What Is SEO and How Can It Benefit You?

The Loose Definition of SEO in Marketing

With all the mystery of a buzzword, Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is the large process of improving your website and content to increase organic search performance. Of course, for those not directly involved in performance marketing, that could still leave a few extra questions, particularly around what organic search performance is. Essentially, you can think of organic search by the channels it comes from (ex. Google, Bing, etc.), and the performance portion of that is where your website and your content ranks in comparison to others offering similar things. For example, at the time of writing this, the number one article for what SEO is comes from the guide on Search Engine Land. This means that that page, both structurally and from a content perspective, is currently seen by Google’s algorithm as the best of the best. 

What Factors Affect SEO Ranking?

Now you may be wondering “what factors do either Google or Bing take into account when ranking these pages?” Well, to summarize it really quickly… a lot. Google looks into a multitude of different factors and data when looking at what a page can rank for which spans a lot of different areas. Examples of these would be things like the keywords you use in your page titles and headers, the speed at which your site is capable of loading content and information, the usage of locations in your content, the features and media you host on-site, and so much more. In fact, Backlinko has a list they currently use that includes references to over 200 different factors that Google may be using to rank content currently.

And, to note just how often these change, there are generally monthly or bi-monthly updates to Google’s algorithm that affect how ranking is noticed. For example, in April 2021 Google has updated their algorithm to factor in-depth reviews and testimonials into ranking pages and services higher. The next month, May 2021, the algorithm was updated again to begin factoring Core Web Vitals into ranking, a substantial change that included speed as a ranking factor. 

 

How can you use SEO?

Okay, now that you understand what SEO is a little bit better, it’s probably worth looking at how it can benefit and help your company or your site. Just like paid marketing, a strong SEO strategy is a mechanism that will guide people to your site more often and help you drive them to converting more. The key difference here is that, while you’re “marketing” your site and content more, you’re not paying and people aren’t afraid of the “ad.” It’s a marketing style that truly embraces users naturally while improving your site’s health and functionality; what’s not to love? 

 

Utilizing SEO Strategies for Keywords 

Where you or your business will find the most benefit initially will be in developing an SEO keyword strategy that can help you understand your audience a little bit more. Whether it’s SEO for a brand or SEO for a business, a large component is the audience intent focus that identifies how people are searching and the terminology they use. By doing so, you ensure that you know where your content needs to appear, what additional content you should make, and how you should communicate with your customer. When it comes to developing a constructive lead generation plan for your business, the terminology and keywords you use are extremely important for fostering connections between consumers and brands. It also opens the door for keyword and page analysis that can give you live insights into page performance and analytics for specific keywords and where you rank.
 

Use SEO Best Practices To Structure Your Website

Another big focus you’ll want to have is around improving and adapting your website to fit SEO best practices. This involves using a proper header format, improving and testing conversion rates on pages, developing fast-loading content, and more. This also includes some things that are relatively technical like your linking strategy, the overall site speed, schema markup, and others that you may want to get additional help with from an SEO expert, (see below), to ensure proper setup. Search Engine Watch has a fairly good resource in which they include 22 basic essentials they recommend for optimizing your site. 
 
Some of the easier things you can do to improve your site on your own start with developing a real strategy for the way you want your content to flow. Develop that keyword plan utilizing any of the tools you can access and identify what search terms will work best for what you’re trying to convey. Ahrefs has a very good piece on how to write SEO-designed content that will help you develop and implement an efficient content strategy for your blogs or other content. Take this content strategy and develop new content while updating and refreshing older content to trigger Google’s crawlers to reconsider your site. 
 

When to Trust an SEO Expert

 For help with creating the strategy and doing the research, as well as for the multitude of technical elements we alluded to before, we recommend working with professionals. Web development and front-end UX changes can have massive changes on your site and can affect greatly the amount of visibility and traffic you receive. It’s important to partner your brand and your marketing team with a group that can understand and support you on both ends. This is where we at Tailwind shine, as we have a dedicated and knowledgeable team that is experienced in both ends. 
 
It’s equally important to look to the future of both organic and paid marketing in search platforms. With Google constantly adapting and changing, and privacy laws continually evolving, it’s important to partner your business with people who understand and can guide you through these changes. Check out a couple more insights we have around alternative search engines and the differing variations of attribution you can use to track performance between channels.  
 

How We Can Help You With SEO

If you’re looking for help optimizing your site to reach more users organically, feel free to reach out to us and let us know a little bit more about you. We at Tailwind have worked with incredible clients across a large variety of industries to help improve organic and paid performance in tandem with our holistic digital strategies. Specifically, our signature user intent analysis and comprehensive technical audits are the perfect tools for helping your brand and your site reach the best people in the best way; but don’t limit yourself there, our content recommendations can expand to additional areas like YouTube SEO as well. Below you’ll find an example of the increase in top page visibility for a business we can attribute to improving their site’s keywords.  
keyword visibility increase

Written by David Ericson

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