Plenty of bloggers don’t realise how beneficial SEO can really be – if you’re after increased traffic, a constantly growing audience and improved conversions, it’s time to optimise your blog. A well-functioning, user-friendly and easily understandable blog will achieve far greater results than a messy, confusing blog that relies solely on great content will ever be able to.
To show you how competitive search engines really are, check out the search results below. These results are slightly condensed, to save repetition.
Search results don’t lie.
First up, just below the search bar, you’ll see the total results for that phrase. There are 2,770,000 results for this phrase alone. Remove only a few words from the search you’ll see 82 MILLION+ results for the phrase ‘Make Money Blogging’. That means there are MILLIONS of sites wanting to be seen first and to be the one who gets users clicking through to their content. Competitive right?
Most searches will show two or three advertisements, just below the search bar and marked with a small [Ad] icon. These places cost real money and the price skyrockets with highly competitive phrases. Ads for less competitive phrases still cost a pretty penny to see the desired results, and there are a number of aspects involved to get the best value for money.
Next is a Featured Answer, separated by a thin, grey container from all other results. Sites shown here generally rank well already and concisely answer the question within their content. Not pictured, this search also has a second widget for ‘People Also Ask’. Other types of widgets include Places and Shopping and appear in searches when relevant.
Every search is different and may have four ads or no ads at all, a Featured Answer, Places listings, or a combination of any of Google’s added features. These are designed to quickly deliver answers to users, in order to improve user experience. And that’s all BEFORE the first organic result.
Focus on your organic rankings.
While the first organic result may seem like quite a way down the page, you need to remember Google’s first motivation is to deliver quick, relevant results to the searcher. The faster they can answer their question, the happier they’ll be.
This is why SEO is pivotal in your blog’s success. Being as close to the search bar as possible means you have a greater chance of being seen by your audience and having them view your content. The more keywords you rank well for, the more your potential audience will grow.
Beat your competitors.
The vast majority of bloggers currently don’t practice good SEO, if any at all. Your site probably has lots of unnecessary information that Google doesn’t want to see – redirects, duplicate pages, oversaturated keywords, broken links, MASSIVE images… These kinds of errors can lead to your site being perceived as less valuable and being positioned below those who’ve taken the time to tidy up and correctly configure their site.
Why? First of all, they don’t improve the user experience. Secondly, they don’t make sense to search robots – remember, they speak a foreign language and are looking for specific markers to understand our – you don’t want to be overloading them with useless extras.
While there are MANY things that can be done to improve the health of your site, starting from the ground up is the best approach. And we don’t mean rebuild your site! LEARN, LEARN, LEARN. Constantly build on what you know, no matter how much or little that may be.
Ready to get started? Take a look at our introductory courses.