You've probably heard the term SEO or Search Engine Optimization before. It’s a widely used tactic to drive organic growth and increase traffic to your site. We’ll lay out all the basic information you need to know in order to leverage this tool for your business.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is a process that will help you gain visibility through organic search engine results. Think about it this way - if you’re a bakery that offers custom birthday cakes, SEO tactics can help potential customers find you through their search results. SEO will ensure that when a potential customer searches something like “where to buy a birthday cake near me?”, your website will appear as a top result. The idea is to be there at the right time, in the right place so you can provide your product (or service) to a customer when they need you most.
Why is SEO important?
In the long run, implementing SEO best practices can save you time and money. There are many reasons why SEO is beneficial, here are just a few of them:
Exposure - strangers to your brand will find you organically through their search efforts
Insights - You can learn a lot about your customers and how they are finding you - once enough data is collected, you’ll be able to see which channels are driving the most traffic to your site.
Cost effective - unlike sponsored ads, you don’t have to pay per click. Meaning if you are able to rank first among search results, you won’t have to pay when a user lands on your website.
How You Can Improve Your SEO Strategy
SEO can be pretty complicated, but you don’t have to know all of the nitty gritty details in order to see results. What you do need to know is how to assist Google’s algorithm in understanding what type of content is provided on your site.
Ranking highly on Google used to require over stuffing websites with keywords. Now that Google has a better understanding of how people think, the requirements are more comprehensive. Google’s ranking depends on many factors but some of the most important include:
Click through rate (CTR)
User Friendly Layout
Mobile Friendly Layout
For a complete look at what Google considers, check out this link.
A tactic you can use to improve your SEO strategy is to use Topic Clusters. Topic clustering helps you better organize your content while also allowing search engines understand how topics on your site are related. This indicates to Google that the content on your website is useful - giving you a good score in terms of quality content. Here’s a video from HubSpot that gives a great overview of how topic clusters work.
After you have an SEO strategy implemented, you’ll want to monitor how well it’s performing. Google analytics is a powerful tool and will give you all sorts of data. While it’s all very useful, there are a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will give you a good overview.KPIs You Should Be Monitoring:
- Revenue - of course this is an important number to keep track of but aside from telling you how much money you’re making, it can also be a key metric to determine whether or not your SEO tactics are working. There are many factors that contribute to revenue but this is a good place to start. For example, if you notice an upwards trend of revenue a few days after you’ve updated your SEO strategy this most likely means you’re doing something right!
- Traffic & Users - you want to monitor the amount of traffic coming into your site pretty regularly. You’ll be able to see how often your site is being viewed and how many of those site visitors are new users. For SEO you’ll want to focus your attention on Organic Search and Direct Traffic channels.
- Clicks - it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how many clicks your pages are getting over time to get an understanding of how many times people are choosing to view your page when it appears in a search. If you’re not getting very many clicks, consider evaluating what type of information is appearing as your site’s headline & description. Maybe this copy isn’t providing enough information about what a user will find on your page, or maybe it just doesn’t sound credible.
- Bounce Rate - bounce rate indicates how relevant and useful your website is relative to what your customer is looking for once they click. If you have a high bounce rate this most likely means that whatever page your visitor is landing on, is not adequately addressing their needs. If you notice a bounce rate higher than 60% you’ll want to take a second look at what people are searching and how they are landing on your site.
- Conversion - conversion rate is one of the most important numbers you’ll be looking at. This is where the true test of how effective your SEO strategy lies because clicks and traffic don’t mean anything if you’re not seeing a return on investment. A low conversion rate could be caused by a variety of factors. Perhaps your photos need to be updated, or maybe your webpage is not ranking very high. Understanding why your conversion rate is low will require some auditing of your website along with your SEO strategy.
When your company begins to grow, you’ll find it to become more challenging to keep up with monitoring your SEO. It would be a good idea to hire an SEO strategist or perhaps a inbound marketing agency (like us) to ensure that your website continues to perform well.
Want a jumpstart? Click here to learn about how you can Improve Your On-Page SEO for Your Newly Launched Shopify Store
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