Googles Search Engine is Both Simple and Complex
Most business owners understand how valuable it is to get found online. Now more than ever your customers are using search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo to not only find you but to also interact with the world. They use it for everything from driving directions, food, clothes, movies, buying gifts and everything in between. More than anything else people are using Google and other search engines to find a solution to a problem or to fill a need. Whether it’s something to eat, a concert to go to, new clothes or a mechanic, all these places solve a problem or fill a need. If you don’t put yourself in position to be found then you’re losing money and are already behind.
There are now 450 Billion web pages online!
That number is growing every second of everyday. Search Engines drive economic activity like nothing else before it. Google’s job, in a sense, is to organize the world’s data in a way so you can get found. Why does Google care whether or not you get found? Because Google makes money off of their search engines. The more people who use it the more money they make. The more they create an environment where your business can thrive the more their business can thrive.
It’s in their best interest from a business standpoint, much like your own business, to create an environment conducive to generating revenue and maximizing profit. Google caters to a new way of marketing that is centered around the buyer journey and not the advertiser’s bottom line. In the past advertising was way more in your face. People using a search engine such as Google aren’t looking to get bombarded by annoying in your face advertisements. They are looking for a solution to a problem. They are looking for information on how to find a solution or they are in a phase of research before they want to even make a decision. In this world Google gets a cut while at the same time creating an environment where businesses can thrive.
To better understand how search works and how search engine optimization fits in your business model let’s breakdown the anatomy of an everyday search. This will help you create a viable strategy to not only find yourself in front of the people that matter the most but to also be there when they are ready to convert into a lead or a sale.
Let’s say you sell Denver Broncos jerseys and are located in Denver, Colorado. While your store is located in Denver, you also ship nationwide and you carry every teams jersey across all sports. At your core, you are a die hard Broncos fan born and raised in Denver, Colorado. You love all sports but when it comes down to it, you bleed orange and blue.
Your goal is to boost sales not only in Denver but also in the surrounding states and eventually nationwide.
How do people search for an NFL jersey anyways? Most would search using the name of their team with the word “Jersey” on the end.
For example, “New York Jets Jersey”, “New England Patriots Jersey” or “Denver Broncos Jersey” is usually good enough to find what you’re looking for.
When you search for a jersey it brings multiple different results at different areas of the first page. Most people don’t ever click through to the second page of the search results. In the SEO world, you’re either on the first page, in the process of getting there or fighting off other businesses trying to overtake your position at the top. It’s a never ending game of musical chairs.
A digital marketing agency can get you to the top and also fight off your competitors
Understanding how this information pulls from the algorithms and how you can place yourself in multiple different spots can be a powerful asset to your business. Google scans your web pages once every few seconds on average. It can be slower but it’s always looking for the most relevant results and if you do it right, your business could be the most relevant result for millions of people! Your website needs to be primed and set up to be scanned effectively by Google. If it’s not, it won’t be indexed as efficiently and effectively as another website in the same area of your business. Websites in other states will also outrank you, possibly costing you money in the short and long term.
The top most result is paid for by whichever company pays the most to be there. You can pay your way to the top and there is nothing wrong with doing this. Pay Per Click (PPC) generates a lot of money for Google as thousands of business pay for the opportunity to override Organic search results. Whether you search “Denver Broncos Jersey” or “Green Bay Packers Jersey”, it will lay out the results in a similar way. You’ll get the PPC ads at the very top of the results and the organic below those results. On the right you’ll see pictures of what you’re most likely looking for. You can pay to get into these areas as well.
Now depending on how much you bid, to go along with other factors, the algorithm will determine your spot at the top of PPC. There are multiple places you can pay to be on the first page and depending on the product, your ad cost will vary per click. Different areas and positions on the page cost different amounts of money as well. As a company in Denver you may only want to pay for Denver and the surrounding area’s with a plan to expand to the surrounding states such as Wyoming, Montana or New Mexico. Paying for nationwide results may cost too much money for how much return you’ll get on your investment. Not everyone is a Denver Broncos fan. Your PPC strategy and budget depends on your business goals.
Everyone wants to be on the first page at the very top of the Organic Search results
There are some people who say if you aren’t at the top spot you’re wasting your time. This can be true. You’re either at the top or doing whatever you can to get there.
Below the paid Ad’s section, you’ll get into what is called “Organic” or “Natural” search results. There is no yellow “ad” word on the above result. That’s as pure as you can get in the search engine world.
Organic is such a buzz word today. I’m not sure whether it was a grocery store or Google who used it first but it’s used to describe the purity of something whether it’s food or search results. If you get your website ranked organically it’s considered more legitimate than if you paid to get there. There are some people who are completely blind to clicking on paid ads. They will only click on organic results the same way they may only eat organic fruits and vegetables. With that being said, 30% of people can’t tell the difference between organic results or paid results or don’t care either way. They just want to find what they are looking for.
Ideally you want to take a multi-faceted approach to SEO in that you want to be in as many places as possible on the first page. Some businesses may establish their company in one spot, such as PPC, before focusing on organic. Some may go after both areas at the same time. It all depends on what your business goals are. If you can find yourself in both areas then it will boost your lead flow and conversion rates for your business.
