What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing tactic used to improve search engine rankings for a target webpage. SEO specifically refers to organic search engine traffic, or natural search engine traffic. SEO does not include or have anything to do with paid advertising or Google’s search ads. Paid search ads are often referred to as SEM or PPC.

How Does SEO Benefit a Business?

Every time someone searches on Google, they are looking for something. It is either a solution, an answer to a question or perhaps the next restaurant they plan to dine at. However you look at it, every keyword has a meaning and a purpose. Now, imagine there were a few keywords that people searched a lot more often and those keywords aligned with the services you offer or the products you sell. The person searching is more than likely looking for that product or service to buy and if you aren’t at the top of Google…. you guessed it – You won’t get the sale.

SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks well for all of your target keywords. It is a long process, generally taking anywhere from 3 months to a year. The length of time generally depends on the industry.

A Few Facts about SEO

What is SEO?

  • SEO is a marketing tactic companies or individuals can leverage to improve the rankings and visibility of its website (as well as online presence in general). This is done by improving the on-page and off-page factors search engines consider important.
  • Imagine the power of having your company’s website listed at the top of Google for every keyword that your customers search. That’s pretty powerful because your customers are already looking for a company like you, and now, you are the first website they see.
  • If you are not on 1st page or near the top of 1st page, chances of anyone finding you is slim to none. The fact is that 85% of search engine users do not click beyond the 1st page of Google. That said, the company’s website would be buried too far down the rankings to be of much benefit.

Perhaps more important than asking “what is search engine optimization” (especially for small and medium-sized businesses), is why is SEO so important?

How Can I Learn SEO?

In a nutshell, employing a well planned SEO strategy can drive serious traffic, increasing rankings which result in brand visibility and awareness, all through organic search results (natural search results. Not Ads).

A comprehensive online marketing strategy requires more than simply maximizing results based on keyword usage; however, designing site architecture that simplifies navigation is a key factor to improving search rankings.

  • Fix all technical errors. Google has a hard time reading your website when there are a lot of technical errors on your site. If you have a lot of technical issues, more than likely, you will have trouble ranking.
  • A strong Mobile User Experience is essential. This means creating a mobile website with lightening fast page load times and easy to navigate.
  • Search engines use algorithms that read data found on the Internet and determine which results are most relevant to the initial search.
Start Learning

Each algorithm is constructed using numerous factors, most of which are proprietary and, therefore, not available to businesses so that they can deconstruct them and develop workarounds.

When it comes to increasing search rankings, which then drive traffic to a website, the site’s content is the factor that most influences algorithms to rank some results higher than others.

So, what is search engine optimization? It’s the best, most cost-effective way for companies to market themselves and what they sell or do if they produce content that is unique, informative and related to topics for which Internet searches are conducted and the website it is easy to view and use.

About the Author:

Joshua Belland is the CEO & Founder of Joshua Belland SEO Consulting. He specializes in developing SEO driven content strategies, while using his web development skills for technical SEO. Josh's career in SEO started in 2009 and uses his blog/writing as a means to give back to the SEO community while educating other's in the industry. Linkedin | Google+ | Twitter

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