Thank you for joining me today – I value your time, and promise not to waste it!First things first, let me cover who this is meant for, and who it is not meant for – remember – I have a promise to keep!SEO Uncovered is for the business owner, online marketer, or beginning website designer who knows they need a website, but are really unsure what this SEO thing is all about.In this primer, I want to answer the questions, What is SEO?, Who cares about SEO?, and What are the benefits & drawbacks of SEO?By the time we are finished, you will have at least a beginning working knowledge of what SEO is, and why it should matter for your website.
First of all, what is SEO? Although there are things that constantly change in the online arena, such as the latest news from Google about their new Hummingbird algorithm, one thing that has NOT changed is what SEO is at the core. Here’s how I define SEO: “Search engine optimization (known as SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the unpaid (also called "natural" or "organic") search results.(Repeat definition)
Now, a lot of people don’t know exactly what I mean when I say “natural” or “organic” search results. Let me show you a screen shot to show you what I mean.Here’s a search engine results page – known as a “SERP” – and you can see by the arrows that I’ve drawn up here, that the paid or “sponsored” listings are at the top and the right sidebar, and the “organic results” are to the lower left.It’s important that you understand the difference.The “sponsored” results have been paid for by someone - these are paid advertisements that someone pays for when the link is clicked.The “organic” results, on the other hand, are the results that the search engine believes are the best match for the search term you typed in. Nobody can pay a search engine directly to be here.These “organic” results are what we’re trying to impact with SEO. We are trying to get your site to rank highly for the specific keywords that you are targeting. And, the good news is that with Google’s recent implementation, organic results are actually becoming even MORE organic!
Now, one of the other great things about SEO is that it’s not all about interrupting your audience.As a rule, people prefer not to be interrupted. Crazy, right?Anyway, SEO is a permission-based type of marketing because it’s about connecting with people who are already actively engaged in a search for your products and services.SEO is known to insiders as a form of “inbound marketing,” a strategy that focuses on getting found by prospects, as opposed to simply broadcasting a message that finds prospects. It’s generally believed that this type of traffic establishes a much more valuable relationship than paid advertising does because people are so skeptical about advertisements nowadays - they feel like they are getting duped much of the time.But organic results are believed to have more credibility.
SEO, more than other forms of Internet Marketing, is shrouded in mystery and more than a few misconceptions. Among the more persistent myths are the following …The first myth is very persistent and leads to a lot of frustration: “SEO is free.” Here’s the deal: SEO is quite cost-effective, and once you have a well-placed website, you do receive a lot of “unpaid” traffic. BUT! Optimizing a website is NOTfree. It requires time, expertise, and labor. Last time I checked, these things cost money.The second myth is easy to disprove. Online Marketing, including SEO, is one of the most measurable marketing methods available to small businesses. Period. And the data shows that SEO is a remarkably effective and efficient way to promote your business.Another myth is that SEO is modern-day voodoo. It’s not. As a matter of fact, SEO is probably the most quantitative, left-brained marketing methods around. SEO experts are much more comfortable reading spreadsheets than tea leaves.Alternatively, there is a misconception that SEO is like rocket science and there’s no hope for you to learn it and apply it to your business. I will admit, SEO can get pretty wonky, but some of the most effective things you can do to optimize for search engine visibility are also the most simple and straightforward. Believe it or not, some that even say that SEO is either unethical or downright illegal.As far as I know, there are no laws on the books that address search engine optimization. That said, the major search engines have their own internal police forces that seek to maintain the integrity of their results and deliver great, accurate information for their users.Ethical SEO is not at odds with the search engines. Sure, there ARE unscrupulous actors out there who seek to manipulate the search results through deception. This approach is known as “black hat” SEO. This presentation focuses on “white hat” SEO, honest tactics and strategies that are endorsed by the major search engines themselves. Lastly, SEO is definitely NOT something that simply happens after you build a site. There are so many businesses out there that put a site up and do not perform any optimization for the search engines – essentially, they just have a digital “business card” on the internet. And, true to the analogy, potential customers only find out about it if someone “hands them a card” and tells them about the site. A website is not like the Field of Dreams, where we can say – “If we build it, they will come” -- SEO MUST be actively performed, and continually updated for optimal results, and unless you have the time to keep on top of the steady stream of changes, this optimization is most advantageous if performed by an SEO expert.
The reality: SEO is a form of Internet marketing that MOST major companies use, and they do so with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo’s blessing. And here is the kicker – this belies the word “organic”, as these companies spend thousands and thousands of dollars every month to optimize their many pages for “organic” results!
Here’s a question that a lot of SEO consultants fail to address head-on, because for them, the value of SEO is self-evident. Who cares?Now, if you registered for this webinar, the chances are pretty good that you have some idea THATSEO is important, but maybe there are some skeptics in the audience today who still need convincing… the stats on this slide should help.As you can see: everyone and their mother is online. And the vast majority of people start each web browsing session with a search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo or Startpage (haven’t heard of that one? Startpage.com) – when they search, it is the SEO on websites determining what results they see.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the ‘Who cares’ question – 77% of searchers choose organic over paid listings, and 67% choose organic search results when purchasing. Which is why organic click-through generates 25% higher sale conversion than PPC ads.As you can see, organic results – the unpaid listings – are where it’s at.If you can get your website to show up in the top of the organic results, you’re essentially in pole position as a business. More buyers will see your website and become customers!
