The Importance of Search Engine Optimization

The following is a guest post from Matt Davidson, an extremely talented search marketer.  In an effort to bring more content and digital marketing expertise to my blog, I’ve brought Matt on to periodically contribute here.  More information about Matt can be found below.

I’m a very analytical person. I like to use logic and numbers in any decision that I make. After all, when in doubt numbers can always paint an accurate picture, right?

With this in mind, I think it’s important to look at some statistics to better understand why search engine optimization is so important. By no means do I want you to take my word for it.

Here are some numbers to contemplate in this regard:

90% of the adult population in the United States uses a search engine to find information online

There are approximately 234 million people in the United States that are over the age of 18

About 80% of all searches come from the organic search engines and not the paid search listings. As a reference, paid search listings are searches that are actually paid for by the companies being found (typically found at the top and right hand side they will say “sponsored listings).

So at a quick glance at the above numbers, this means that over 210 million people are actively using search engines to find the information they need. Google processes over 2 billion searches per day (which means that this number is likely to be far greater at this point).

So assuming that 80% of these searches are organic searches, this means that SEO gets you access to 800 million searches per day across 210 million people in the U.S. alone. These are some staggering numbers if you think about it and can open up a huge opportunity for any business.

So now that we’ve covered with relative success the reasoning behind why search engine optimization can be so important, let’s cover some ways you can take advantage of this for your own personal business.

First, make a list of search terms you would deem relevant to your audience and make sure you have great content about these words written throughout your site (where relevant).

After this, make sure that your business is listed across any relevant directory or business association. Whether it’s Yelp or your local chamber of commerce, these mentions can make a big difference.

Next, make sure that you are collecting your customers email addresses and ask them to review your business on Google Places whenever they do business with you. These reviews can help with your rankings and will help you to get visitors over to your site when you are being found on the search engines.

After this, you want to make sure you are writing great content about topics related to your industry, customers and services or products. This content should be placed across article sites deemed to be strong authorities by Google such as Squidoo, Hubspot and Ezine or they should be placed across your own blog. If you don’t have a blog, you can set one up for free with a site like Word Press. When you write this content, make sure you include search terms in your articles that you want to rank for. These terms should all have anchor text links imbedded throughout that point back to your website. If you don’t know what an anchor text link is, simply do a search on Google and you should come up with several examples as a reference.

That’s pretty much the high level overview of SEO. It’s a matter of keyword research, onsite optimization and building relevant links. Spending just a few hours a week on these activities can make all the difference.

I run a consulting agency: www.sovomedia.com and would be happy to answer any other questions if you want to send me an email through our site. Happy marketing!

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Comments

  1. says

    Thank you so much for the value information. I am just learning about how important SEO is to my site. There is so much information out so it is nice to find someone to just break it down for you. I will definitely start to spend a few hours a week working on the area of my blog. Have a great weekend and thank you again.

    Cynthia

    • says

      Cynthia,

      Thanks for the great feedback and I’m glad you see the value in this. Writing great and engaging content is only part of the battle when it comes to blogging. The other piece is making sure to drive relevant and interested visitors to your site so that you an be sure that your hard work can be read by as many people as possible. If you have any questions about high level or easy things to focus on initially, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Thanks for reading!

    • says

      DJ,

      I can’t stress enough how valuable anchor text links are in the grand scheme of SEO. The correlation between anchor texts and ranking increases is very strong based as far as I can tell from past experiences. One tool I’ve found that has been really helpful in identifying the best search terms is the keyword analysis tool at SEOmoz.org. They’ll let you know which search terms have the best volume and right competitive environment to focus on when going after links through anchor links. This type of information can be really helpful in picking the right keywords for the most efficient use of SEO possible. Good luck with your SEO efforts.

  2. Deiane says

    SEO is definitely very important especially to us bloggers.. Some newbie on this blogging industry isn’t aware with this.. I hope this can help them clear out things..

    • says

      Thanks for the great feedback Deiane. I can see how a lot of bloggers would spend a lot of time writing great content only to get frustrated and give up because they are unable to get many people to read it. SEO can really help with this and the search engines love the type of unique content a good blogger typically puts out. Hopefully, a renewed focus on SEO can help some newbie bloggers to continue in their pursuit to write great and informative content. Best of luck with everything!

    • says

      I know that even SEO professionals can be surprised by the sheer reach the search engines have on the everyday lives of people. Therefore, I was hoping to shed some light on the amount of people that can be reached by a renewed focus on getting your site on the search engines. I appreciate the feedback Amanda and hope to continue to find these types of numbers to really put the importance of SEO into focus.

  3. says

    That’s a good point. A few months ago Google releases an update to their algorithms named Panda. The purpose of this update was to penalize sites for over optimization. It’s important to note that optimizing your site by producing well written content that enhances users across the web is very different than optimizing your site by spamming directories and spinning plagiarized content across hundreds of sites in order to increase bak links. The goal with seo should always be to make your site and content for the searches that are most relevant for your site. As long as you focus your seo with that intent you shouldn’t have to fear over optimization penalties.

    • says

      You are right. There is that fine line between understanding SEO and abusing it on a site. My working practice with clients is to first look at creating meaningful content and then see where SEO can enhance that content – not the other way round. There’s all the other on-page stuff to look at like code, page speed, tagging etc., but the content should always be great for the visitor. I always feel conned when I hit a page obviously spewing keywords at me.

  4. says

    I find that it is extremely important for any small business to concentrate their efforts on local seo to begin with, even if they target a much broader area. By optimising the site well for local searches you are building a solid foundation to go after much tougher keywords.

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