Every second, 40,000 people search for something on Google. That’s 3.5 billion searches every single day. Whether you write a blog, own a restaurant, or sell shoes, you want your site to show up on some of those searches! That means SEO should be an integral part of your marketing plan.
SEO is particularly important for eCommerce websites. According to an annual survey conducted by UPS, consumers did more of their shopping on the web than in physical stores in 2016 — and 44% of consumers purchased straight from their phones. Even those consumers who did buy in person were more likely than not to research their shopping choices online before heading out to the store.
While Google is certainly not the only search engine, it is by far the largest — when we refer to it, remember that we're including other search engines as well.
Helping Your Customers Find You
The goal of SEO is to help search engines understand what your website is about so they can recommend it to Internet users who will find it useful. Think of Google as a matchmaking service. Based only on a few keywords, search engines try to understand a searcher’s intent and display the websites that will best solve their problem, answer their question, or offer what they are looking for.
As a website owner, you need to help Google know when to display your site in the results of someone’s search. Through SEO, you can help search engines know what you offer and why you are a reputable resource offering information that visitors will value. Creating well-written content and adding relevant links to your site will help Google associate your website with the search terms people use to find websites like yours. If you do it right, Google will be able to match your site with your customers. In other words, they’ll help your customers find you!
Let’s imagine that someone is looking for a French tutor in their town — and you just so happen to be a French tutor living nearby. Google wants to help that user find you, even if you’re a tiny one-man (or woman) show. You might think your website is a needle in a haystack, but if you spend time writing fresh content and promoting your business online, you can help search engines understand what your website is about and prove that your site is a quality one. In time, Google will start displaying your site higher up on relevant Search Engine Results Pages (also known as SERPs) — and this has enormous power!
What Does This Mean for You?
To be relevant in today's market, you've got to have an online presence. While purchasing a Bella Premium subscription is the first step, making sure that your site shows up on Google can boost your business in a major way. That is what SEO is all about. The bottom line is: if you want new customers or readers to find your stunning website, it will take us some time to create a positive image of your site for Google.
Setting Reasonable Expectations
Before you set out on your SEO journey, it’s important to set reasonable expectations. Following the tips in this guide will certainly help you understand how Bella Premium works and what promotion strategies we use. We guarantee our users a lot of traffic on the site and high-quality promotion in Google, but we cannot guarantee you first place on Google.
In all but the least competitive markets, boosting your site’s ranking will require a great deal of time, patience and sometimes money — some businesses even hire a professional SEO expert, but it’s much easier to get a Bella Premium subscription with a comprehensive range of services (more: Benefits of Bella Premium). As the owner of any business knows, time and money are limited resources. To determine how much to invest in an SEO strategy, we look at the potential benefits you can get from increased web traffic, and how much time or money you will have to spend to get this traffic. Is your business reliant on online sales or promotion? How much would your business benefit from spending the same amount of time and money on traditional advertising or public relations consulting? Where will you get the best bang for your buck?
Take heart in knowing that while ranking high does require ongoing work, the return on your investment of time and money in SEO will increase over time. Getting your site to show up in search results is much harder when you have a new, unknown site. Once your site is reputable and receives a lot of organic traffic, maintaining it is relatively easy.
The Power of Organic Search
When users look for information on Google, they are shown two kinds of results: organic and paid. The paid results are advertisements — companies pay to have their websites show up on the SERP for certain queries. The organic results are determined by the search engines. These are the sites that Google thinks are most relevant for the user’s query. Organic search is also referred to as “natural search.”
Will you see results overnight? Definitely not. Organic SEO is absolutely a marathon, not a sprint. It can takes weeks and months for Google’s robots to start displaying your site in relevant SERPs — and even once you’re ranking well, you’ll need to continue to invest in SEO to maintain your rank. Stick with it, however, because once you’ve risen through the ranks, the return on your invested time and money is incredible. According to Moz, for every click on a paid search result, the organic results generate 8.5 clicks. And the higher you rank, the greater the impact.
According to an extensive study by the SEO experts at Moz, “an average of 71.33% of searches result in an organic click on the first page. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the top five results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.”
Paid Advertising (PPC)
If patience isn’t your strong point, you may also want to consider investing in PPC advertising (short for pay-per-click). This is what we like to refer to as the sprint. The upside is that the results are immediate. Pay Google a certain amount of dollars per click and they’ll place your website on top of the SERP right away, albeit in the “promoted” section. But unlike with organic SEO, there is no cumulative benefit to investing in PPC. If you spend money on a PPC campaign today or tomorrow, you will still have to invest in it six months from now if you want to show up in search results. In contrast to organic SEO, PPC doesn’t offer you an increased value over time.
The Key to SEO: Patience
Improving your ranking will take time. Organic SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. Even the best SEO experts in the world cannot hack into Google’s algorithms and magically make your site show up first for a given search phrase. It requires time for bots to index sites, take note of new links and increased traffic, and begin to place a website higher up on SERPs.
SEO rewards the diligent and patient webmaster. That elusive first page is attainable if you can find the right search phrases. Small business websites can outrank major competitors if their owners are willing to dedicate their time and energy.