SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a mixture of different strategies and marketing disciplines designed to get more people to visit your website. This is done by getting your site to the top pages of the SERPS (search engine results pages).
Is That All SEO Is?
But what is it really? Merely a buzzword? Some gimmick used to trick people into giving up their hard earned money? Or (the real answer) a marketing function that when leveraged and implemented correctly, can transform your business and make you significantly more profitable?
Well, those are all great questions, and ones that many other people have been asking lately as well. So let’s take a look at what search engine optimization is, why it’s useful, and potential ways it can help grow your company.
Search Engines (The Google Machine) Index Information In A Specific Way (With An Algorithm)
On the searchable web, there are currently around 4 1/2 billion individual web pages. Search engines allow us to efficiently find pages when we type in search terms (queries) and return results that will hopefully be relevant to us.
They do this by keeping track of (indexing) all of the pages that it can find, and allowing it’s users to access that information whenever they want. This requires the utilization of a very complex algorithm (computer process), which takes into consideration over 200 factors about each website that are designed to find you the information that you want.
SEO Lets Search Engines Know Who To Show Your Site To
Now comes the fun part. When you type in a query into the search bar, Google needs to basically read your mind about what kind of website or webpage you want, all in under one second.
Google decides what pages to show you based on matching the words and phrases you type with a variety of pieces of content both on the page of a website, and factors within the code as well. If you don’t use certain keywords or phrases when developing the site that gives an accurate depiction of your product or service, there is a good chance google might not be showing your website to potential customers, or even anyone at all.
That’s where search engine optimization comes in. A well-qualified SEO is able to rearrange, create, or manipulate on and off page elements of your website, to position you well in search results for keywords that potential customers are searching with or that pertain to your business.
Optimizing For Web Helps Potential Customers Find You
One simple fact of online marketing in 2016 is that around 70% of americans search for you before buying anything. Another fact is that if your site isn’t on the first two pages, you’re basically out of luck for getting found organically.
So what that really means is that your customers are looking for you online first, and they don’t look very hard. If you’re not in front of them you’re missing out on traffic, which ultimately means missing out on customers. In contrast, if you do have an optimized site on the first page, then you’ve now basically created an online salesman generated leads or facilitating purchases 24/7.
It is an SEO’s job to research what, when, and how people are finding your site and then by implementing a variety of techniques to align your web presence for those factors, make it easier for potential customers to find you.