Search engine optimization is a powerful marketing tool, but the concept remains misunderstood and underutilized, says Rand Fishkin, the CEO and founder of SEOmoz.org, who spoke at the What’s Next: DC conference about why SEO is a viable opportunity for all marketers.
Most search-engine advertising budgets allocate about 15% of the total spend for SEO and as much as 85% on pay-per-click listings, Fishkin says. But 80% of clicks actually occur in organic search results. These are the results that show up below Google’s pay-per-click listings. In other words, advertisers are spending around 85% of their budgets in a place where only 20% of clicks actually happen.
To show up at the top of organic search results, you’ll need a better search ranking — which can be improved by using SEO. But how?
- Imagine SEO as a pyramid: Start with a strong base of accessible, quality content. From there, focus on keyword research and figure out what content performs best. After that, invest in link building and start your social media efforts.
- Consolidate your links to optimize search results. Using link anchors is a great way to sculpt page rankings without cluttering your page.
- Public tweets and Facebook shares do affect search engine rankings, according to Google and Bing. So play up your social media efforts when you can.
- Great content does not always mean great rankings. It’s a popularity contest, according to Fishkin. SEO is based on what content is referenced the most on other sites. So it still helps to invest in a hands-on effort to get your brand out there.
Tell us about your experiences with SEO. How have you used SEO tactics to spread the word about your brand?
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