Updated: Apr 19
Search Engine Optimization, more commonly known as SEO, is the act of improving and optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs). This includes search engines such as Bing and DuckDuckGo, however most SEO professionals focus on ranking high in Google’s SERPs, as Google currently accounts for the majority of search engine traffic (also known as Organic Traffic). SEO is often seen as an alternative to traditional digital marketing and the use of paid advertisement, yet the two work surprisingly well together.
First, let's go over the basics of what all is included in SEO; Also known as The Three Pillars of SEO.
Keywords, structure, tags (title, h1, h2, etc.), internal linking.
Writing good page content gives Google/Search Engines an idea of what your website is used for. This is where you plug your keywords in, mixed within accurate, interesting paragraphs that are relevant to your subject. It is important to note, Google is moving away from keyword spam, so need to be careful with your written content and structure.
Other websites linking to your website.
The more websites you have linking to your site, the more it shows Google/Search Engines that your site is trusted and has authority. However, it is important to avoid spamming links to your site, as Google can see this as a red flag.
Page speed, optimization.
Google/Search Engines can use page speed and overall website optimization in their ranking of your site. Apart from the SEO benefits, page speed also improves user experience, which is beneficial to your site outside of SEO.
Now, let's differentiate between SEO and Digital Marketing, and then see how they influence one another.
Simply put, SEO focuses on organic traffic, while digital marketing focuses on direct traffic. Digital marketing requires money for ads (often), while SEO is mostly free (unless you hire an agency/freelancer). The benefit of search engine optimization, if done properly, is that it provides a reliable, consistent number of page visitors on a monthly basis. If you work to increase your keyword ranking, you can continue to gain more visitors to your website monthly, without the marginal cost associated with each new visitor, as there is with paid digital marketing. SEO is the most cost efficient method to gain and retain site visitors in the long run, and is ideal for websites that make money through CPC (cost per click). Keep in mind, you can’t hire an SEO agency, change some content, and automatically rank higher than established sites. It takes time and some creativity to begin ranking on the top two pages of google.
Additionally, good SEO and digital marketing strategy will help each other. On one hand, paid digital marketing will drive visitors to a website (if you have accurately targeted these individuals, but that’s for another time), which in turn, can benefit that website's rank in SERPs. Conversely, SEO can increase a websites popularity and brand recognition, which can reduce the cost of Google Ads and increase the likelihood of someone clicking your ad.
If you’re looking to jumpstart SEO growth, one strategy is to give your site a little direct traffic boost. If your site is brand new, Google has essentially no data on you, your page authority will be next to nothing, and you won’t rank anywhere with your keywords. You will find yourself angry with whoever is in charge of your initial SEO, and you won't be getting the sales/visitors you’re hoping for. By running a couple of paid, traffic based digital campaigns on social media (preferably Facebook, not Google ads in this case), or by attempting some viral marketing strategies, you can try to “trick” Google (for lack of better term, everyone knows you can’t ACTUALLY trick Google). What I mean is, this shows Google that your site is relevant and provides some usefulness, or else you wouldn't be getting any traffic, regardless if it’s paid or not. By doing so, the theory is that Google can begin ranking your site with more confidence for your given keywords, since it knows you’re not totally bad. Also, I said “not Google ads” because there are people that believe running paid advertisements on google can actually hurt your SEO, and traffic from facebook is neither good nor bad. I’ll leave it at this, if someone had all the answers to what Google likes and doesn't like, they’d be a millionaire ten times over.
What does Grove offer for SEO?
Here at Grove, we address all three of the pillars mentioned above, striving to improve every aspect of your website profile. With that being said, our approach to each pillar can vary immensely depending on the individual website and the current climate of SEO. Every website is (hopefully) unique, therefore requiring different levels of commitment to each pillar. For example, a website could have very little technical issues, but terrible content and backlinks. In this case, it wouldn’t make sense to focus on the technical aspect of SEO for that site until we address both content and backlinks. SEO is also constantly changing, which is another reason why we try to steer clear from any standardized procedures in our SEO work. Strategies that worked last year might be obsolete now, while the best strategies might not be known yet.
Hopefully you’ve learned a little more about what Search Engine Optimization is all about, and if you have further questions, you can always reach out to us.