Search Engine Optimization & Digital Marketing

What Is SEO?


Search Engine Optimization or SEO simply put is the practice or activity of optimizing your site to raise your search engine scores to rank high on Google, Yahoo!, Bing or other search engines. It differs from paid advertising in that it brings “free” or “organic” traffic to your website. When people ask a search engine a query (a question or search term), whether they do that from a desktop, mobile device or voice command to an assistant (Alexa, Siri, etc.) SEO enables you to rank high in those results.

In days gone by people would name their companies AAA Plumber to glean from being the first listing in the Yellow Pages when people would turn to the Plumbing section in the yellow pages. SEO is not unlike this. However in SEO you don’t have to be called triple-A to outpace that double-A plumbing competitor.

A SEO strategy for a small to mid-size company will likely will require you to hire a digital marketing agency or an SEO consultant as a marketing expense. A SEO professional will help you use various SEO techniques in order to create “domain authority” for your website using content that aligns with the algorithms of Google. In addition they may use technical SEO (sometimes called on-page SEO) as well as local SEO which is essentially the business listing and mapping as well as claiming the business page for your business across a number of listing agencies. (read our post: 5 Articles To Read Before You Hire an SEO Agency)

    By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. If you aren't ranked in the top-3 for a keyword it is likely you won't be found. 

    Video Explanation Of SEO

    Digital Marketing and Google

    Ranking The Search Engines

    Google is the top-ranked search engine with over 1.5 billion monthly unique users. What is interesting is that Youtube is included in this number because Youtube is officially the second most used search engine but it is owned by Google and therefore included in Google’s overall monthly number.

    In a distant second (or third) is Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. It is a solid tool and operates much like Google but is a separate entity. What is interesting about Bing is that powers our next largest search network: Yahoo!. If you combine the monthly totals of Bing and Yahoo the combined total is a little less than a billion unique users each month.

    You might know the names of some of the others lower down list but it typically sounds like the internet’s yesteryear and would include names like AOL and others. The gold standard of search results is Google and that is typically what you are aiming to land is a top-ranked spot on Google. If you do so, you will likely be top-ranked on Bing and Yahoo!.

    Google & SEO

    Does your business or organization need leads for sales? Did you spend money on your website and would really like it if people came to your expensive new website? The best way to get people to your website and your portal to our digital world is through SEO.

    SEO is changing. In fact, Google changes it’s algorithm which directly affects how your site ranks. So if you want to stay relevant you have to keep up to date with all of the SEO changes. In terms of organizational growth, there is no more important factor than SEO. You have to drive traffic to create conversions and because of this, you have to quality inbound traffic that come in as warm leads. SEO does all of this without a sales force having to do cold calls. The people that find you via search are looking for the opportunity to be converted, you have to be ready.

    Content Vs. Advertising

    When some searches for a product or service or even just something random, the Google search results include a number of items. First they always include Advertising results denoted by an "ad" marker. Usually there are 3-4 of these items listed and they are based on a keyword in your query. How does a product or service get listed this way, they use what is called a pay-per-click keyword ad campaign. This is the backbone of how Google makes its money: Advertising. These pay-per-click or PPC campaigns are typically organized by an agency who helps identify your marketing keywords and advertise against those.

    The second items you will see are content-based ranked items. Google is always seeking to deliver the "most correct" answer to your query and typically they accomplish this. You can read more about how they select these pages by reading our blog "What Happens When I Google Something On The Internet."  Targeted and niche content is the most relevant part of your digital marketing plan in terms of driving organic traffic to your internet properties. 

    So what is better? The answer lies in your outcomes. If you are looking for short-term growth that likely won't last, PPC advertising is your best bet. If you would prefer for your site to have sustained ranking outcomes the only solution for you is to create content or have great content created for you by an agency (contact us).