Search Engines and Their Impact on Your Income - SEO Rundown Vol. 1
Meet The Librarians of The Web
There are many unusual jobs out there. For example, some companies hire beach testers. In short, their daily work consists of lying on a beach and presenting afterwards a report on how the experience was pleasant and satisfying. And what do you think about the island caretaker job? The duties include soaking up the sun, swimming with turtles, walking down sandy beaches and publishing excited articles on a blog about the unbelievably enjoyable life.
By the way, have you ever heard about a job offer, where a company asks a person to categorize every single piece of information on the Internet? The goal is to make it searchable, so anything could be found easily. Sounds like a lot of work to do, right? Luckily, this position is never going to be offered to anyone because we already have search engines now.
The processes behind search engines
The comparison of search engines with the librarians was not accidental. When you come to the library and say “I need “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain”, they will never start running around the bookshelves frantically, trying to find the name of the book among billions of other novels. Instead, they’ll look it up in the catalog and bring you the very book you wanted. You never have to worry about them doing something random, like bringing you “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe, right? That’s because their duties also include categorizing and sorting all the books and adding them to the catalog.
This is a complicated and hard work, by the way, so always be respectful to the librarians.
Much like the library workers, search engines have to systematize the Internet information and present it to you.
They do it in the following way.
Gathering data. Search engines compile the list of websites eligible to being featured in TOP of search results through the automated, data-gathering process called crawling. Each search engine has special bots or crawlers, which process tremendous volumes of data over and over again.
Indexing. Getting data is not everything. It must be sorted, organized and categorized in order for search engines and users to make any sense of it. Search engines place all necessary criteria for assessing and ranking the website in an algorithm or formula. The order in which websites are listed in search results heavily depends on the priorities that were included in the algorithm.How can one formula assess so many web sources properly? The Google algorithm is known to process over 200 variables in order to define the relevance of a website to a search query. What kind of variables does algorithm use? Due to the high competition between search engines, this information is classified. It is up to the analysts of SEO to provide the website owners with the most accurate estimate.
How do I profit from it?
Look around: we’re living in the era of online business. Everything can be found on the Internet. If T-800 had traveled to kill Sarah Connor nowadays, he would’ve only had to look her up on Facebook or find her latest online purchase history.
That would’ve been a really short movie, right?
The point is, the online era is on the roll. For instance, if there is an island caretaker vacancy somewhere, you are more likely to find it on a neat website, full of pretty photos of turtles, landscapes and sea. It will feature all necessary information and enable you to contact the employers or apply for a job online. Same thing with the beach testing or any other services.
Moving your business to a new online level, allows you to cover a wider range of customers in a lesser amount of time, process more orders and reach the target audience that resides outside your geographical area. While it would take you more than ten years to make your IRL shop expand beyond your hometown, selling your products online can help you get orders from every part of your country within a year!
What makes it possible? Online business or not, the clients remain the main source of your income. But how do you get customers and sales, when you’re going digital?With the help of good, old Web librarians, of course. When the modern user wants to find something they need or something they want to acquire, they use search engines. In turn, search engines lead them to web sources that meet their needs. The number of visitors that come to a website from search engines is called organic search traffic.
The organic traffic is the bread and butter of every online business, e-commerce project or website. Unlike social traffic (number of visitors who come from social media) or direct traffic (visitors who come to the website directly, after entering its URL in the search bar), organic search traffic comprises 70% of visits. What also makes it different from other traffic types, is that organic search traffic is more motivated as it consists of users with a specific goal to buy/find a product or a service. That’s why online marketing experts base their business-building analysis of the organic search traffic data.
In other words, to profit from search engines, you need to get as much organic search traffic as possible.
Luckily, it’s not as hard as it seems. Many modern consumers no longer watch TV or read magazines. The Internet has their undivided attention, so, this is where project owners, entrepreneurs, stores and companies should look for their target audience.
The success of their mission boils down to how well they communicate with search engines.
The numerous tricks of search engines
What is the best place to hide a dead body? The 2nd page of Google search results.
This old morbid joke known to many Internet marketing experts describes the gap between websites on the 1st page of search results and websites on the 2nd page of search results pretty accurately.
When you look something on the Internet, you enter the query in Google and find out that the first several websites in the search results are everything you need. You rarely click “Next” after this, right?
This is exactly why all websites want to be on the first page of search results. This is where all prospective customers and buyers are.
Each time you perform a search you see Google ranking in action. The websites on the first page don’t appear here randomly: they are the result of Google filtering billions of web sources and selecting the ones with the most fitting requirements, highest conversion and traffic. The position in the first page means quality and that Google considers this website trustworthy. Therefore, more users are going to select and stay on this website, instead of checking out the other pages.
Your ticket to the TOP
If you have been around for quite a while on the Internet, you’ve probably heard some people stating that SEO is no longer drives traffic as efficiently as social media do. And you probably can guess, why these statements are wrong.
Social media are another asset in your online promotion toolkit.
That’s right. They’re neither the counterpart of SEO, nor its alternative. Just think about it: why did Facebook, Twitter and Instagram become so successful? Just because they are the trailblazers? Because they’re currently supported by billions of users?
