Part 1 – The Basics
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and now refers to a process or an industry that uses methods to influence search engines to display the desired website higher in the rankings. Through the optimizing of pages on a website, authoritative links pointing to your website or content on your website, having a broad social media reach, whereby engaging your customers or clientele, and a dozen+ other factors, your website will begin to rise in the rankings.
You don’t need to perform SEO on your website!
You can drive traffic to your website through old fashioned channels, handing out printed materials with your website address on a business card or brochure. These would include:
- networking meetings/clubs, such as Rotary, Lions and local chambers
- stop in door to door and introduce your company’s products or services
- banners at local sporting events
- advertisements in local newspapers and publications
- billboards, radio & television
Many of the old fashioned advertising methods and strategies still work. You can either drive traffic through these traditional channels, drive traffic to your website through online marketing strategies, including search engines or you can do a combination of both.
“But wait” you say, “I don’t have a website, so I really don’t need to do any SEO!”
Well, the overwhelming reasons for your small business are too great to cover in this guide, but there are far more reasons to have a professionally built website than to go without. (And we don’t mean a “quick-fix, overnight, build-your-website-online-yourself” or a “I know this guy who lives by this kid, that built his own website and offered to build mine.”)
… But you probably should
However, if you do want to drive traffic to your website, from the comfort of your own home/office, then you are pretty much limited to internet marketing (IM). For this article the top two main methods to generate traffic through the search engine results, will be SEO and pay per click. Pay per click refers to the paid service whereby you pay a search engine, such as Google a click fee each time someone visits your website, regardless of the length of their stay, or action they take.
For the rest of this article, we will concentrate on organic search engine optimization, the process of improving your website’s rankings to the top of the search engine, such as Google. We will refer to Google from this point on, however the techniques and strategies are pretty similar from one search engine to the next, Google just happens to dominate the search space currently.
The ROI for properly performed SEO is staggering. It outperforms every other online advertising model out there. But why? Because it lasts. Not the spammy, here-today-gone-tomorrow techniques, but the legitimate, foundational strategies discussed in this guide.
How much more traffic?
The higher you are in the search results, the more traffic you will receive. This number increases parabolically as you advance towards the coveted first result. In fact, being in the number one position, will yield you on average, more than 45% of the traffic. Twice as much as being in second position. Here are the approximations (these statistics do vary) for the top five positions:
- Position 1: 45%
- Position 2: 15%
- Position 3: 10%
- Position 4: 6%
- Position 5: 5%
In total, more than 95% of all clicks occur with first page results.