What is SEO (and LLMO?)
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that you've almost certainly heard before. It aims to increase a website's visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and, in the instance of Google Maps, ensure that a physical premises is shown to someone searching for a location on maps. It involves optimising various elements of a website and business profile, including its content, architecture, and backlinks, to align with the algorithms used by search engines like Google. The goal is to rank higher on SERPs for relevant keywords, thereby attracting more organic traffic and potential customers. The beauty of SEO, is that once you are ranking, traffic is "free" so you're not having to pay every time someone clicks your link.
However, the landscape of information retrieval is rapidly evolving. With the rise of Large Language Models (LLMs) like OpenAI's GPT-3 and GPT-4, the way we search for and consume information is changing. Instead of scrolling through pages of search results, users are increasingly turning to AI models that provide direct, conversational responses to queries.
This shift has given rise to a new concept: Large Language Model Optimization (LLMO). Similar to SEO, LLMO aims to ensure that a business or entity is accurately represented in the responses generated by LLMs. Techniques for LLMO can range from directly providing information to the creators of the LLM, fine-tuning the LLM with specific data, or using in-context learning to guide the model's responses.
As we move forward from 2023, the importance of LLMO is expected to grow. Traditional SEO strategies may not be as effective in a world where LLMs dominate the information retrieval landscape. Businesses and individuals will need to adapt their strategies, focusing not just on SERPs, but also on how they are represented in the vast knowledge base of LLMs.
Which Businesses Are Suited For SEO?
Firstly, if you are in need of quick results & ROI, SEO / LLMO is probably not for you. As the process takes a reasonably long time (usually 6-12Mo depending on the level of competition you have in your field), it is often better to focus on PPC (Pay Per Click) to get more immediate results.
However, SEO / LLMO is beneficial for virtually any business with an online presence, but it's particularly crucial for certain types of businesses. Here are a few examples:
Local SEO can help businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, and service providers (like plumbers or electricians) attract customers in their geographic area. By optimising for local keywords (e.g., "coffee shop in London") and managing online reviews and listings, these businesses can increase their visibility to potential customers nearby.
E-commerce Businesses: For online retailers, SEO is essential. By optimising product descriptions, category pages, and metadata, e-commerce businesses can attract customers who are searching for specific products or types of products. SEO can also help these businesses compete with larger retailers like Amazon, eBay or Walmart who often dominate.
B2B Businesses: For businesses that sell products or services to other businesses, SEO can help attract potential clients. B2B buyers often conduct extensive online research before making a purchase decision, so ranking highly for relevant keywords can bring valuable leads and enquiries.
Startups and New Businesses: For new businesses trying to establish their brand and attract their first customers, SEO can be a cost-effective marketing strategy. By creating high-quality, optimised content, startups can increase their visibility without a large advertising budget. Plus, if you're raising capital, there is always an element of 'peacocking' to be done when your website ranks #1 for a term when the VC project lead does a quick google during your pitch.
Clicks from #1 Position
Imagine each position on Google has a proportion of all the traffic available for a search term. #1 position gets about 29% of all clicks, and by position #10 only around 2.4% of clicks are obtained. You will get more traffic the higher up the page you are.
Sales Start with Search
When was the last time you Google'd something? Probably at least once today right? Well, that's how virtually everybody shops and looks for services too. Nearly half of all transactions start with a search, first.
All traffic comes via Google
Hard to believe, especially with all the advancements of BING, but Google still dominates the search engines with 93% of the total market for search traffic. It definitely pays to please the Google algorithm still!
Let's Get The Party Started?
Get in touch with us today to discuss your SEO needs. We are a company based out of Tunbridge Wells, UK, so it's easy to arrange a meeting with one of the team (rather than a faceless email exchange!). If you are serious about dominating your industry online, we are the right fit. If it's quicker results you are after however, PPC is probably a better fit for you, so make sure you check out out overview page on that before shooting us a message.