Search Engine Optimization is now more important than ever and it’s vital for businesses to understand the meaning of SEO as well as the potential it creates to accelerate brand growth.
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of influencing visibility of a website online or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural” “organic”, or “earned” results. Commonly the higher ranked on the search results page, and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users offering the potential for these visitors to then be converted into customers.
Additionally, SEO usually also includes improving the quality of their websites by making it more user- friendly, faster, easier to navigate and visually appealing.
SEO can also be viewed as a framework since the whole process has a number of methods or guidelines normally approached in stages of importance based on data research.
Why is SEO important?
With the advancement of technology and a shift away from traditional advertising methods, SEO is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users per day looking for information or for solutions to their problems.
If you have a website, blog or online store, SEO can help your business grow and meet the business goals.
Search Engine Optimization is essential because:
- Most search engines users are more likely to click on one of the first page suggestions on the results pages which is referred to as SERPS (Search Engine Results Page). In order to take advantage of this and gain visitors to your website or customers to your online store, it requires a concerted drive to position your site as a more relevant site that the current suggested sites.
- SEO is not only about search engines but good SEO practices improve the user experience and usability of a website.
- Users have become trusting and reliant on the top suggested results from search engines. Having an occupancy in the top positions for the keywords (or search phrases) the user is searching, improves a companies credibility. Where in the past, it may have taken years for a business to build up the confidence of customers, nowadays a small or relatively new business that is able to rank on the first page of a search engine is able to attain credibility in a much shorter period.
- SEO is good for the social promotion of your website. People who find your website by searching Google or Yahoo are more likely to promote it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social media channels.
- SEO is crucial for the stable running of a large website. Websites with more than one author can benefit from SEO in a direct and indirect way. Their direct benefit is an increase in search engine traffic and their indirect benefit is having a common framework (checklists) to use before publishing content on the site.
- SEO can put you ahead of the competition. If two websites are selling the same thing, the search engine optimized website is more likely to have more customers and make stronger sales.
A basic foundation to SEO for beginners
For novices, to SEO the above definition may sound complicated, in simplistic terms Search Engine Optimization is a way to improve your website so that it will appear closer to the top positions in the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines.
When you perform a search on Google (or any other search engine) the order by which the returning results are presented, is based on advanced algorithms.
These algorithms take a number of constituents into account to determine which web page should be shown in what order.
Optimizing your website will give you an edge over non-optimized sites and you improve the probabilities of your site to rank higher.
What are the principal stages of the Search Engine Optimization process?
SEO is not a static process but rather a framework with rules and processes. For simplicity though, SEO can be separated into 2 principal stages:
On-site SEO: What rules to apply to your site to make it search engine friendly
Off-site SEO: How to promote your website or blog so that it can rank better in search results.
On-site SEO (also known as on-page SEO) is the practice of optimizing components on a website (as opposed to links elsewhere on the Internet and other external factors collectively known as “off-site SEO”) in order to improve search engine ranking and visibility. This can include optimizing both the content and HTML source code of pages on a site.
The structure of a website is also very important for SEO purposes.
Besides the changes, you can do to your website (on-site SEO) so that it ranks higher in the SERPs, another way to improve your website’s ranking is by using off-site SEO techniques.
Off-site SEO is commonly known as link building or website promotion since a proper way to promote a website involves countless more approaches and techniques than building links.
In general, search engines are seeking to obtain the most important pages of the web and show those first when a user enters a search query.
One of the factors to ascertain the position a web page will appear in the results is by the number of incoming links to the site.
Incoming links are an indication of trust and depending from where the links are coming, they can considerably alter your ranking position (either positively if the links are coming from well-established and trusted sites or negatively if they are links from non-reputable sources or new sites.
What can you do to get more links?
There are many strategies however initially a better focus would be to concentrate on creating good quality content for your site.
Good content will get you organic links which in turn will give you good rankings and traffic.
Purchasing links or taking a shortcut may result most often does not have enduring effects.
Is there a difference between SEO and Internet marketing?
SEO is one of the tools available in Internet Marketing. It’s not Internet Marketing as such but should be a component of your overall Internet Marketing strategy which normally incorporates other things such as social media promotion, content strategy etc.
Good content is still the most significant success factor with or without SEO. Without having good content, SEO will have limited effect.
On the other hand, a website with good content combined with SEO should greatly boost performance.
SEO is increasingly becoming essential for every web asset
To sum it up, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a way to optimize your website so that search engines will understand it better and will, in turn, reward you higher rankings.
It is important since a good SEO strategy can drive more traffic to your website, blog or online store and resultingly you should gain more customers, make sales and fulfill overall customer needs positioning you ahead of competitors.
If you’re looking to for expert SEO Services, we have a guide on the process that we follow. We look to establish long-term relationships with our clients & create custom solutions to meet their specialized business objectives.