The fight for online visibility begins and ends with how well your online assets compete in search engine result pages. According to a study conducted by Chitka in 2013, 91.5% of traffic is generated from the 1st page of results from an average Google search. It then drops substantially to 4.8% on the 2nd page and 1.1% on the 3rd page. Clearly, the goal is to get your online assets ranked in the first page.
Aside from increased visibility, page 1 rankings provide you with a rare opportunity to market your products or services at the exact time your customers are looking to make a purchase. You’re not just driving brand recognition, but you are actually doing it at the most appropriate time and in the most appropriate context. How can you achieve this? Through Search Engine Optimization.
SEO is an important factor in establishing a strong online presence for companies. It provides companies with credibility, especially if your site consistently appears on search results that are relevant to your primary line of business. It is more cost-effective than other forms of online marketing campaigns, as it is widely accepted that SEO offers the best ROI in the advertising world. Increased traffic may not always directly translate to increased profits, but in this case it allows you to gain insights about your customers and prospects through the use of analytics.
The Paradigm Shift
SEO is driven by the Search Engine Algorithms, which are constantly changing. Early on, the primary purpose of search engines was to catalog the web. Meta keyword tags were crucial, and target devices were browsers on desktops. Putting more links on your website was beneficial; the more links, the better. Keyword density was another major factor during the early days, which opened the algorithms to abuse. This triggered major changes to search engine algorithms.
Page optimization is still important but it carries less impact than it did at the very beginning. The importance of keywords meta tag has also been diminished because Google no longer uses them in web ranking. Quality links that are mobile-friendly are now preferred over a high quantity of meaningless content. There is a shift towards improving user experience and, most important of all, it is now content-driven.
Delivering static content on a website is no longer acceptable. Search engines are biased towards relevant and regularly updated content. This applies to both your corporate site and other online properties. Effective content delivery is typically achieved by engaging your marketing group. Decide which areas are most critical for your business and develop a strategy by defining target keywords that match your marketing strategies, composing content that is consistent with this strategy, and delivering fresh content swiftly and often.
Having multiple delivery vehicles provides a number of benefits. Most important is it gives you more online assets to rank on search engine result pages. A well-executed SEO strategy can potentially rank multiple online assets on the first page of a search result. It is highly recommended to establish a formal content delivery schedule so you can plan the composition and delivery of fresh content.
Consider the following delivery mechanisms in your content plan:
- Blogs – Blogging is a popular way of delivering fresh and valuable content. It provides a platform to expose targeted keywords and increases your backlinks if you include links to other online assets. Search engines prefer trending topics and interpret recent updates as relevant and current.
- Landing Pages – Landing pages are focused and targeted pages. A landing page is meant to directly interact and engage with a particular user on a specific subject matter, free of any information that may be considered as clutter. It typically contains calls to action that encourage users to buy, subscribe, share, connect, comment, or click to another online asset to gather more information.
- YouTube Videos – The popularity of online videos cannot be overstated. You should develop effective messages and content using video and enable it to rank in search result pages.
- Optimized Social Media – There is still some uncertainty whether links in social media posts affects search engine ranking. But the power of social media can still be harnessed to provide opportunities to direct your users to existing online content. Not to mention strengthening your online presence with an effective social media strategy.
SEO is a valuable tool for establishing a strong online presence and attracting potential customers through search engine results pages. While SEO optimized corporate web sites are still essential, there are more ways to ensure that your brand gets the visibility and opportunities that the web has to offer. Google and the other search engines do not disclose the details of how their search engine algorithm works, but we can learn effective ways to make it work for our advantage. Right now, it’s all about delivering current, fresh and relevant content using multiple vehicles.
Paul Flamiano, PFlamiano@anexinet.com
Steve Tranchida, STranchida@anexinet.com
 Chitka, The Value of Google Result Positioning
 Google still uses them to obtain information about the site, so their value is not completely gone.
 Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking (https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2009/09/google-does-not-use-keywords-meta-tag.html)
Digital and Analytics Services Manager