2015/05 Why is SEO Important?



Why is SEO Important?

We use the internet … a lot. Many of our clients ask us about SEO, and while we are not experts in the field, we have a good grasp on the topic. So, sit back and let us share our knowledge with you (taken from an SEO Workshop)

A little bit about our internet use …

  • 14 hours a month watching online video
  • 50% mobile penetration
  • 60% purchase online
  • 86% do online research on products before purchasing
  • 1 in 5 searches for information is for local information (Very important to know for mobile marketing)
  • 4 billion Google searches a month
  • Google accounts for 65% of search engine traffic

How Search Engines Work

The first ranking position in the search results receives 42.25% of all click-through traffic.
The second position receives 11.94%,
the third 8.47%, the fourth 6.05%,
and all others under 5%

The first ten results receive 89.71% of all click-through traffic
The next 10 results (the second page of results) 4.37%,
the third page – 2.42%, and the fourth – 1.07%.
Page 5 and further receive less than 1% of total search traffic.

Search Engines have four functions –
crawling, building an index, calculating relevancy & rankings and serving results.

One of the most important elements to understanding SEO and search rankings is feeling empathy for (understanding) your audience.
Once you grasp how the average searcher, and more specifically, your target market, searches, you can more effectively reach them.

How We Use Search Engines

  • Experience the need for an answer, solution or piece of information.
  • Formulate that need in a string of words and phrases (query).
  • Execute the query at a search engine.
  • Browse through the results for a match.
  • Click on a result.
  • Scan for a solution, or a link to that solution.
  • If unsatisfied, return to the results and browse for another link or …
  • Perform a new search with refinements to the query.

SEO Limitations

Search Engine Optimization is the process of taking a page built by humans and making it easily consumable for search engine robots.

Problems that Search Engines face:

  • Spidering & Indexing: Online forms, poor link structure, flash and other plug-in content, non HTML formats
  • Content to Query Matching: Search unfriendly copy, internationalisation subtleties and language
  • The “Tree Falls in a Forest” Effect: Search engines have no inherent gauge of quality or notability and no potential way to discover and make visible fantastic pieces of content on the web. Only humans can do this. This is a task that demands Internet Marketing.

Creating Search Engine Friendly Websites

Google recommends the following:

  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as cloaking.
  • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links.
  • Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
  • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
  • Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
  • Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).

Search engines are limited in how they crawl the web and interpret content to retrieve and display.

  • Search Engines are blind.
  • In order to be listed in search machines
  • your content must be in HTML text format.

Keyword Usage & Targeting

Keywords are the building blocks of search. Search engines keep track of these pages in keyword-based indices. Rather than storing 25 billion web pages all in one database, the engines have millions of smaller databases, each centered on a particular keyword term or phrase.

Keyword Domination
Search Engines measure the way keywords are used to determine the relevance of a page to a search query. This, it is important to use your keywords in titles, text and meta data.

Keyword Density Myth
If two documents, D1 and D2,
consist of 1000 terms (l =1000) and repeat a term 20 times (tf = 20),
then a keyword density analyzer will tell you that for both documents Keyword Density (KD) KD = 20/1000 = 0.020 (or 2%) for that term.
Identical values are obtained when tf = 10 and l = 500.
Evidently, a keyword density analyzer cannot establish which document is more relevant.


Ask yourself:
Is the keyword relevant to the content your website offers? Will searchers who find your site through this term find the likely answer to their question?
Search for the term/phrase in the major engines:
Are there search advertisements running along the top and right-hand side of the organic results? Typically, many search ads means a high value keyword

Try this exercise to test your SEO:

  • Buy a sample campaign for the keyword at Google AdWords
  • In Google Adwords Choose exact match and point traffic to the most relevant page on your website. Measure traffic to your site, and track impressions and conversion rate over the course of at least 2-300 clicks
  • Make an educated guess about the value of a single visitor to your site with the given search term or phrase
  • For example, if, in the past 24 hours, your search ad has generated 5,000 impressions, of which 100 visitors have come to your site and 3 have converted for total profit (not revenue!) of $300, then a single visitor for that keyword is worth approx. $3.

Putting it All Together: SEO as a Process

All the Right Steps

Step1 (1 week)

Keyword research
Identify top keywords
Identify related / secondary keywords
Analyze industry trends
Research competitor keywords
Map keywords to relevant pages
Competitive research
Top 10 SER competitors for core terms
Research competitor citation sources
Competitor link report

Step 2 (1 week)

Site-wide optimization and on-page implementation
Page titles
Site and page specific meta description
Keyword usage
<h> tags include keywords
Review of sub headings
Image alt tags and titles Related internal links
Related external links

Step 3 (1 week)

Geo-local optimization via Google Places
Implement review process
Request local citations
Link building
Inbound links baseline
Add to local and industry directories

Step 4 (1 weeks)

Measurement (after 6 weeks)
Analytics baseline – visits / keyword traffic / goals / conversions
Track ranking for core keywords
What’s driving traffic – unique visits per keyword – are the right keywords bringing traffic?
Content Review
Keywords without matching content
Content that’s not performing

Step 5 (2 weeks)

Based on measurement and analysis of 6 week Search Engine Results (SER)
Site-wide re-optimization as needed

Further reading:


Forbes looked at SEO in December of 2014 and made some suggestions as to the trends for that year: