What is SEO?
Over 94% of people who use Google only look at the first page of search results and most people only click on the first three results. 83% of people worldwide use Google, but this concept applies to every search engine. So what do you do if your small business website appears on the 12th page of results instead of the first page?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of increasing your site position and page rank organically through quality backlinks and effective keywords. SEO is the most effective way to increase traffic to your website.
There are over 180,000,000 registered websites today, which means people rely heavily on search engines to find exactly what they are looking for. If they don’t find it on the first page, they prefer to adjust their search terms and start from scratch instead of searching on subsequent results pages.
People who search for exactly what you offer and see your site on the first page of results are considered ideal visitors because they are the most likely to convert into customers, subscribers, etc. If your website isn’t in the top few results, let alone the first page, it’s almost like your website does not exist. Which ultimately means it’s almost like your business doesn’t exist, either.
What goes into SEO?
To understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break the definition down and look at the parts:
- Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products that you offer.
- Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.
- Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.
How SEO works
You might think of a search engine as a website you visit to type (or speak) a question into a box and Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or whatever search engine you’re using magically replies with a long list of links to web pages that could potentially answer your question.
That’s true. But have you ever stopped to consider what’s behind those magical lists of links?
Here’s how it works: Google (or any search engine you’re using) has a crawler that goes out and gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet. The crawlers bring all those 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with your query.
There are a lot of factors that go into a search engine’s algorithm, and here’s how a group of experts ranked their importance:
The O part of SEO optimization is where the people who write all that content and put it on their sites are guessing that content and those sites up so search engines will be able to understand what they’re seeing, and the users who arrive via search will like what they see.
Optimization can take many forms. It’s everything from making sure the title tags and meta descriptions are both informative and the right length to pointing internal links at pages you’re proud of.
How to improve your SEO?
- Continuous keyword research
- Consistent content creation
- Ongoing monitoring
How can SEO help you in the long run?
- It lets you drive targeted, organic search traffic that is relevant to your industry
- It helps your brand gain higher visibility and more exposure
- It makes it easy to attract people that will convert into customers/clients
If you look around, you’ll find that every business that’s determined to grow is taking SEO seriously. Gone are the days when SEO was only an option. Today, it has become an integral part of an effective digital marketing strategy. The kind of potential it can create for a business is nothing to ignore.
Here are a few stats:
- 90% of overall organic traffic on the web is generated by search engines.
- 57% of B2B marketers believe SEO is the top leads generator when compared to other marketing methods.
- 81% of people use search queries to do their homework before committing to a big purchase.
- 64% of searchers depend on search engines such as Google and Bing to decide whether to buy something or not.
How SEO Helps Your Business?
- Boosts Inbound Traffic
- Gives Your Business Long-Lasting Results
- Helps Increase Brand Value
Because almost everyone relies heavily on search engines to find anything online, SEO is the most effective way to increase traffic to your site. Good SEO takes time, so the sooner you start, the sooner you can move up the page rank ladder.