Let’s Talk About Search Engines and SEO

By: Allison Aurand

Ultimately, as a business owner working in an online world, you’re looking for your website to boost your “conversion rate.” Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) seeks to increase the percentage of website visitors that take a specific action (often submitting a web form, making a purchase, signing up for a trial, etc.). In doing so, businesses are able to generate more leads or sales without investing more money on website traffic, hence increasing their marketing return on investment and overall profitability.

How does that happen, and why are search engines and your “search engine optimization” (SEO) critical?

Let’s begin with some numbers:

  • Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Local SEO marketing is the process of optimizing your owned properties to generate traffic from location-based searches. The following is worth noting about local SEO:
    • 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within 5 miles. (WordStream, 2016)
    • 30% of mobile searches are related to a location. (Google, 2016)
    • Local searches lead 50% of mobile searchers to visit businesses within one day (Google, 2014)
    • 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases. (Search Engine Land, 2014)
  • Mobile Search
    • More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries, including the US and Japan. (Google, 2015)
    • 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their phone. (Google, 2015)

Now that we know the power of searches, let’s talk about the most common one, the “organic” search. An organic search simply means the user is entering one or more search items into a search engine. Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being advertisements. (In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising.) For some perspective on the power of organic searches, and your site having relevant keywords, consider this: Google gets more than 100 billion searches a month, according to Mashable.

Blog posts can also boost your traffic and lead generation. HubSpot reports that 10% of blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time, but they generate nearly 40% of overall traffic. One compounding post can generate as much traffic as six “decaying” posts. What comprises a compounding post?

  • Go “tactical,” not “topical” – broader posts mean broader appeal
  • Use the perfect title – the best compounding posts include “how,” “why,” “best,” and “what,” and run 6-13 words in length
  • Readability of post – think 800-1400 words (too short and you lose chances to pull keywords for SEO purposes, too long and you may lose your reader)

Read more about how to build a great compounding post here: https://research.hubspot.com/reports/compounding-blog-posts-what-they-are-and-why-they-matter#LINK2

Next month, we’ll touch on social media: what platforms are effective, and what do the numbers say?