Behind the Clicks Episode 2 Blog Image

The Actual Value Of SEO (+ Why You Don’t Have It Just Because You Have A Website!)

Let’s explore how search engines work and uncover the actual value of SEO, including why simply owning a website isn’t enough to ensure it’s optimized for search engine results.

The ROI of investing in an SEO strategy is incredible for your business. Think of it this way: When was the last time you went to page 30 on Google to get the answer you were looking for? Probably never. By showing up first in Google search results, you are building your brand’s visibility and credibility. 

Tune in as we unravel the benefits and fundamentals of a great SEO marketing plan and empower you to navigate the SEO world with confidence!

What You Can Expect

  • What is SEO?
  • Recent Google updates and how it is impacting your website.
  • Learn how SEO cost-effectively drives visibility, credibility, and drives organic traffic from the right eyeballs
  • Reveals why simply having a website isn’t enough for SEO and discusses the necessity of SEO strategy to stand out in a saturated online space
  • How to implement fundamental strategies and techniques to improve your website’s search engine rankings
  • Explores practical strategies to dispel SEO challenges and offers insights on how to effectively address them

SEO is one of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal, especially as an entrepreneur.

~ Samantha Hawrylack

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Click here for the transcript

 Let’s kick things off by defining what search engine optimization, abbreviated as SEO, really is and why it matters. At its core SEO is a pillar of digital marketing that involves optimizing your website and everything on it. By that, I mean, your content, your images, your backend, et cetera. The purpose is for your company to rank higher in search engines like Bing or Google.

But it’s not just about ranking or saying that you’re ranking for a particular keyword. It’s about the visibility, credibility, and ultimately, The driving of the right eyeballs to your website. And by eyeballs, I mean organic traffic. SEO involves so many different techniques and strategies that are all aimed at improving your website’s visibility on search engine results pages or the SERPs.

By appearing higher in search results, your business can attract more organic traffic, which leads to increased opportunities for engagement and engagement. and conversions or sales. Over the last several years, Google has pushed out so many updates to their algorithm that make it really, really difficult for people who have an SEO strategy to keep up.

And it causes a lot of frustration because it involves a lot of changes and different things that you have to incorporate into your everyday strategy. But at the end of the day, as frustrated as people who follow, you know, the SEO world and have that as a strategy are with these updates. Google is just trying to provide the most relevant and useful results for users.

So understanding these algorithm changes and adapting your SEO strategies accordingly is crucial for maintaining and improving your search rankings over time. That way it’s not such a swing from being a highly ranked for a search term. to kind of swinging to maybe you’re on page like 30 for a search term.

I always like to tell people that SEO is so much better than social media and any paid ads you could ever do. Paid ads, they provide immediate visibility, which is great in some circumstances, but organic traffic generated through SEO offers long term, sustainable traffic, and it’s more cost effective.

Paid ads are very pay to play. You need to keep paying for those clicks every single time that your ads are live and active, and you need to constantly be tweaking them, you know, every couple days until you really find a strategy that works. Whereas if you have an SEO strategy that is proven, You can invest in getting one article published and that article performed for you for years down the road.

It can provide results forever. Additionally, it’s a known statistic that users tend to trust organic search results more than if they see that something is ranking at the top of a page because it’s a paid advertisement. And having these organic search rankings can lead to higher click through rates and conversions.

There’s one misconception that I want to clear up real quick. SEO is one of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal, especially as an entrepreneur. But you don’t have optimized SEO just because you have a website, just because you’ve invested in a copywriter. Not all copywriters are SEO experts.

What do I mean? Having a website doesn’t guarantee you’re going to automatically rank high in search results or that anyone will be able to see you. There’s a lot more to it than just building a website, having great web design, and hoping for the best.

And there are a few reasons for that that I want to touch on one of them is the saturation of the online space and simply having a website isn’t enough to stand out with the saturation.

When you don’t have a realistic SEO strategy for your authority, your website is definitely going to get lost in the sea of content, and it’s going to make it really difficult for potential customers to find you. And when I say your website authority, I actually am referring to a metric known as DA or domain authority and DR or domain rating.

