Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a hot buzz term in User Experience. But what is Search Engine Optimization and why is it important? The quick answer is that building a new website no matter how amazing it is does not guarantee that it’ll effectively drive traffic to the site. When potential customers are searching the web for answers to satisfy a need or answer a question they may be looking for your services. Knowing whom your target audience is and what your prospective customers are searching for is vital to the success of your online business front.
Capitol Tech Solutions recently partnered with PowerSchool to improve their organic search results to drive traffic to their website; in particular their Student Information System (SIS) page. The ensuing User Experience Strategy CTS proposed and executed has been documented in a Case Study.
What Are the Benefits of SEO?
A common question that clients tend to ask our team of User Experience Consultants clients is “What’s the benefit of SEO?” In the example highlighted in the Case Study PowerSchool had a well built website with lots of bells and whistles as well as a design that provided a friendly user experience. Despite this PowerSchool was not getting the desired amount of traffic to their site. After partnering with CTS a thorough Technical SEO Audit was performed. Our team discovered red flags that were hindering the user experience and ability for Google to read the page properly.
The first area of improvement was to change the focus from "who" PowerSchool was to "what" PowerSchool is and the services that they provided for clients. Through this change of focus and the implementation of other SEO best practices PowerSchool was able to improve their organic Search Engine Result Page (SERP) rankings from being deeply buried in the index to obtaining a spot on the 1st page in Google for their targeted keywords.
What is SEO In Marketing?
The basic principle of an SEO focused strategy is centered on taking a focused look at the key words and terms that potential customers are searching for. Then taking this understanding to align those searches to successfully promote the content the searchers will find valuable about your business. In the Case Study example of PowerSchool their potential customers were searching for terms that identified with their services not necessarily the brand itself. However PowerSchool strove to rank for search queries that were brand-concentrated. They succeeded in these efforts but customers in the early stage of the buying process were trying to educate themselves on the product/platform of an SIS not necessarily the brand. CTS’s SEO analysis provided this explanation coupled with the fact that there’s a large opportunity for PowerSchool to rank well against main competitors that were trying to snag prime real estate in the Google Search Results. After a meeting in which the findings were presented PowerSchool was better able to understand how to present their services in a way that catered to their prospective customers’ needs.
PowerSchool quickly weaved its way to the top of the SERP as search engines acknowledged the newly developed content page structure and topic of focus was benefiting searchers. This in turn helped answer the questions and curiosity that arises about how proper SEO implementation can benefit all businesses willing to invest in curating their website towards the right audience.
Why Do Businesses Need Search Engine Optimization?
Answering the questions and needs of a consumer is the primary focus of Search Engine Optimization. As a business you want to make sure that the content presented on your website answers the questions and concerns of the searcher’s intent i.e your ideal customer.
Efficiently optimizing your website makes it easier for potential clients to find you. The Internet is filled with millions of websites which may include a handful that are similar to yours in what they offer as a product or service.
In an article publish by Search Engine Land it’s noted that Google alone now handles at least 2 trillion searches per year. Google’s sophisticated search algorithm process information at a rapid rate to find the most relevant information to provide a user while they search the web. Google sends out bots to comb through all search-relevant webpages to find the content that they believe will best satisfy the searcher intent. The consensus of multiple reports on Click-Through-Rates (CTR) based of SERP rankings show that 47% of all Website Traffic is driven by Organic Search Results (listings that appear on the SERP that are relevant to the search terms entered in the Search Engine). From these Organic Search Results 91.5% have come from the first SERP.
Further analysis on the first page rankings show 88.36% of Search Result Clicks go to the Top-5 Results yet 79.63% of these same clicks go only to the Top-3 SERP listings. A two-position increase in SERP Ranking from #5 to #3 would essentially double the potential a user would click on a business’ listing. Should a Competitive Keyword receive 1000 searches per month; consider the increase of potential business opportunities from about 50 visitors to your website to 100 visitors. Moving up the SERP can be accomplished if proper SEO is implemented into every element of a website. It takes time due to Google’s algorithm constantly updating the SERP with new information; however it’s possible to rank above even your largest competitors if your strategy is effective and aligns with your business goals.
To put these numbers into perspective with the PowerSchool Case Study the search term “Student Information System” (SIS) was targeted while optimizing the designated page. According to Google’s Keyword Planner the term is estimated is used an average of 6600 times a month. Now it’s important to note that the Keyword Planner is meant for Ads but it’s a great resource to utilize when generating an analysis for your keyword strategy. Before beginning the SEO process PowerSchool’s ranking for “SIS” was nowhere to be found within the first ten pages in the search results. CTS presented the changes to PowerSchool their development team implemented the recommendations and now PowerSchool ranks on the first page of the search results. More importantly they now rank above their competitors who were beating them in top 3 results.
Will SEO Work for My Business?
The PowerSchool Case Study shows the effectiveness of a well-executed SEO Strategy as part of their overall User Experience Strategy. After only three months PowerSchool began to outrank even its most popular competitors. It’s important to note that while reaching the first page in the search results is the primary goal that’s not the end of the road if you want to continue to win the race. Google and other search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to better serve their users. The best way to consistently be favored by search engines such as Google Bing Yahoo and others is to consistently create and update the relevant content that satisfies the searcher intent better than your competition.
Additionally your competition could be making investments in their content to improve their online brand. It’s important to note that once you’ve made the climb to the top of the SERP other companies and agencies are devising a plan to grab the top spot being it’s prime real estate to generate leads and conversions.
SEO as with all methods of marketing is an ongoing effort that should always be a part of your strategy. By no means is it a quick fix for immediate results – it’s a steady process that has gradual growth that will yield dividends along the way. As a long-term strategy SEO encompasses everything that’s initiated in a marketing plan. This method of marketing your website is an effective and relatively low-cost way to build your brand’s digital presence display your business to your target audience and delight customers you hope to retain for a lifetime.
You can review the full PowerSchool Case Study HERE.
Find out how a SEO Strategy can help your business contact Capitol Tech Solutions to speak with one of our specialists now.