You can see where I’m going with this…But just in case, the point I’m trying hammer home is this: search engines are VERY valuable to a business – to YOUR business.
“How valuable are they?” you ask?Well, let’s take a look…
Consider the search term “auto insurance” – what is called a “broad match” keyword phrase.Let’s pretend that you are an auto insurance broker trying to get ranked in Google so you can find some customers.Now, this is a VERY competitive term, but it’s good to illustrate the value of an organic ranking. A broad keyword phrase like this means that we have not narrowed down any details about the broad term, such as auto insurance Indiana, or best cheap auto insurance. We will get more into keyword phrases in a later training, but for now, you can bet these type of keyword phrases are very difficult (read: expensive!) to rank for.
Now, look at the number of searches and the cost per click. This is information coming right out of Google’s keyword planner.At the time of this snapshot, there were over 100,000 searches each month for this term, and Google places the approximate cost per each click at $63.31!Which means that you would likely have to pay that much PER CLICK – AT A MINIMUM - if you wanted to advertise for this term.That’s a LOT of money. As I said, this is a very competitive term with very cash-rich companies bidding up the costs.
Now do some simple math and you can see the value of the term “auto insurance.”Take the number of searches... Multiply it by the cost per click... And you get... 7 MILLION BUCKS!That’s the MONTHLY VALUE of this ONE KEYWORD PHRASE! Is it any wonder these search engines have SO MUCH money?
OK, here’s a pie chart that shows the percentage of traffic based on a website’s position or rank in the search results.As you can see, the top three results get virtually all of the action—about two thirds of the traffic.What’s really impressive is to see that position #1 gets 42% of ALL TRAFFIC! Almost 4 TIMES MORE than the 2nd position!It really is good to be #1.
So let’s say you have the number 1 spot in the search results for the keyword “auto insurance.”If you do the math based on the search volume and cost per click, you’ll be getting nearly 3 million dollars’ worth of search engine traffic – each month!AND YOU AREN’T PAYING FOR ANY OF THOSE CLICKS! (But you ARE definitely paying big bucks to be clicked!)I think you get the idea as to why SEO is so valuable and important for your business.
Let’s quickly summarize the business benefits of SEO -- This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s good enough for now.ONE > boost website traffic TWO > increase your visibility among your buyers THREE > build relationships and influence FOUR > Increase conversions (turning surfers into buyers, etc.) FIVE > increase sales SIX > measure your progress AND SEVEN > With SEO, you CAN compete against the big guys with deep pockets! Especially now with Google’s latest changes – the page one game is not JUST about keywords anymore (and really, it hasn’t been for some time, but even less so now).
At the same time, while there are undeniable benefits of search engine optimization, there ARE some downsides too, and anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t setting the right expectation.The downsides are that SEO can be time consuming. Not just in the amount of time and effort to get your keywords to rank, though. It can take months and months to make significant improvement, depending on how competitive your market is.SEO can be hard because you don’t control all of the variables. The reality is that why Google or any other search engine ranks one site over another is not 100% known. As you can imagine, if we knew exactly how they are ranking sites, people would be manipulating the results like crazy, and the search engines would lose credibility.Also, SEO is not one-time affair. It’s an ongoing process that requires dedicated effort over time. SEO is a competitive, constantly-changing environment where you can’t afford to rest on your heels.Lastly and most importantly, there are no guarantees that each and every one of your efforts will pay off. Some SEO consultants claim that SEO is a sure thing, but I wouldn’t trust anyone who said this – except maybe Larry Page - who is the co-founder of Google in case you didn’t know – and even then, I would not trust him making that statement either!
I’ve mentioned Google’s most recent algorithm changes, aka, Hummingbird, along with other terms and concepts that are a bit in-depth for a primer like this. If you are wanting to strengthen your SEO understanding and skills, you can right now with our SEO Made Easy Training Guide, And you can stay on top of your game with our monthly membership - MySEOToolset.net Members Area is the latest training portal to help you build your SEO Mastery – Join our community today!
Seo Training Primer
A primer on SEO
- An introduction to SEO for those who
are not certain what the term stands
for, and whether or not it can be of
benefit to their website
What is SEO?
Search en-gine opt-i-mi-za-tion (noun phrase)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process
of improving the visibility of a website or a web
page in search engines via the unpaid (“natural”
or “organic”) search results.
SEO is inbound marketing
Getting your products and services in front of prospective
customers at the moment they are actively looking
SEO doesn’t interrupt
• With SEO you are earning and building trust
SEO is free marketing!
SEO doesn’t work
SEO is black magic
SEO is rocket science
SEO is illegal
SEO happens automatically – if we build it, they will come
Field of Dreams approach
SEO is a legitimate marketing strategy
practiced by almost all of the world’s most
There are over two billion people online
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine
The majority of web traffic is driven by search engines like
Google, Bing, Yahoo and Startpage
Didn’t know about that one? Startpage.com – protect your online
(Search Engine Journal)
77% of search engine users choose organic over paid listings1
67% choose organic search engine results when purchasing2
Organic click-through generates 25% higher conversion rates
(1,2,3 Search Metrics)
High rankings in the search engines
are VERY valuable!