Cracking the Code: How to Use SEO to Grow Your Business

No matter what kind of business you have, SEO is vital to your success.

If your website is out in no-mans-land on the 10th page of Google, your business will suffer. If no one can find you, it doesn’t matter how life-changing your products and services are.

So how do you optimize your website to make it on to that precious first page? That’s where we come in. We’re here to walk you through the basics of SEO and give you some insight as to what you can do improve your spot on Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).

The higher your rank, the more people will visit your page. The more people visit your page (assuming it's optimized for maximum conversion rates), the more sales you'll make. And the more sales you make, the more growth you'll be able to achieve. 

What is SEO and How Does It Work?

Computer Screen with SEO results graphs displayed

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your site through organic—in other words, unpaid—results on search engines. Quantity you already know. That’s increasing the number of visits to your page. Quality, on the other hand, is ensuring that your website is attracting the visitors that are actually interested in your business, services, products, or information on your site.

To do this, you must make intentional improvements and changes to your webpage that the search engines will appreciate. By making these changes, you hope that your webpage will be the first or one of the first results on the SERP.

Search engines want to give the best results to whatever query is posed to them. So if you prove to the search engine that your webpage is reputable, trustworthy, and helpful, it rewards you by increasing your ranking.

Why is SEO Important?

Making sales online require a great SEO strategy

The ultimate goal for your online presence is to grow your business and increase your sales. Improving your ranking by bettering your SEO is the best way to do that. 

In order to grow your business and increase sales, you need to bring the traffic. And a healthy flow of traffic requires online visibility. Because the majority of Googlers never make it past the first page of results, you need to ensure you appear on that coveted first page.

If you want any sort of authority in your field, improving your SEO is the way to go. If you have high-quality information on your site that’s also reliable and pertinent, not only will your visitors trust you, the search engines will as well.

If you rank low, you miss out your organic traffic potential. Whether you want to grow your profits or become better known in your field, SEO is essential to your online presence, especially if you don't have big ad budgets to pay for first-page placement.

How do Search Engines Work?

Computer screen with running SEO website  data

Google and every other search engine each has an entire series of algorithms that are constantly working to show you the results you need in a fraction of a second.

How does it know what’s out there to give you the results you’re looking for? The search engine has what’s called a “crawler.” A crawler is a program that goes to every single website out there and records all of the information on them. It then transports all the information it gathers back to its search engine in code.

The search engine uses that code to create a massive index of all of that information. Whenever you search for something, you’re not technically searching the entire internet, you’re actually searching the index of the search engine you chose.

Whenever you Google something, the search engine feeds the index through a series of algorithms, trying to match what you searched for with what’s out there. The search engines then rank the results depending on what they deem most important and relevant to you.

Why is Google so Important?

Chessboard with king and queen, showing Google's reign as the primary search engine

Google, the king of search engines, accounted for almost 80% of all desktop searches in 2017, and that number increases yearly. There are more than 63,000 Google searches per second. Overall, the first Google result earns about 33% of all clicks, and the top 5 combined get over 67% of clicks. Very few people make it to the second SERP. There’s only a 6% chance you’ll be seen on the second page, much less clicked on, with 94% of clicks going to the first page only.

The significance of Google is astonishing, which is why you need to optimize your webpage in order to perform better as a business.

Everything Search Engines Consider

Complex spreadsheet as a metaphor for everything Google considers for SEO

Search engines consider a number of factors to provide the best webpages to the person posing the query. Depending on the search, Google’s algorithms weigh some factors more than others, but each factor plays a role in where you’re ranked. According to King Google, these factors are vital in determining your SERP rank:

  • The Meaning of the Query
  • The Relevance of Your Webpages
  • The Quality of Your Content
  • The Usability of Your Webpages

Google’s 2019 Major Updates

Mobile update depicting Google's major 2019 algorithm changes

During its first few years, Google only altered its algorithms a handful of times. In 2019, Google updates the algorithms every day, and oftentimes more than once a day. While most of these changes are slight adjustments to improve the algorithms’ functionality, Google sometimes makes major changes that have a significant impact on rankings, including:

March 2019 Broad Core Update

The Broad Core Update that occurred in March 2019 was an overall improvement to Google’s algorithms that helped them enhance search results.

Deindexing Bug Update

On April 5, Google updated its algorithms to fix a deindexing bug that had been removing webpages from Google’s index to get sites back to their normal rankings.

How to Increase Your SEO Ranking

SEO Ranking and Ad Budget Graphs

Increasing your ranking takes some time, energy, and money. There’s a number of things you can do (or pay people to do for you) to move you up to the coveted first page and even first spot.

Keywords are an essential element of successful SEO. Rather than blindly guessing about the words to use on your website, it's important to establish a keyword strategy. Once you know the words to use, you can then integrate those keywords into your page’s text and URL. While they’re a big part of the ranking factors, if you stuff too many into your page, your copy begins to sound unnatural. Plus, Google has ways of identifying when people are trying to trick the system, so keyword stuffing may actually cause your rank to decrease.

  1. Integrate keywords and phrases into your text so that they sound natural. Do this with consistency, and watch your ranking rise.
  2. Optimize your site for mobile. Don’t just assume people are buying on their computers at home or work. 60% of Google searches occur on cell phones, and over half of online shopping happens on a smartphone. If your site is mobile friendly, Google will reward you.
  3. Get backlinks. When other reputable sites include your link in their blogs and posts, it shows Google that you’re a credible source of information.
  4. Increase your site's loading speed. If it loads slowly, Google will decrease your ranking. Plus, about 40% of browsers may abandon your site if your page takes longer than a few seconds to load your page.
  5. Publish relevant content. The content you need to produce should be high quality and compelling, capturing your audience’s attention so they stay on your page for longer. If your content is new and exciting, Google will reward you for your longer dwell times.

Copywriters to the Rescue!

Marketing by Emma and Emmazon Ecommere Copywriting Logo

Improving your website’s SEO can be a lot of work on top of running your business. Instead of trying to figure it all out yourself, hand it over to the experts. Marketing by Emma excels at creating compelling copy that both your customers and Google’s algorithms will love.

Carmen Christoper

Carmen is a copywriter at Marketing by Emma. When she’s not creating killer content, you can find her cuddling with her pups, Albus and Roger, or curled up with an Octavia Butler book.

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