These two metrics represent how reliable and aged your domain is in the eyes of Google, as well as how many other websites link out to you as a reputable source. The higher your DA or DAR is, the easier it is to rank. your website for different terms that may be more difficult to rank for.

And when I say this, I mean let’s say that you’re trying to go after a keyword that Walmart, Target, some of these big dogs are going after, and you are a new business owner within your first couple of years, chances are that it’s very unlikely for you to rank on page one for those terms.

So when you’re considering your SEO strategy, You need to be doing proper keyword research and not just picking things because other websites are going after those terms. We need to find a similar term that you can target but that is more realistic and easier for your domain to rank for. And to go along with all of that, you need to take your website content and take a step above the competition.

Your goal should always be for everything on your website to be better than anyone else’s more helpful more data driven and Answer every question that a user could have that’s one way to rise above the competition But you also need to think about your SEO strategy in terms of what are your business goals?

And who is your target audience? You need to be considering what the purpose of your website is. Are you trying to sell services? products? Are you trying to get consultation calls right away? Are you trying to build your email list? And then how should you talk to the people who are finding your website?

Those two things are so important because they are the whole reason for even having an SEO strategy in the first place. And these things can be anything from how to create really great content for your website, or it can be something technical like your site’s It’s structure and the performance metrics and the user intent.

So by this point, you’re probably wondering what it takes to truly take advantage of the power of SEO. And I will tell you, it’s not as daunting as it seems and not as technical. Once you get the hang of it, there’s just some fun fundamental principles and strategies that can significantly improve your success and search engine rankings.

And the first one is keyword research and targeting. Like I said before, conducting thorough and realistic keyword research allows you to identify relevant search terms and phrases that your target audience is using. And the key here again is realistic because we want everything that you’re doing to be a good ROI and actually worth the time and money.

money and energy. So by strategically incorporating these keywords into your website’s content and metadata, you can improve your chances of ranking for the search terms that your ideal client is searching for. And the second one is on page optimization. And this sounds really fancy, but at the core, it just means that you’re optimizing each blog post or webpage that you’re doing.

to improve the chances of it be becoming visible. And this could be anything from optimizing your meta titles and meta descriptions, your headers, your URL structures, internal linking. And the goal is to do all of this to enhance the crawlability and relevance for google. Another one is to realize the importance of quality content marketing.

I know there’s a lot of people out there who say just pump out more and more and more content. I go with the stance of there’s no point in pumping out a lot of content unless it’s quality. So you’re better off pushing out once a week, every other week. if the content is going to be higher quality because that’s going to get more of an ROI for you.

And it’s actually a really key ranking factor that Google has pushed out with a lot of their updates in the past couple of years, that they are really looking for things that are very valuable for the reader. It’s informative, it covers every topic, and it adds that personal experience layer. And that’s one of the most important things.

And when you put out quality content marketing. it’s going to attract more organic traffic for you. It’s going to earn you backlinks and establish your brand as an authority in your industry. Another strategy is using off page SEO factors like backlinking and social media. By off page, I mean things like building backlinks from authoritative websites and social media mentions.

These all play a crucial role in determining your website’s credibility and authority in the eyes of search engines. I’m going to talk about this in another episode, so don’t worry if you don’t know what a backlink profile is right now, but building a strong one and fostering a positive online reputation, even not on your own website, out in the online space, all of that can significantly impact your search rankings.

as well as what’s on the actual page itself. And another strategy that many people forget that I like to highlight is you need to start tracking the right metrics. Many people will log into their Google Analytics and Google Search Console and not understand what they’re looking at and I will admit as someone who is in there daily, there’s a lot of stuff that you probably don’t need to be worried about.

So I like to pick out the main details of the most important things to track. like your impressions and what pages are bringing you the most traffic and also your clicks. Another one that I like is what device your readers are coming from and where your website traffic is coming from as well. Whether there’s a percentage of organic traffic versus direct traffic versus social media traffic.

