constantly changing it’s ranking algorithm and your competitors undoubtedly looking to harness the power of effective Search Engine Optimisation, there’ll always be more work to do.
But the hard part is done. You made it through.
Now it’s time to reply to the mountain of emails you’ll have and pick up the phone before it rings off the hook.
You were once invisible to the huge numbers of online consumers.
But now, they are all talking to you.