SEO. Maybe you’ve heard it before but aren’t quite sure what it is and why it matters. Whether you own a small business, a blog, or just an online store, SEO is an important tool for attracting people to your business online. Many business owners will here hear the phrase ‘search engine optimization’ (or SEO) from friends in the business community or even competitors and may consider it as a route to increasing sales, but what is SEO? Alternatively, a business owner may have tried ‘SEO services’ in the past and found it either didn’t work as well as expected or was working, but no longer as effective – this article
explains what SEO is, and why ‘new’ SEO is working better than ever. But what is it and how can you use it to your advantage? Let’s answer those questions.
What Exactly is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a practice, not necessarily one thing. The goal is to promote your website and get it in front of as many eye balls as possible. Hundreds of millions of searches are conducted on search engines like Bing, Google, and Yahoo. If your website doesn’t include SEO you will be missing out on serious traffic from these search engines.
When you use Google (or any other search engine) to search for a term, have you ever wondered how the websites in the first search results page got there, when there are probably thousands of other competing websites which match your search term? Well, the answer to that question is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Those first few websites had better SEO than their competitors. So, what is SEO? Simply, it is a marketing strategy used to increase the ranking of a website in search engines.
Some of those websites (such as Wikipedia, Facebook and Microsoft) got to the first search results page without much help from SEO because, their brand names are sufficiently famous to get them listed in the first page. The other websites rely on SEO to get them to the first or second search results page. You may wonder why SEO is so important. Well, users rarely go beyond the first few search result pages when searching for a term. When was the last time you clicked on the fifteenth search results page?
What all does SEO involve?
-Meta Tags & Descriptions
SEO particularly involves specific data on your website that helps search engines categorize and identify the content on your website. When you provide search engines with the information they need, they can help display your website in their results.
Your goal should be to show up first on search results when people type in questions or sentences that relate to your website. For example, if you own a shoe company, your goal should be to rank high for any searches that include the words “women’s shoes”, “ladies shoes” or something similar.
Why Should You Care About SEO?
If you own a business, especially a small business, SEO is critical. It is the primary means through which your customers will find you. With millions of searches taking place online through mobile devices, it pays to consider focusing on SEO for your website. Paying attention to the keywords used on your website, titles, bolded words, and the quality of the content is critical if you want results.
Millions of people daily search for information on the search engines. For any given search term, there are anywhere from a few hundred to a few million search results that reference that given search term. Generally speaking, the search results are designed to be ranked in the order of their relevance to the searcher’s search term, or keyword (or keyword phrase).
Most people, when searching for a keyword or keyword phrase, will click on one of top 10 search results on the first page of the search results, or will initiate another search. Therefore in order to gain a reasonable amount of search engine traffic, a website should appear in the top 10 search results for a given keyword. Given the fact that there are for some keywords millions, literally millions of websites having some relevance to the keyword, it can often be a difficult feat, if not almost impossible, to get your webpage in the first 10 search results for a given keyword.
Keep in mind that it does take time to build up authority in your niche. This means it will take time to be found by your target audience. However, if you stick with it and focus on creating well-written content that hits all the key points for search engines, you’ll be on your way to driving more traffic. More traffic equals more sales.