So those are all important things I recommend doing on a monthly basis. I’m going to put out another podcast episode all about what the right metrics to track are. But regardless, you need to be doing all of these different strategies consistently, and also keeping in mind that you need to adapt over time.

These Google updates and new findings that are coming out in the industry are really requiring business owners to be very adaptable and be committed to updating their content over time. Now that’s not to say you should be updating your content weekly, daily, even monthly.

I recommend doing so quarterly if you can and then setting it up in your project management tool as a recurring thing that you and your team make sure that each page is up to date with the latest SEO practices and content.

standards. Of course, that in of itself is a ton to manage as a business owner, not to mention all the other pillars of your business that you have to manage as well.

So along with all of the algorithm updates, I also see business owners struggle with the idea that they need to be seeing traction and they’re willing to put in the work, but it may not necessarily be the right way.

So it’s really important. to balance your short term expectations with the idea that SEO is a long term strategy.

There’s this terminology in the SEO space called white hat and black hat techniques. White hat refers to ways to improve your SEO that are seen as good in the eyes of Google and black hat techniques are seen as not good in the eyes of Google and can result in penalties on your website domain and damage to your website’s reputation and cause Google to basically never want to rank your site.

It’s really important that you do all of these things the right way and not just the things that are going to get you the quickest website traffic because at the end of the day it’s probably not going to be long term because Google is smart and it’s getting smarter every day and they will catch you.

Some of these black hat techniques can include things like doing a guest post on websites that are essentially link farms to build your backlink profile. Those websites are so spammy that you may initially get a little bump in traffic, but it’s not going to last long. Basically, the moral of that story is you want to have a white hat SEO strategy that’s going to get you results over the long term and prioritize being patient with those strategies.

Another thing that I see is that business owners kind of freeze up when technical issues happen on the back end of their website.

They get an email from Google search console that there was something detected and instead of going in to fix it because they don’t know how, they kind of just archive the email, wipe their hands of it, and forget about it because the idea of going into the back end of their website is way too scary.

And I’ve been there. I’m fortunate because John is a software engineer by trade, so that’s just me having luck, but he’s so busy with his day job that I’ve needed to dive into these technical issues myself, so I understand that they can be very overwhelming and scary, but they are so important to, if you don’t feel comfortable addressing them or don’t have time to learn about them yourself, to hire somebody who can, because things like slow page load times, broken links, not having a website’s search rankings.

So we like to recommend that our clients conduct regular site audits. To address all of these technical issues and to do so promptly on the regular schedule so you can help Improve the overall health of your site. So to recap just because you have a website doesn’t mean that you have SEO And unless you have invested time or resources into developing an SEO strategy on your main website pages or on your blog or podcast show notes, then chances are it isn’t optimized to its fullest potential.

However, the investment a hundred percent worth it because the ROI can be truly transformative for your business. The benefits are just incredible and I’ve seen them every day in my own business in terms of leads and visibility for my agency. So you want to really keep in mind the increased organic traffic and visibility that it can drive for you.

And the more organic traffic that you drive to your website through content and other means leads to increased opportunities for engagement, conversions, revenue, all of those great things. You’re also going to enhance your brand credibility and authority because websites that rank higher in search engines are often perceived as more trustworthy and more credible by searchers.

Let me ask you this. When was the last time that you moved to page 30 after a Google search to find your answer rather than looking within the top 10? By appearing at the top of relevant searches, you’re going to enhance your brand’s authority And reputation in your industry, you’re going to have more eyes and it’s automatically going to create this level of trust in whoever finds themselves on your website.

It’s also important to keep in mind that an SEO strategy is based around long term sustainability and growth potential. Unlike paid ads and social media, which stop generating traffic once you stop paying or after 24 hours or whatever the time period may be. The benefits of SEO have a lasting impact and can be in effect for as long as your website is live.

By consistently optimizing your website and content for search engines, you’re going to maintain and even improve your search rankings over time, rather than having to pay to play or continuously create more and more social media posts.

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Having a website doesn’t guarantee you’ll automatically rank high in search results… There’s a lot more to it than just building a site and hoping for the best.

~ Samantha Hawrylack

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