A brief introduction to SEO
SEO services need to generate significant website traffic to be worth your investment.
Realistically, however, Search Engine Optimization has turned into somewhat of a buzz-term — in that it’s uttered quite frequently without understanding its true meaning.
When you master the principles of SEO, your website becomes highly visible to someone who enters a relevant query in the world’s most powerful search engines. We’re mainly referencing Google, but Yahoo and Bing still have their place.
Google’s algorithms and crawlers assess websites and follow a set of criteria that rates user-friendliness, valuable/relevant content, and so forth. The more a website caters to the preferences of a search engine’s crawlers and algorithms, the better its SERP — or search engine results page — ranking.
SEO is highly complex and requires dedicated expertise to grasp fully. The trends change like lighting, as entities such as Google adjust best practices in real-time to fit the needs of a current market.
One of the main reasons that a successful SEO strategy is so vital to businesses is that unlike other online advertising methods, it can be 100% free.
Of course, there’s a time investment (which you can engage agencies like us for). But the bottomline is, it does not rely on paid advertising — and that’s because it’s an organic marketing technique.
What’s an ‘Organic’ search result?
The entirety of SEO’s framework centers around the obtaining of organic search results; the listed web pages closest to a user’s search query based on relevance.
When compared to paid search results, organic campaigns are far more valuable because you aren’t paying for the ranking. You’ve gained your lucrative SERP real estate because the content is relevant and useful.
However, traditional SERP metrics don’t carry the weight they once did — primarily due to new above the fold rankings.
Above the fold rankings & how they’ve permanently altered SEO
SEO has grown so advanced that achieving a top 3 SERP ranking sometimes isn’t enough anymore. Instead, the industry’s focus has shifted towards ranking above the fold.
You wouldn’t be alone if you asked, “ranking above the what?”
Though, the definition is relatively simple: above the fold refers to a SERP ranking on the first page that’s visible without needing to scroll down.
Google has grown increasingly intricate with above the fold rankings — and not just with paid ads. There are rich snippets, image results, video results, or a Google shopping feed forcing traditional organic rankings down lower on the page.
Making above the fold ranking even more challenging is differentiating between mobile and desktop optimization methods.
Unlike desktops, mobile devices come with screens that broadly vary in size. Furthermore, mobile users tend to browse in portrait mode instead of landscape mode, which shifts the page design sideways.
There are ways to find success with above the fold rankings. However, it’s not an exact science. With Google featured snippets, for instance, you must make your content ‘snip-able.’ In other words, you must produce engaging written content that’s immediately helpful and provides value.
Even then, featured snippets can be fleeting — as the competition is fierce.
Why is SEO important?
Now, understanding just how crucial a well-executed SEO strategy is to a website comes down to a couple of eye-opening stats.
Websites that appear on the first page of Google capture 71% of user click-throughs. On the other hand, second-page results generated a mere 6% of all website clicks.
Plus, when comparing the ROI for SEO versus that of paid searches, organic search click-throughs are winning by a drastic margin. In fact, SEO gives you ~20X more traffic than Pay-per-click (PPC) — for both the desktop and mobile!
Paid searches are also temporary — since they disappear the moment you stop paying for them whereas organic results have much more lasting power.
Finally, organic results pay significant dividends for businesses with longer sales cycles since most of the web traffic isn’t intending to purchase anything just yet. Instead, they’re searching for the helpful content that your company can provide. Over time, this could lead to anything from one successful sale to a lifetime client.
Unfortunately, since organic results offer such a lucrative return, it often leads to some SEO practitioners using questionable tactics.
Opt for White Hat over Black Hat SEO services
Black Hat SEO — at best — manipulates the system and breaks search engine rules to receive high rankings. It removes the human audience from the equation and directs its efforts towards gaming crawlers and algorithms.
It’s somewhat of a get-rich-quick approach that lacks any depth or resonance and commonly involves keyword stuffing, link farming, hidden text and links, and blog content spamming.
These poor practices will most likely lead to your website’s eventual banning and de-indexing from a search engine as a penalty for applying unethical techniques.
Conversely, White Hat SEO focuses mainly on what people want, catering the strategy towards putting forth valuable content that enhances the user experience. This is what we do at Appiloque, and something that we advise all clients to focus on.
Keyword-use and research are both important aspects of White Hat SEO. In short, keywords are the terms people use for queries and should be dispersed (relevantly) throughout a web page’s content.
Beyond that, white hat SEO involves writing quality meta tags, backlinking, link-building, and creating engaging content for your audience.
Successful SEO services are user-centric in nature
SEO is always about optimizing for the people — be it your readers, prospects, or customers. Don’t get caught up in the ranking game and end up losing sight of what’s truly important.
Because when you optimize your website for the people, the search engines love it too.
The more specific you are with meeting a person’s needs, the better chance you have of earning a click-through and earning a lead or even a customer.
With keywords, for instance, it’s not about finding popular search terms and littering your content with those phrases. You’ll end up competing with hundreds of thousands of other companies, many of which will turn up in irrelevant search results. You need to delve deeper into the minds of your audience and make your terms more personal.
So, in that vein, ‘lift maintenance singapore’ is a far superior keyword than just ‘lifts’. With a more personalized, custom keyword, you’re deep-diving into the specific search terms that your target audience would use. This technique keeps your traffic highly relevant and most conducive for sales.
Finally, Google also has a mobile-first that indexes and ranks mobile pages instead of desktop pages, since most of the people on Google are on mobile devices.
“Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”
Mobile-responsive websites are more of a necessity than ever, so always keep this in mind if you’re revamping your site or building a new one!