What is SEO & Why Should You Care?

What is SEO: SEO Defined

Webopedia defines SEO this way:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

What Does that Actually Mean?

It means a bunch of years have gone by, and a bunch of developers have sat in dark rooms for a bunch of hours to create a working system that helps make a consumer’s internet search experience easier, more accurate, and more efficient.

As a business, you should care about having your name appear on the first page of the search engine results page. That’s a minimum. If you can manage to make it to the top 3 or even the top 5, your chances at visitors increase significantly. Pair that with a stellar PPC setup, and start to see your web traffic skyrocket.

Organic search drives 51% of all visitors to business-to-business and business-to-consumer Web sites, whereas paid-search drives 10% and social 5% & 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. (Source)

“Many Americans begin their purchasing experience by doing online research to compare prices, quality, and the reviews of other shoppers. Even if they end up making their purchase in a store, they start their fact-finding and decision-making on the Internet” – Jim Jansen Senior Fellow Pew Research Centers Internet & American Life Project September 2010

How Do I Optimize My Website?

You first need to know what Google and other search engines are looking for and this is kind of a trick question. We don’t really know what Google and other search engines look for to rank your website.

Hare a few areas that have been known to help:

Usability

Your site needs to be user-friendly. Can visitors navigate easily? Does the page look good? Make sure your visitor stays, and this will give you a better score with Google.

Authority

Create content that other people want to link back to and have in their blogs/articles. Google will see this and rank you as a legitimate resource, thus resulting in a higher score.

New Content

The amount of content on your website also helps your score. If you have more pages on your site, and more content (videos, pictures, words, etc.), then Google assumes a real website and one that deserves to be brought up in rankings.

Site Speed

Make sure your website isn’t too slow. Especially your homepage. If you have long loading times, Google will not want you to be high in the rankings. Be careful with videos, or too many pictures/graphics. These can bog down your website.

Keywords

Having the right keywords or keyword topics is the last big influencer. You should always be mentioning important words in your headings, in your meta-description (the info beneath your search result title), and on your actual webpage.

Practical Summary

In the world of digital marketing, SEO is a major pillar. Be warned that results are not instant. You’re looking at around 3-6 months before you start seeing results, but showing up on the first few results should be your number one priority. It will bring you way more traffic and way more MONEY!

So if you want to be seen, you need to be spending time on SEO. With this information, I now set you free. You may now sail away into the big sea of search results, and with some knowledge and guidance, hope that you end up on the shores of your ideal customer’s island.

Remember: If Google cannot find you, how is anyone else supposed to?

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