What is Digital Marketing? (10/30/2019)
What is digital marketing? What is SEO? They are the most common questions we get from people we talk to. Therefore, we though it’d be a good idea to give you a little overview of search engine optimization.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s a process of making your website show up higher in Google. It’s really in a nutshell; it’s all it is. What goes in the SEO, there’s a lot to it.
First, there’s on-page optimization. If you ever talk to any SEO people do some marketing, they’ll say, “Hey, how’s your on-page optimization?” You’ll definitely see that’s the first step for SEO, and that’s where we adjust your website. Basically with your website talk to the search engines and tell them what you want to rank for and say, “Hey, I want this page to rank for blue shoes. I want this one to rank for so-and-so gadgets,” but you do things all in the website and through the page titles, HTML, pictures, content, headers. There are a lot of components to it, but ultimately, you’ve got to make your site talk to the search engines to tell them what you want it to rank for. That’s about 25% of the process of SEO.
So, you tell Google, “Hey, I want it to rank it for X.” Why do we always talk about Google? I actually looked up the stats this morning, and 92% of search engine usage is Google. It used to be around the 70’s, and now everybody’s using Google. So, we’re going to talk about Google. There’s some others out there, but Google’s who we always focus on.
So, we’ve told Google, “Hey, I want my website to rank for X.” Google goes, “Great. I don’t care. I need some credibility to do it,” and that’s where off-page SEO comes in. So, if you’ve ever heard link building, directories, press releases, social media ranking factors, all those things is what we call off-page optimization.
You want to be able to build links back to the site, because that builds credibility. Because at the end of the day, the ranking is done by a computer. A computer’s not like, “Hey, I like these guys a little more than these.” It has to mathematically be proven to them through the ranking algorithm. The way they do that is go, “Who’s linking to them? Who else thinks this site is credible, and this page should rank for those things you’ve told them to rank for?” So, they look at other sites that are linking back to it, they look at social media platforms, they look at directories, all kinds of things, but that makes out the off-page of search engine optimization.
So, you tell them that on-page what you want to rank for, and then you do all the stuff to build credibility offsite. We can go into some details and there are some blogs on our website where we talk a little bit more about white hat and gray hat and black hat, like we can get way deep into the weeds, but the point of this if we’re talking about what SEO, I want to keep it a little high level just so you have a good foundation. So, if you’re talking to someone, you’re like, “How’s your SEO?” you even know what it means.
Why Does SEO Matter?
Now, we talk about what it is, why does SEO matter? SEO matters because people are searching. We all have our phones in our hands. We’re shooting this video right now on a phone. Phones are readily available, and everybody uses it to search. In fact, 72% of consumers will perform a local search, and then once they perform that local search, they will visit a business within five miles of their current location. Basically, they’re whipping out their phone, “Where is so-and-so?” This does not just like where’s my pizza place. People are looking at where’s the CPA, where’s the grocery store, where’s the gas station. They’re searching for any place that they can visit, and most people when they search, they’re going to go find a place to visit. If they don’t find you in the search engines, they’re not coming to visit you. They’re visiting somewhere else.
On top of that, 86% of consumers will look up a business before visiting even if they know the business. They know where they’re going; like when we were talking the other day, “I don’t know how to get anywhere anymore, because if Google can’t tell me, I can’t get there.” Even if I’ve known the business and I’ve been a hundred times, I’m still like, “Hey, where do you go?” If nothing else, we’re at least looking for traffic or something like that. So people are going to Google you. If your search engine optimization is not in the right place, they’re not going to find you. At some point, even though somebody might know who you are, if they don’t see you, they’re going to start looking for other businesses. It’s a big deal.
Let’s talk about why SEO matters as far like the sales cycle. Besides the instant, I need to go to the grocery store, I need to get pizza, that kind of thing. If you talk about some of the B2B side of things, there’s the sale cycle that a purchaser is going to go through. A lot of times that cycle starts before you ever know they exist. They’re off there researching and where do they go? They’re going to the search engines; 92% is going to Google. There are stats out there how many people are searching before they make a purchase. I’ve seen numbers that are somewhere in the 90’s. Some people say somewhere in the 80’s.
I do believe there were at least 85% of people are going to go to search engines before they make a purchase of just about anything. If it’s a long sale cycle, they’re doing a lot of research and a lot of search engine work, but you don’t even know they’re doing. You have no idea that they’re off their searching because they’re just trying to get some initial research in that very top of your funnel. If they’re not finding you, they’re finding your competitor.
They might do some research of a competitor and randomly stumble into your business, maybe they’re your good friends or something like that, but for the people that you don’t know, they need to find you when they’re doing that initial research. Otherwise, they’re getting hooked in by your competitor, because they’re providing case studies and calculators, in-depth guides, and all kinds of things. So the user starting to trust that company. They’re going to do business with them when they’re ready to purchase.
Wherever that is in the sales cycle and how long that it takes, they’re going to go do business with that business because they know, and they’re starting to like them and are starting to trust them. Because they’ve actually gone and found them in search engines. They don’t find you, they don’t know like and trust you. They’re hoping for the best. If they do business with you, let’s not leave it to chance. Let’s get your website at the top of the search engines when they’re doing that research in the top of the funnel.
If you want to learn more about search engine optimization, go to our blog, blueatlasmarketing.com/resources. We’ve got a lot of great articles and a lot of great content categorized with digital marketing, SEO, all the things that we’re doing talking about here in this video and some of our video channels. Make sure you follow us on YouTube, and check us out on Facebook.