VALUE OF SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)
Everyone is looking for everything online. This is true whether it be a service call for work, home, auto, restaurants, or an e-commerce purchase. SEO is what lands your websites service or product in front of those potential shoppers. Plain and simply put, SEO is the way you get the prospect’s eyes (and dollars) on your business instead of on your competitors.
SEO = ORGANIC GROWTH
Let’s say you have a service business where you go to people’s home such as a home improvement business, home care, cleaning, etc. People are searching for your types of services in their areas. With SEO you can show up as the service provider near those searchers. This can happen whether they are doing “near me” searches, looking for providers on a map, or checking providers by the number and health of their online reviews. With SEO you can catch them in all three scenarios and grow your business.
ORGANIC VS. PAID ADS
Since SEO is organic that means any exposure or clicks you get as a result of SEO won’t cost you “per click” prices. Once you show up for a search results organically, you can get all the clicks and not pay a dime for them. This is not the same with paid ads. Paid ads which are called Pay Per Click (PPC) ads show up at the top of the pages but for every time someone clicks on them the advertiser has to pay Google. Getting your SEO going for you can help you avoid ad fees.
HOW ORGANIC RESULTS (SEO) CAN REDUCE BURDEN OF PAID ADS (SEM)
If you are already a buyer of paid ads, then SEO can leverage info about your top performing paid keywords to get you organic clicks for the same searches, at no cost. Every paid click tracks back to what’s called a “search term”. A search term is what someone typed into the Google search box that led to their seeing and clicking your paid ads. These search terms can be tracked to their conversions. And thus you can get the highest converting search terms and leverage SEO to get those same clicks for free. That helps free up budget so that you can continually add to your list of converting search terms. Thus SEO can help SEM.
WHAT WE SEE WHEN WE SEARCH FOR LOCAL
When you do a local search you will see three things, always in the same order. First you see the Paid Search results marked by the word AD. These appear at the top of the page and can be anywhere from 1 - 4 listings. Below that you see the Maps listing with up to 3 listings depending on your proximity to the providers. And finally you see the Organic search results. For maximum coverage you can go after all three by having paid ads, maps listings and organic results cover a good portion of the first page of results.
TYPES OF MEDIA
Every business has three types of media:
OWNED MEDIA: This is your website, your location pages, your maps listing, directory listings, and whatever social media profile you have signed up for and posted on including video. Owned media is usually managed in house or in combination with an SEO company.
EARNED MEDIA: This includes your reviews, any sort of PR, any sort of mentions you get on line and any links (citations) that lead to your website from another website. Earned media is usually managed via a PR agency or a review enablement service.
PAID MEDIA: This is online advertising. It can be search ads, display ads, video ads, re-targeting, re-marketing, shopping ads, mobile ads, social media ads, etc. Paid Media is usually managed by a digital agency specializing in paid media.
2019 TRENDS FROM GOOGLE AND OTHERS
The latest developments on the digital frontier include the following:
Mobile First Indexing - meaning that your website has to be mobile friendly or else your search results will be de-prioritized.
Voice Searches - with the improvements in artificial intelligence and voice recognition more than ever people are asking full questions instead of typing abbreviated search queries. This means your website needs rich content that can match up to the questions your customers are asking
Near Me Searches - lots and lots (and lots) of people are doing location based searches such as “daycare center near me”. For this reason your SEO strategy must include location and zip code related information that will help you show up for those searches.