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Search engine rankings and why it matters

As an entrepreneur, your goals revolve around selling your products and offerings to as many clients as possible. 

You’ve heard the term SEO and probably know that, as a business owner looking to get found online, you should have a strategy.

You might even suspect that a good place to start is choosing keywords and phrases that match those used by your potential clients.

After all, your customers must be able to find you in the vast sea of items being offered online that are just like yours. 

Studies have shown that over 75% of people will never scroll past the first page of results from a search. If your item isn’t at the top of the search, your sales will be lower than they could be and your business will suffer.

How then to stand out from the crowd?

Understanding the basics of SEO and keywords helps you understand the importance of not only creating content — but content that matters for your business.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine will show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.

Search engines take into account several factors when determining rank. These include the use of keywords in a customer search, customer intent, and clicks of the result. 

When you understand what your customer is searching for, and position your product to be the answer to their problems, you rise to the top of the search. This, in turn, leads to higher sales.

Here is what you need to know now about SEO:

Customer search

People come to the platform because they have a need or problem that they believe can be solved. 

They can be simply searching for information about an item, or they can be ready to purchase, but they wouldn’t be online if they weren’t looking for solutions. 

Nearly every customer who comes onto the internet begins their process using the search bar. 

There, they type in words and phrases that they hope will direct the search engine to a product that will satisfy them.

The search engine uses the terms used by the customers to match items that have the same words in their descriptions. The more terms that match, the more likely the item is to be at the top of the results.

Customer intent 

In addition to keywords, a search engine also takes into account the intent of a person searching.

Customers come to a search engine for one of three reasons, to research, to do something, or to buy. 

Search engine algorithms determine customer intent by analyzing the terms used in a search. For example, a person who types in “best jacket for cold weather” might be researching options, whereas a “buy a jacket for cold weather” search tells the search engine that the purchase is imminent.

Customer intent is one of the determining factors in ranking. This element of SEO is influenced by the total sales of a product and even reviews. 

Clicks of the result

The number of times that a customer “clicks” on a search result is another determining factor in SEO ranking is the total sales of a product. 

The search engine will give a higher ranking to products that have been chosen by customers more often and have sold more often, than to those that have not.

This is heavily influenced by keywords that drive customers to take action when a listing comes up on search results. 

What are keywords?

According to Moz, “keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines.” 

Keywords are the actual words and phrases that your customers enter into a search bar to find products. 

Identifying the search terms that are being used by your potential customers is an essential part of an SEO strategy and one that can lead to increased revenue for your business. 

Choosing valuable keywords 

Not all keywords are created equal.

Though there are software programs and research systems that you can use to identify the search terms being used by your potential customers to find products like yours, it is important that you also determine which phrases are not only being searched but are being used by buyers who are ready to buy.

Searching versus converting

The goal of optimization is to have your content match, as closely as possible, the terms used by your potential customers in a search for products like yours.

When customers enter terms into the search bar, they do so with an intent. That intent is, in part, evident in the words chosen.

It is the challenge of the marketer to select valuable keywords to optimize that match the intent of their customer.

The search engine produces results based on matches of relevant phrases between a search and a product description. 

Descriptions that match the search, and inspire action from buyers are the ones that savvy marketers select as keywords. These words and phrases lead potential buyers to become converting customers and are the key to growing a business.

The dangers of keyword stuffing

Once sellers understand the need for optimization on a search engine, it is often tempting to fill a description with all of the terms that a potential buyer might use to find a product.

This is termed “keyword stuffing” and is penalized by search engines.

The main focus of a search engine is to offer information to a potential customer. The algorithm gives credit to results that it believes offers relevant information in an authentic voice.

The authenticity factor in search rankings is the danger of keyword stuffing. Create content that is readable, optimized and natural for best results.

Optimization can change your business bottom line

Understanding the basics of SEO and how to use targeted, valuable keywords to direct search engines to your products is an essential step in building a business.

Successfully optimizing your content can change a low volume product into a bestseller in just a few short months.

Keywords are the foundation of an SEO strategy. Afterall, all purchases come from search terms used by customers.


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