Why you need to invest in search engine optimization (​ZDNet Academy)

Increase your reach through automation.
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor

Google is the most visited site on the internet, with an index of over three billion websites. With so many sites floating around, it can be difficult to gain traffic to your own website, where users can then be turned into customers. That's the basis of search engine optimization (SEO), a targeted plan of attack to draw visitors to your site. While there are several factors that make boosting your visibility a difficult task, there are also plenty of solutions. One such solution is Serpstat, a cloud-based program that works automatically to ensure your site reaches the top of search listings.

Why is SEO so important? Studies have shown that upwards of 90 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine and that more than 70 percent of users never look past the first page. With such a small window, optimizing your website to match commonly searched keywords and phrases can lead to increased traffic, and in turn, increased sales.

How do search engines work? The leading search engines, like Google and Yahoo, use what are referred to as "web crawlers," which are internet bots that search the web in order to index websites. Then, search engines apply complex algorithms that show websites within their indexes that most closely match the words in the search query.

How do you promote your site within search engine indexes? There are several ways, one being to add relevant keywords and phrases to your website's metadata -- sort of like the synopsis of your website. But there are plenty of other ways, such as URL normalization, which refers to establishing a root URL and simplifying the pathways that branch off from your website's home page (e.g. your site's "About Us" page might be set up as "www.yoursite/about-us").


Another option is the PPC (pay per click) model. Within first-tier search engines, this refers to the process by which a website bids on certain keywords, so that when entered into the search query, that website will appear at the top of the page. Additionally, PPC refers to advertising on content sites via "banner ads" (i.e. the advertisements at the top of the page) or other sponsored links, often mixed in with the organic search results. When a user clicks on one of these ads or links, the advertiser will then pay a small amount to the site where the ad is placed. In most cases, advertisements (especially on content sites) will be identified as such.

What's so great about Serpstat is that it combines both the SEO and PPC models into one clean, easily navigable and automated system. With Serpstat, you not only get access to your own website's ranking within a keyword index, but the ranking of the top 100 domains in that index.

Additionally, Serpstat features an algorithm allowing you to determine the market share of each domain within a given index, as well as provides you with tools to compare your domain versus any other, allowing you to implement optimization techniques in the areas you need the most. And with over half a billion keywords to choose from, you're sure to discover and incorporate the keywords that matter most to your target audience.

Considering the fact that the internet is the fastest growing sales channel and close to 40 percent of customers come from search engines, SEO is more important than ever. And the great news is that you can get a lifetime subscription to Serpstat for just $34.99, a savings of 98 percent.

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