Can Your Local Business Benefit from Search Engine Optimization?

Let’s start from the beginning: What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimization is a set of tactics that, when employed, improve the visibility and findability of a website by improving a website’s ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).  Employing these tactics will make a website’s pages more relevant to user’s search queries such that search engines give them higher rank in the search results.  The higher you rank in the results pages the more likely you are to attract website visitors who will become customers.

“SEO is the art and science of persuading search engines to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem.”

-Jason Barnard, the brand SERP guy.

The better a company’s webpages match a user’s search interests, the more likely that potential customer is to click through to the site and its content.

Below are some key 2024 statistics related to search engine usage:

  • Google is the leader in search engines, accounting for 94.4% of the search engine market share across all devices.
  • Google processes 6.3 million searches per minute (Statista).
  • More than 50% of customers use Google to discover or find a new brand (Think with Google).
  • 59% of customers use Google to find information about products they want to purchase (Think with Google).
  • 42% of customers regularly read online reviews when browsing for local businesses (Brightlocal).
  • 78% of mobile searches lead to offline purchases (Go-Global).

How Is SEO Different from Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

SEM is a type of digital marketing that includes SEO, but also includes paid forms of online advertising.  SEO seeks to drive organic traffic from search engines while SEM drives both organic and paid traffic from search engines.

How Does It Work?

Search engines use bots to crawl web pages, collecting information about those pages and putting them into an index.

Think of the index like a giant library where a librarian can pull up a book (or web page) to help find exactly what you’re looking for.

Algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors to determine the order pages should appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for a given query.

Our librarian has read every single book in the library and can tell you exactly which one will have the answers to your questions.

What Are Some Tactics to Consider When Optimizing Your Site’s SEO?

SEO is largely based on common sense, not complication.  At its root SEO is about providing relevant content and a positive user experience for your potential customer that provides the information they are looking for.  As well, by making it easy for search engines to crawl your site and understand what you are offering.  By getting these two baseline objectives right, you will be well on your way to increasing search traffic and optimizing your business related to search.

The first step in improving your site’s SEO is to understand your customers and what they are looking for.  There are four (4) main types of searcher intent:

  1. Informational intent: Searches looking to answer a specific question such as “can I feed my dog grapes” or “how do I do SEO.”
  2. Navigational Intent: Searchers who are looking for a specific website and navigate to it.  For example, “Keene Sentinel” or “Amazon.”
  3. Transactional Intent: These searchers are looking for a product or service to buy. For example, “dog leashes for sale” or “carburetor for Toro lawnmower.”
  4. Commercial Investigation: Searchers looking for the best option in products and services such as “best bug spray.”

Online search engine users reveal their intent through their search queries.  By understanding their intent, you can craft your content via keywords for relevancy and improve your position in search engine results.

Creating a Keyword Strategy:

Think of phrases that your customers might use to find you.  Enter these phrases into the Google Search Bar and you will see keywords that might be relevant to you.

What kind of keywords are being used?  What kind of content is ranking at the top of the results?  Understanding these search queries and the terms being used can help you to develop keywords and content that will be relevant to your potential customers.

Technical Optimization:

In addition to content optimization, there is also technical optimization that focuses on the architecture of your website that makes it easy for search engines to crawl and index your site.  To optimize SEO, you must make your site easy for search engines to discover and access your content on all pages including text, images, and video.  Important elements of technical optimization also include URL structure, navigation, and internal linking.

Search engines also prioritize the user experience.  Google stresses the importance of pages that load quickly and mobile friendliness, among others.

We Can Help

Our local marketing experts at Sentinel Solutions can help you optimize your websites performance by lifting its relevance and visibility in search. Drop us a note at or give us a call at 603-352-5896.  Our seasoned team is ready to guide you through this complex landscape.  Let us know if we can help.




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