Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Get More Website Traffic with Higher Google Rankings
What is Search Engine Optimization?
In short, search engine optimization is the ability for a website or a webpage to rank well in relevant search engine searches in order to get more website traffic.
Why Should You Care About Search Engine Optimization?
Google alone handles more than 2.5 trillion searches per year (that’s nearly 7 billion searches each day), with local searches accounting for nearly 46% of those searches.
So if your local business ranks well in relevant Google search results, then your website will get more traffic from people that are looking for businesses like yours.
For the average Google search, roughly 60% of the traffic goes to the websites that occupy the first 3 positions in Google.
So even if your website shows up in the 5th position on the first page of the results, then the 1st position is getting 5x more traffic than you are!
Businesses that are able to rank well for high-traffic keywords in their industry are able to get in front of hundreds (or thousands) more prospective customers each month… for free.
What Search Engines Should You Care About?
Not all search engines are equal. In fact, most website designers and seo experts only focus on 2 search engines: Google & Youtube.
However, within Google search there are 2 different areas to pay attention to.
Google - Organic Results
These are what most people recognize as the google search results.
They consist of the 10 results that show up on the search results page that aren’t ads, or places showing up on a map.
A majority of the website traffic clicks on these results, and the only way to show up here is to make sure your website is fully optimized for the search terms you want it to rank for.
Google - Map Results
For many local search results, Google will include a “map pack” that shows 3-4 local businesses that are on a map. Because local businesses are geographically relevant, these local map results are a great source of traffic for the businesses that get listed.
Usually, these listings are highly relevant to the location of the person who’s searching. So if you’re searching for “drycleaner” on the south side of your city, you’ll likely get different results than someone on the north side of the city that is searching for the same thing.
That being said, just because you’re geographically closer to the searcher does not mean that you’ll be shown. Google only shows businesses that they consider are relevant, which means your site also has to be optimized for local search.
Youtube - Organic Results
YouTube is now the 2nd largest search engine, and it’s not only a great way to get in front of a whole different group of people searching, YouTube videos can also rank in regular Google search results!
What Keywords Should You Rank For?
The first part of search engine optimization is doing the necessary research to find out exactly what keywords a website needs to search for.
The number of words in a keyword is generally a good reflection of both the buyers intent, as well as the amount of relative traffic.
For example a single word keyword like “mechanic” is going to have more traffic and more competition, but the buyer intent is going to be lower. Yet, a multi-word keyword like “chattanooga bmw mechanic” is going to have a lot less traffic, but the buyer intent is going to be much higher.
For most local businesses, we completely ignore single word keywords, because it’s not worth the time and effort to rank for traffic that has low buyers intent.
Instead, we split keywords into two groups.
#1 - Indicator Keywords
Indicator keywords are generally geo-modified keywords that include the name of popular services your business provides. A geo-modified keyword is a keyword that includes a city name.
These keywords are going to be very specific, and are generally going to get ranked a lot quicker than other higher traffic keywords.
And while some indicator keywords may have very little traffic – they allow us to learn more about the actual keyword difficulty, and to help provide indicators of movement in Google search.
For example, if you’re a spa in Sacramento, and your popular services are: massage, laser hair removal, and salon, then here would be your indicator keywords.
By tracking your indicator keywords, we’ll be able to see how well your site is performing in different sub markets.
#2 - High-Traffic Keywords
High traffic keywords are the keywords that high intent searchers are using more frequently to find what they’re looking for.
For example, if we see that “bridal spa day” is a search term your competitors are using to get hundreds of visitors each month, then we’ll want to make sure we’re targeting it.
High traffic keywords take a lot longer to rank for, and they don’t move quite as quickly in the search results, but they are where you need to be to get more traffic.
How Do You Get Your Website to Rank Better in the Search Results?
There are over 200 different ranking factors that affect where you rank in Google for a specific search term.
However, not all ranking factors contribute equally, and not all ranking factors (like the location of the searcher) can be modified by the business.
However, there are a few factors that we rely on to get websites ranking well.
Technical SEO Factors
How Do You Get More People to Click On Your Search Result?
Page Title & Meta Description
How Long Does it Take for SEO to Increase Your Website Traffic?
There’s no set formula to get ranked in Google, and there’s no set timetable to see results in Google. Search engine optimization is a long term commitment that will have a huge payoff when you start getting ranked.
Getting Your Website Crawled and Indexed by Google
Indicator Keywords Should Start Ranking Quickly
Many small businesses quit too early to see the results they’re looking for. Often, this is because small businesses focus too much on the high traffic keywords, and get discouraged when those rankings don’t appear to be moving.
We use indicator keywords in our search engine optimization because it allows the business to see that things are actually moving in the right direction, and that we should continue doing what we’re doing.
Many indicator keywords will start seeing movement within a month, and will start getting decent rankings within a few months.
High Traffic Keywords Take A Longer Approach
Higher traffic keywords are the ones where the search traffic is actually at and they take longer to rank, but are completely worth the investment.
It’s not uncommon for a website to take 6-12mo to start getting traffic from high traffic keywords, however, the more search engine optimization that is done, the faster the ranking process will go.