Being a trend-starter has its own advantages, but it doesn’t help in the long run. Competitors are going to show up sooner or later and if you don’t take measures to secure your position, you’re toast. Progress is a never-ending effort of numerous certified experts, and this is what Twitter and Facebook relied upon to promote their brand and get it to where it is right now. Numerous e-mail campaigns, synchronization with other online platforms to spread the online presence and influence – all this is the result of a calculated Internet marketing and search engine optimization.
Fun fact: Since focusing more effort on SEO in November 2014, Twitter has increased its number visitors from 7.5 million to 75 million visitors per month.
Therefore, the answer to the question “Can I ignore search engines in favor of social media?” is a definite “NO”.
Users come to social media when they want to communicate and share their experiences. They come to search engines, when they need to find a certain service, product or team of professionals. This is a universal truth for all niches and areas and the reason why being relevant to search engines is more crucial than exploiting your social media presence.
Whether you operate in commerce, offer beach-testing services or run any other kind of business, have no doubt that someone might be looking for you on the Internet right now. And it is our task to help them find you.
What does being relevant mean?
When using a search engine, the user looks for a certain information and uses a string of keywords (queries) to fish it out of the vast web space. These queries come in three following types.
● Navigation queries
When a user enters a name of the website, a name of the company or agency, they are making a navigation query, i.e. looking up a certain provider of services to visit their website, learn more about them, their whereabouts, etc.
● Transaction queries
“How to buy a…”, “download a…” and other queries that clearly express the intent of the user to purchase an item, use a service or to do any other certain action, belong to transaction queries.
● Information Queries
Users, who enter broad terms or country names, which in turn bring them tons of relevant data, make an information query. It means, that the user doesn’t have a particular goal or intention in mind yet, and they are merely doing their web research.
When a user tries to find something on the Internet, it falls upon search engines to offer them the most valid and fresh results FAST. They apply these strict standards to numerous web sources. Only those that feature the most informative and comprehensive content end up in the first page of search results.
But how is a website owner supposed to make sense of Google requirements, when they change all the time and nobody knows about the algorithm values? Let’s skip delving into deep SEO theory (you have SEO agencies for this), and introduce you to the variables that are ALWAYS taken into account.
The presence of guidelines for search bots
- Snippets - a bit of text info that will serve as a description in the search results page.
- Microformat - the type of markup that provides bots with structured data on the website and its content.
- Robot.txt. file - a text file for bots that instructs them on web page indexing.
- Unique, interesting and useful content.
- Functional internal and external links.
- Relevant keywords.
- High-quality site design.
These are the basic requirements essential for starting off your friendship with Google and search engines on the right foot. By meeting them, you are a step closer to a better website, which can be easily found and processed by search engines. You can do it either on your own, or hire an SEO expert to help you.
What does the SEO expert do exactly?
SEO professionals work to help you sell your brand on the Internet.
The quality of SEO expert’s work directly affects your traffic. It’s their job to bring good organic traffic to your website, which is then converted into increased sales and expanded customer data base, maximizing your income. If your search traffic is not increasing or your sales remain on the same level or even go lower, this is a good sign that the SEO team you hired is not doing their job.
Basically, a good SEO expert is a person who:
- constantly keeps track of changes in search engine algorithms.
- creates various tactics that are viable to make any site to get top positions in Google.
We can say that on the one hand their work is continuous experimenting and getting new knowledge, while on the other hand it is making minor and seemingly unnecessary changes to the website so it gets more organic traffic, better conversion rates, etc. These are the professionals that make sure that once a user makes a query, the online librarian that is the search engine, will bring them your website, instead of stuffing it to the shelf with Irrelevant Sources Nobody Cares About.
This work requires an impressive skillset (from analytical skills to coding) and is a long-term investment, both from your side and from the side of the SEO agency employed to assist you.
However, if you want your site to take leading positions in Google and as a result, and your business to thrive, search engine optimization and the people with the expertise in it are the powerful allies that you need! Get their support, win the recognition of search engines and you will soon see that the results are worth the efforts.
While conducting business online is rightfully considered one of the most promising ways for all start-up entrepreneurs to implement their ideas without being afraid of competitors, this is also a viable option for the entrepreneurs, who have been in business for quite a while. It’s never too late to go online and modernize your business.
While the abundance of the websites on the Internet may make you think that you’ll never be able to beat the competition, the things are not what they seem. This market is not fully occupied, on the contrary, it continues to grow and gives excellent opportunities for the prospective development of business. In addition, be sure that not all online businesses are working effectively and could be considered competitive. The chances are that no matter what kind of business you are going to start, there are lots of customers willing to use or buy services/products you are going to offer.
The only thing you need is to provide a decent service, guarantee high quality, and understand the way search engines tick to know, how to adjust your business to a new way of increasing sales and getting more profit. If you play your cards right, you will be making the most out the potential of the Internet and getting swamped with new orders and clients.
Remember that SEO is the most powerful trick up your sleeve.
In this article, we cleared the principles of search engine performance and how it can impact your business. Now you know what makes them tick, and why are they will always be more relevant than social media and bright advertisement. As you can see, many users rely on search engines, because search engines earned their trust due to their organized work. And search engines rely on a systemized approach based on crawling and indexing, so organizing the performance of your website and cleaning the structure of your web source will result in a faster processing and higher positions in Google or any search engines. All of this can be done with the help of good SEO and your own persistence.