SEO

Why does SEO matter?

s.e.o. magnifying class over a business with lines going out to different people

Many in the retail sector that never embraced the concept of SEO are out of business today. How is your industry changing because of the internet? What will it look like in 5-10 years? How will your future customers find you? Many of our clients that reluctantly began paying for the expense of SEO are now thankful to have a huge lead over their competition in the digital world.

You could make the case that everything in today’s business starts with the being seen and discovered by potential clients. Historically we’ve accomplished this through print advertising, radio and television. We’ve knocked on doors, made phone calls and networked our way towards success. While all of these outbound approaches are still important, the internet gave us an inbound approach to acquiring new business.

The inbound approach is customer-driven, meeting customers at their point of need. Whether they are looking to learn, inquire, or buy, they are approaching us, not the other way around. Search allows customers to control when they engage and how far they go with that engagement.

layers of speech bubbles icon

Your customers may be inquiring about:

  • Restaurants near me
  • Best diesel motors for heavy haul trucking
  • Where are the best places to visit in Portland?
  • Fixing a flat tire
  • Best burger near me
  • Parts casting services
  • Your Business’s product or service
orange hand click icon selecting one of three users

This can become exciting stuff for businesses looking to help their customers! What do your customers need or want? SEO will help them find you.

Consider the effort around Search Engine Optimization as another salesperson. It’s a salesperson that goes where humans can’t. SEO can be complementary to existing sales infrastructure or stand alone as the “salesperson” in ecommerce.

For some businesses, SEO requirements are very advanced and complex. For others, the requirement may just be a matter of having a site’s technical side in order. No matter your need, we’d invite you to contact us to learn more about how we may be able to help your business experience or sustain search success.

google and bing and yahoo logos

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the process by which a website or page is made pertinent for search engines for a specific search term. Each major search engine, like Google, Bing, or Yahoo, has a unique set of algorithms it uses to rank websites in search results. The algorithm used is proprietary to each search engine. However, they are each looking for the same key elements when ranking websites.

Each time a search engine bot visits your website, it is gathering information, looking for changes to content, recording inbound and outbound links, then ranking your pages as they compare against other websites for different search terms.

icon of robot on a website page

Technical SEO

The technical complexities of a website are not recognized by the end user. However, if done correctly, they are thoroughly seen and analyzed by search engines. An indexed website will receive regular visits from search engine bots that examine the behind the scenes elements of a website including:

  • Meta Data
  • Information Architecture (IA)
  • Page Speed, including compression and load time of images and widgets
  • Hreflang attributes for international search
  • Structured Data (Schema.org)
icon of magnifying class looking closer at text on a screen

On Page SEO

On Page SEO keys in on the user experience. Search engines are trying to deliver accurate results for their customers. Does your page or site meet these requirements? On Page SEO makes sure that the elements of your page or site are the best available source for prospective visitors. Search engines determine this by analyzing on page information and user behaviors including:

  • Is the content informative and relevant to the query?
  • Can the user dig deeper into linked supporting pages?
  • What sort of time are users spending on the page? Are they bouncing out of the page or engaging with the content?
computer screen with magnifying glass and arrow for chart of increased organic search results

SEO and Organic Search Results

Organic search results are the results located just below the local map pack. These are the results that have been around search forever, but how they are derived by search engines has changed significantly.

Today’s organic results are driven by a searcher’s location and the perceived intent of the search. This “perceived intent” comes from growing amounts of stored user data and artificial intelligence. Combine a user’s intent and location with a company’s perceived digital ecosystem (including website, social media, and other data available online), and you’re left with a single search result that connects a unique person with a unique business. Companies that implement SEO well are rewarded with more qualified visitors than their competition.

megaphone speaking into a local portion of a world wide web icon with comment icons coming out

Local SEO

Local search is a big deal for B2B and B2C businesses alike. Local search results are derived in much the same way as organic results, but more of an emphasis is given to a business’s local footprint.

There are a number of elements that contribute to local search success, and certainly some that we don’t understand at the moment. Physical traffic by customers to
a location is a contributing factor. This traffic is a form of social proof that justifies and confirms community engagement. Of course, many businesses don’t have a lot of physical traffic, but hopefully, neither does your competition. In certain industries
a lack of traffic is normal, but Google can see this.

Another variable is Social Media. Social media offers search engines more local signals. From simple engagement to actually checking in, social is a big part of the local algorithm.

Reviews are another big source of information not only for customers, but also search engines. Consider reviews as another source of customer engagement. Regardless of ratings, having volume in reviews is a way to show Google that you matter.

web of connected people representing schema connections between entities

Structured Data

Structured data came on the SEO scene in 2011 as a joint project funded by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. The project known as Schema.org was and is an effort to organize the web, connecting things, places and individuals. It is our opinion that a website’s schema will offer search engines important information, resulting in better conversion rates and qualified traffic.

Structured data has been a big focus of ours since early 2016. And while we’re collectively still learning about schema benefits and implementation, one thing is for sure. Schema is important for today’s search and it’s here to stay.

icon of hand below a dollar sign in a sales star

Leads, Sales and Conversion Tracking

Of course none of your SEO effort means much if you can’t measure your success. We believe that this is the most important part of any of the work that we perform. With almost every one of our clients, we implement systems that let us know where leads and sales are coming from. This conversion tracking can give decision makers confidence as they evaluate their SEO and other digital marketing expenditures.

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Contact us to see how we might be able to help!

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