Businesses live or die on the strength of their marketing. And there’s no getting around it, thanks to rapid advances in technology, today’s marketing is taking place primarily online. If you want to make it in the world of internet marketing, there are a few things you need to know, and the first place to start is with SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the name given to the process of making online websites and webpages relevant for both individual users AND the search engines that point internet users to the site. SEO techniques help to improve search engine page rankings, drive traffic, and increases awareness among search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! and more.
But why does your business need SEO?
Before the advent of the internet, business marketers ran ads in places like newspapers and the yellow pages, sent snail mail to prospective customers, and waited for clients to call or visit their stores.
Today, print newspapers are in decline and Yellow Pages are used as doorstops or campfire starters. So how are businesses in today’s world supposed to let potential clients know about your existence, much less convince them to buy?
Enter SEO. Technology has allowed people to have all the world’s knowledge at their fingertips, and search engines are a massively powerful tool that allows people to find relevant information when they want it. Internet users typically type a keyword or phrase into a search engine, then click from the results showcased on the first page they see.
How you get your business ranked higher on that page for the most relevant search terms is what SEO is all about. That is why your business needs to know and use SEO effectively.
Purchasing funnel and how the products work together
In marketing, there is a concept of a funnel, whose widest end at the top indicates “awareness”–prospective clients are aware that they have some kind of problem that needs to be solved, but they are not terribly proactive about addressing it. As these prospective buyers move down the funnel, they go through “interest” (people begin to form an opinion about what kind of solution they want) to “decision” (people plan to make a purchase sometime soon) to “action” (people make a purchase), and “loyalty” (people become repeat customers). At every stage of the funnel, different advertising materials are needed, from display ads and Email Marketing to local and organic SEO.
There are two kinds of consumer intent in the online world of marketing funnels: 1) lean back, and 2) lean forward.
“Lean back” refers to internet visitors who are not actively looking for a solution to their problem, though a display or video ad might arrest their attention. These people are higher up on the sales/marketing funnel and so clicks from them are cheaper and are not so much geared to convert them into buyers but to encourage them to go further down the funnel.
“Lean forward” visitors are users actively hunting for a solution and hoping to buy something from someone to solve their problem. This is the most competitive space, down near the tip of the funnel, and competition is much higher.
Differences between local and organic SEO
Now we get into the nitty-gritty: what are the different kinds of SEO and which do you need, when?
Local SEO is all about your location, and your business being visible on maps and within mobile searches. If you are a restaurant with a physical location, you will want to be easily found by hungry diners on Google My Business and other map-related online results.
Organic SEO, on the other hand, is about your website being featured higher in the results page of a search engine (primarily Google). This is done by optimizing your site against key search terms based on searches conducted by prospective visitors.
Remember, 85% of purchases people make still happen in-store or with a local provider, and most of these buying decisions begin with a local search.
For a quick overview of local SEO–this type of SEO is geared toward mobile devices to improve reach and relevance so that people who are on the go are able to find you easily. Google looks for relevant and trusted locations, businesses that are really part of the local community, and features those on its search pages. Local SEO is all about helping businesses show up in local searches that are most relevant (for instance, “near me” and “where to buy” style searches).
Local SEO algorithm & goals
Local search results feed Google maps and mobile searches. It uses an entirely different algorithm than Organic SEO does. Here at AdCellerant, we keep this in mind as we implement specific strategies throughout the year that focus on local SEO algorithms and ranking factors, including:
- Google My Business (GMB) signals
- Citation signals
- On-page SEO
- Customer and client reviews
- Social signals
Our local SEO goals for you is to increase your natural visibility on maps and mobile searches for relevant categories and to increase conversion rates of listings–driving directions, calls, and clicks on your website.
Benefits of local SEO
You may be wondering why you can’t do all this stuff on your own. The problem is, succeeding in local SEO requires a deep knowledge of ranking factors and strategic implementation of a comprehensive plan. Technology and technology users have grown increasingly complicated and savvy, and Local SEO is more competitive and complex than it’s ever been before.
As a Google Partner, we have access to the latest marketing technologies, research, and updates. We follow Google’s best practices and are guaranteed to deliver top-notch results.
If you want to get a leg up on your competitors in SEO abilities–particularly Local SEO–don’t hesitate to contact us today. With our many years of experience in the industry and cutting edge knowledge of all the most recent developments, we are poised to help make you and your business a success!