If you can get to the top of Google organically that’s considered the holy grail of SEO! Uncle Ben from Spider Man comic books once said “With great power comes great responsibility.” Much like the New England Patriots of the last 10 years are the envy of many team owners, other companies are aiming for you and you’ll have to work even harder to maintain that position than it took to get to the top spot. Enjoy your top spot while it lasts and don’t relax too much.
There are thousands of other companies gunning for that spot. Think of it as the Internets version of king of the hill. If you put your best foot forward and hire a solid group of SEO experts, your odds are better that you’ll get to the top. It wasn’t like this in the early days of SEO. Back door tricks referred to as “Black Hat SEO” made it so any hacker with an automated script could outrank a website following Google’s standards and practices. It created a spammy and irrelevant search environment where the result you found at the top didn’t have anything to do with what you were looking for. All that has since changed for the better to reflect the most relevant information when you search for it.
Organic search results are still the most valuable but in a much different way than they used to be
What would you consider relevant? The most relevant place you can be in is your own city, town, suburb, neighborhood, village, backyard or where ever else you consider home. Are you really going to go fly to Kazakhstan to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken? Or will you overnight ship a 12 piece Chicken dinner from them? So when you search “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, it will give you search results in your area first and foremost. It will pull the closest KFC to where your GPS or IP defines as your location. If you want Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kazakhstan, you can search “Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kazakhstan” and that will give you the most relevant result for that area. Why would you be searching for Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kazakhstan? Maybe you’re addicted to fried chicken and you’re planning a trip there so you have to find a hotel near the closest fried chicken place in that area. Hey – Look there is one!
Search results carry a lot more weight than they used to. Your Denver based jersey store is way more relevant in the state of Colorado than it is in New York City. Your Kazakhstan Kentucky Fried Chicken will get found in that area first and foremost unless someone specifies they want to find it on another continent.
It’s always been about people and relevance but hackers found a way to exploit search engines very early on. It wasn’t until around 2011 when the playing field leveled off a bit. Black Hat tricks still work in a way but not as effectively as they once did. You’re better off aligning yourself with a company that has a methodical approach to SEO.
Search engines are meant for people and Google releases updates constantly to reflect this. The only thing that has withstood the test of time in the search engine optimization world is excellent content.
In competitive environments, ranking organically often takes a team of SEO experts. The best way now to get to the top of search results is content strategies. What is content? Content can be an article on your Denver Jersey website about the Denver Broncos Jerseys and what they are made of. It can be a video of you giving away Jerseys as part of a contest at a local elementary school or a web page dedicated to pictures of people wearing Denver Broncos Jerseys.
If you have a lot of content talking about the same or similar subject matter, it will send a signal to Google letting them know you are an expert in your field. A website that not only sells Jerseys but also talks about the different fabric types, the history of jerseys, has a forum for jersey lovers and also pictures of people wearing jerseys, will let Google know you are a resource others can benefit from and that you are most like a reputable website for people to visit. You’re providing people with useful information about Jerseys and letting the people who find you make a buying decision. You aren’t forcing them to buy your jersey with in-your-face advertising.
Search engines are all about connecting people to a solution to their problem or a need that they have
In a sense, content lights the way to the solution to the problem. It’s the content that Google indexes in their massive servers scattered around the world to offer others as a solution to their search. It’s also the content that it pulls in fractions of a second when people look for you using the search bar on Google’s homepage.
When you post content on your website or blog, Google grabs a copy of the content and places it in their index. The index organizes and stores that content, waiting for when the time comes for people to search for it. While Google is the worlds most powerful search engine, you still need to tell it who you are and what it is that you do. Posting content consistently on your website lets it know who you are and what it is that you do.
It takes that information and places it in the most relevant storage that Google has bunched up with similar pieces of information. It has become pretty good at anticipating what you might be looking for.
When you type in ‘Denver b” it populates the page with the most relevant information that someone might be looking for with that specific search term. It completes the results even before you can complete the results. When someone is searching “Denver b” they probably aren’t searching for “Denver Backpack”, “Denver Bro-Mance” or “Denver Bay Area.” If they are looking for that stuff the information is pulled so fast that finishing those search terms won’t disrupt the search experience.
Taking this into account we can leave clues scattered around our website to let Google and other search engines know what kind of information we provide. The websites that establish one main theme and run with it, rank the highest. So a website that only sells jerseys and provides history and information on them will rank much higher than a website that sold jerseys as well as dog toys. Remember, Google’s job is to organize the worlds information online. Throwing in a curve ball like dog toys will confuse it and another jersey based website in Denver will outrank you as it will make more sense to the algorithm.
If you’re a roofing contractor who also does home remodels that’s ok because it all falls under the construction and home improvement umbrella. If you’re a Jersey store that also makes jersey’s for local high schools that’s even better! It will send a strong local signal to Google letting it know you’re an expert in your city and will help you outrank other businesses in the area.
If you’re looking for a viable SEO solution, this is a good start to understanding how it works. This articles provides you with enough information to, at the very least, draft a plan moving forward as well as apply some strong content marketing techniques to drive traffic back to your website starting today!
If you would like us to do the work and receive a complimentary analysis of your website, contact us by clicking on the link below.