Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher on the page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.
Challenge: HyperDrive proactively identified two major problems for www.graeters.com – both very much related. First, overall traffic was paltry and nowhere near where a national brand should be. Second, nearly 80% of the traffic visiting www.graeters.com was direct.
SEO may target different kinds of search, including: image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.
The acronym “SEOs” can refer to “search engine optimizers,” a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site and site content, SEO tactics may be incorporated into website development and design. The term “search engine friendly” may be used to describe website designs, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, and other elements that have been optimized for the purpose of search engine exposure.
Another class of techniques, known as black hat SEO, search engine poisoning, or spamdexing, uses methods such as link farms, keyword stuffing and article spinning that degrade both the relevance of search results and the quality of user-experience with search engines. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques in order to remove them from their indices.
–Search Engine Optimization is both a science and an art.
–Everyone knows web traffic is good.
The objective was to measurably improve traffic metrics by boosting search rankings and subsequent page rankings.
In March, 2010, after reviewing and documenting www.graeters.com web traffic for the previous year, HyperDrive developed and deployed a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy to better align specific pages with brand-defined terms and target keywords.
–Results analysis comparing two time frames – March, 14, 2009 through March 14, 2010 and March 14, 2010 through March 14, 2011
–HyperDrive strategically shifted traffic from “direct to website” (77% in 2009-2010) to “search engine sourced” (63% in 2010-2011).
–Search engine organic (non-paid) traffic jumped 370% from 20,000 visits to 329,000 visits.
Indexing to “Graeter’s terms” boosted traffic to action pages:
–Find locations – 5,655 visits to 39,350 visits (up 595%)
–Search “Pints” (ecommerce) – 2,463 visits to 18,305 visits (up 643%)
–See “Flavors” – 5,645 visits to 16,009 visits (up 183%)
–Rewards home (frequency) – 9,700 visits to 16,087 visits (up 66%)
–Gift Cards/Certificates – 697 visits to 3,569 visits (up 412%)