What is SEO?

You’ve likely heard about it in passing, but probably haven’t been too motivated to learn much about SEO until now. But now that we have your undivided attention, let us give you a short explanation about search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process applied to websites that allow them to be more easily found by search engines (ie. Google, Bing, etc).

Making websites search-engine friendly is important because it means that not only will search engines readily find and index your site, but people (who are already looking for businesses like yours) will too!

Learn more about search engine optimization below, and browse our list of SEO services to discover the process Bluetrain takes to improve the searchability of your site.

1. What is SEO?

Who doesn’t do even a little research before making a purchase these days? Even if you’re only looking for ideas for dinner you might Google ‘chinese restaurants YOURCITY’ to get a list of places to consider. Having your website appear on the first page of search engine results has never been more important.

Cue SEO!

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the practice of adjusting website content and website architecture to be more search-engine-friendly. Having a search-friendly site is crucial so that when potential customers search for products or services related to your business, your website appears on the first page of search results.

So… SEO + Your Website = Online Visibility = Customers = Profit! That’s our kind of math.

We always say, “Building a website is like planning the party, SEO is making sure the invites are sent!”

2. What is an Organic or Natural Listing?

Organic or natural listings are the results a search engine displays on the main screen after entering a keyword phrase and clicking search. They are all of the listings on the page that do not include sponsored advertising. Most commonly, sponsored or paid search ads would be displayed on the right side of a screen. Additionally, a few ads are highlighted directly above the natural listings. An interesting fact is that the vast majority of all clicks on search engine results are organic / natural listings. However, paid advertising can be a powerful tool when used in conjunction with an already optimized website. Learn more about paid search advertising and other online advertising methods.

3. What is keyword research?

Keyword research involves discovering words and phrases people type into search engines to find topics related to website content. More advanced keyword research also looks beyond the popularity of specific words and phrases by analyzing how competitive they are in regards to other websites ranking for the same term. The objective of keyword research is to optimize a website’s content and identify relevant keywords for pay-per-click advertising, maximizing the ROI related to the available search engine traffic.

4. What are Key Metrics?

Key metrics are measurable data points that can be effectively tracked using web analytics programs (ie. Google Analytics). These key metrics are used to evaluate whether a web site is performing well and meeting business objectives. Examples of possible key metrics are # of visitors, return visits, % of new visitors, time on site, bounce rate, conversion rate, total online events, PPC click through rate, PPC advertising ROI, etc. There are numerous key metrics that can be used to measure a web site’s performance; the important thing is to match key metrics to the overall business objectives.

5. Is an ‘Ongoing SEO Program’ really necessary? Can’t we just optimize the site once?

Would brands such as Coca Cola or Nike have been able to achieve global ubiquity if they had only advertised once? Probably not. SEO is no different. In order to generate results and capitalize on a business’ online brand, companies must be willing to commit resources to online marketing initiatives longterm. This may involve allocating company resources to ongoing activities that include writing new services/product pages, blogging, landing page development, site redevelopments, and social media marketing, to name a few.

6. I am not fluent in SEO, will I still be able to give valuable input?

Absolutely. We rely on client feedback for all phases of optimization and we won’t make changes to your site without carefully reviewing recommendations with you first. Bluetrain will also take the time to explain to you the ‘why’ behind all of our recommendations so, you can expand your understanding of SEO, and also feel confident that the changes will have a real impact on your site’s performance.

7. What is a conversion?

A conversion is simply a completed action you would like a visitor to take on your website. A conversion could be an e-commerce sale, a readership subscription, a user registration, a sales lead, or even a job application. The primary goal of most digital marketing programs is to increase the number of conversions that occur on a website.

A converting website is a productive website, which is the only kind of website you want to have! Contact us about our conversion optimization services.

8. What does PPC stand for?

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click advertising, although not SEO-related it is an acronym often heard and sometimes confused with SEO. PPC advertising includes the sponsored listings users see above and beside search results and relevant web page content. Each time a user clicks on a PPC listing the corresponding organization is billed; the cost per click is often calculated based on a bid price and ad relevancy (or click through rate).

PPC advertising is a powerful marketing medium that allows organizations to quickly generate relevant traffic to their website and track extremely detailed ROI results. It is one of the few marketing mediums where you can very quickly connect with a target audience that is actively seeking your company’s products or services.