SEO (search engine optimization) and other online marketing strategies have become overwhelmingly popular and beneficial for people looking to improve business through their website, or just want to increase their site traffic. With over 100 billion global searches conducted on search engines each month, a strong opportunity presents itself for website owners and online marketers to improve search rankings and web site traffic.
Why is SEO so beneficial for businesses relying on web sales? Research shows that web traffic for shopping and research is reaching incredibly high numbers and increasing every year. A study in 2012 found that about 70 million users shop online, not in their home or at their desk at work, but on the go from a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. An over 88 percent of internet users, ages 14 and up in the United States, will browse or research products online before purchasing. About 40 percent of those people will follow up on social media, requesting information before making a purchase. These statistics are making a strong case for online marketers and SEO.
SEO generates quality leads, because it targets an audience that is already interested in what you have to offer, as they are searching online using keywords relevant to your industry or the information on your website. Leads that are generated through an SEO campaign have a 14.6 percent close rate; while outbound leads average a 1.7 percent close rate. Paid ads are becoming less and less valuable as about 42 percent of search users are clicking on the top-ranking search results, instead of paid advertisements.
This information proves the value SEO can brings to your website. But where do you begin? Luckily, there are some great SEO tools available on the internet, for free. These SEO tools are perfect for individuals interested in learning about, and practicing SEO.
Google Analytics is the first and most important tool for SEO beginners to become familiar with. Even the most experienced SEO professionals who make living off of online marketing use this tool. It might be confusing at first, but it will help any beginner become acclimated with what is measured in an SEO campaign, such as website traffic, conversion ratios, target audience, etc.
The next tool useful for those just learning the methods of SEO is known as Open Site Explorer. OSE allows you to check the domain authority and PageRank of any given website. It will also help you find link opportunities through competitors backlink research. This will help you determine if you can earn the same links that your competitors have earned. The tool comes from popular online marketing organization known as SEOmoz, known for their undying and thorough effort to educate the online masses in online marketing tactics and trends.
The final tool recommended for SEO beginners is website plug in known as SEO by Yoast. Yoast walks you through the different steps of an SEO campaign to make sure that you are optimizing every webpage properly. The tool works best when focusing on optimizing the content on your website.
There are other SEO tools and guides available on the web that are extremely valuable to individuals who want to get in on this great online marketing tactic. SEOmoz has a very thorough and well written free guide for SEO beginners on their site as well. If you are thinking about learning the ins-and-outs of SEO, these tools come highly recommended and will surely help to get you started!