The Birth of SEO: A History

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process used to get your website noticed online.  With an estimated near billion sites, to say you have competition is an understatement. Not only is your competition the people that sell similar products and services, you also have to compete against anyone with an ecommerce-enabled website.  Thanks to the internet and the value of online shipping, you can do business anywhere, anytime.

Naturally, as websites became more creative and useful, the need distinguish your site and draw in web traffic became a make-or-break issue.  Looking for products online was vastly different from looking for products in brick and mortar stores.  Simply going to the industry heading in the phone book and picking out an ad was not an option; and telling people where your URL was online excluded the vast untapped market of potential customers.

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Remember Jeeves?

Thus, SEO was born.  Search engines waxed and waned in popularity before Google outstripped them all to become the world’s most popular one. Optimization agencies knew that pleasing the Google bots meant web traffic, and they set about pleasing those bots on behalf of their clients.  The agencies kept pace with Google’s ever-changing algorithms and requirements, ensuring a high ROI for every site they improved.

SEO Has a Heyday

For years SEO was the go-to solution for concerned web owners all over the world.  Sales low? Optimize the site.  Web traffic lagging? Launch an SEO campaign.  Clients need information? Create and optimize a blog.  SEO was the buzzword, the tool and the must-have go-to item no matter what you were selling.

Then a strange thing started to happen.  More and more website were going online and more and more people were optimizing….but the effectiveness of SEO started to drop. What was going on?

The SEO Problem

Being on the Front Page of Google isn’t Enough

At first it was fine to just add a bunch of words to your site that would attract attention, but as websites and optimization became more refined, this “quick” method was no longer acceptable.  Google began focusing on good content, rewarding sites that provided factual, thought-out, researched content with higher rankings.  It was still possible to get your site on the first page of Google results with nothing more than keywords, but without that engaging content, titles, and meta descriptions, the click-through rate (CTR) plummeted.

CTR is the number of times your link receives a click divided by the total number of impressions (an impression is when your link appears on search results). An improved CTR is an essential key indicator that your website is preforming well and your site is receiving an increase of relevant traffic.

How Do I Increase My CTR?

There are two ways to increase CTR.  The first is to carefully review the meta descriptions, titles, and content for each page of your site. Make sure your descriptions and titles accurately represent page content, and that they are compelling to your audience. Without interesting and engaging titles and meta descriptions, being on the first page of Google’s results won’t help you because your competitors will steal away clicks. Check your page content for optimization, spelling, punctuation, relevancy and facts.  Adjust accordingly.

The second way is to call in the professionals. SEO agencies keep pace with the changing requirements and with what makes SEO effective.  For very affordable rates, you can have your site and your digital marketing campaign refreshed to ensure compliance with Google and other popular search engines.  Just like you would call an accountant for your taxes or a mechanic for your car, your website and your digital marketing are valuable tools that thrive in the hands of experts.

Does SEO Have Value?

Yes, SEO still has value.  The only difference between few years ago and now is that the value of SEO is bundled with other strategies that work together for the best user experience. Don’t let what happened to the *dinosaurs, Eaton’s and Kodak happen to you. Move and change with the times by engaging in the best SEO practices.  Your customers, and your sales numbers, will thank you.

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*Okay, so the dinosaurs were blameless. Things happen.  However, you greatly increase your chances of survival in the digital world by not standing still and waiting for the next wave of technology to negate your Internet existence.