Digital Marketing for Skeptics

Lesson #3

How well does SEO work?

Welcome to Lesson #3.  Not feeling excited about getting traction from social media?  Maybe organic searches to find your website will be the right fit for your business.

One Thing to do Right Now – Take 5 Minutes

FIND OUT if you have Google Analytics set up for your website.  CONTACT your website developer if you have one.  Or DO AN ONLINE SEARCH for “how to check if you have Google Analytics” and you’ll see many options for how to do this.  BONUS POINTS if you already have Google Analytics and you track it!  If that’s the case, spend this five minute period looking over your recent analytics.  


You can listen to Lesson 3 by clicking the play button to the left of the audio player here, or read the content below.


Things to think about from Lesson #3:

  • How old is your website?
  • Do you use Google Analytics or have someone keep track of this information for you? 
  • Have you tried finding your business through a Google search?  Where do you show up? 
  • If you sell locally, do you take advantage of Google My Business?

Digital Marketing for Skeptics

Lesson 3 – How well does SEO work?

Hi there, and welcome to “How well does digital marketing work? Focus on SEO.”  This is the third lesson in the series, so hopefully you have already listened to Lesson #1 Why Do We Need Digital Marketing? And Lesson #2 – How well does social media marketing work?

As always, I am Kelly Berry, your resident skeptic.

In this lesson we’re going to talk about SEO, or search engine optimization.  How can you make it easier for people to find your website online?

In the last lesson, we established that only about one percent of people who see your ads on social media will click through to see your website

Surely there are better ways to get people to find your website than that?

Maybe they can just find your website without the social media ads?

Search Engine Optimization 

Let’s take a look at organic searches that bring people to your website through the use of keywords and your content.

Let’s start with Google, as it dominates the search engine market with well over 90 percent of all searches.

Before I share some data, I want you to think about your own experiences with Google.  How well does Google answer your questions?  How often do you end up clicking on a link to learn more, and how often does Google give you the answer itself?

Google is working hard to make it super easy for people to find their answers without having to actually leave Google.  These are considered “Zero click searches”. They currently make up about two-thirds of all Google searches

Meanwhile, organic searches send people to your website (or your competitors) the remaining one-third of the time.  This data includes both desktop and mobile searches.

If we just look at desktop searches, the numbers look a lot better – with about half of organic searches sending people to your website.

But bear in mind that mobile searches are continuing to grow, even for B2B.

For mobile searches, about three-quarters of all searches never leave Google

Of the remainder of searches, just over 20 percent are organic, and less than one percent of searches going to paid ads on Google.

We’ll tackle that number in the next lesson.

How do customers find you?

Here is my first question for you – If the majority of people are finding what they need without ever leaving the first page of Google, what does that mean for your business?

Let’s think about what kinds of searches your customers might try in Google to find the information they need to make a purchase decision.  Have you tried typing in some search words yourself to see what pops up?  Are you on the first page of Google for any searches?  Where do you show up – page 2? Or 3? Or 10?

And how many pages do you typically scroll through on Google to get the information you are looking for?  Do you look at more than just the first page?

Now take a look at your website.  How much content do you have?  How often does it get changed?  Do you create your website content with your customer in mind?  With SEO logic in mind?

There are certainly ways to play the SEO game and increase your rankings.  And certainly it helps to have Google Analytics set up to get a sense for how much activity your website sees.  The most helpful statistic is where people came from to get to your website.  Did they come from Linked In?  Or did they input your web address directly?

Playing the Online Game

From there it comes down to the ‘game playing’.  How old is the content?  Do all the links work?  Do you have videos or photos?  Are your images optimized and tagged properly? How many times has your information been shared?  How many backlinks do you have?  Are they from ‘high-authority’ websites?  Are you using the right words in your meta descriptions?

In my opinion, you could spend hours trying to learn all this lingo and then updating your website – or you could hire a specialist to help – but that won’t change the fact that you are a small business and it’s hard to stand out against the big players.

Some good news – if you really only sell locally – like let’s say you are a grocery store or a local restaurant – then you can take advantage of Google My Business and other location-based searches to make it easier to get found.  But if you sell outside of your geographic region, this won’t really help your customers find you.  In that case we have to go back to the game-playing.

So maybe a little well placed keyword marketing will help?  Let’s take a look at that in our next lesson.