For those of you who are not quite familiar with SEO, you came to the right place. Many of you might have seen the abbreviation, "SEO" without an understanding of what exactly it is or what it means. Well, here's the ultimate cheat sheet.
SEO stands for "search engine optimization." Ok, but what exactly does this mean, you say? Search engine optimization is the process of increasing a website's visibiity through organic search results by using Google, Bing, Yahoo or any search engine out there. This is done by creating or modifying a website to implement modern SEO standards and best practices including:
- Clear and structured site navigation
- Optimized and SEO-friendly site URLs
- Semantically correct meta tags
Essentially, it is the practice of making your website as a whole useful, understandable and easily digestible by both search engine robots and humans alike.
Organic search is search done on search engines like Google, which displays results based on their relevance to the search terms as opposed to being based on advertisements (paid search, which is non-organic).
What is SEO?
The main goal of SEO is to drive more traffic to your website. This means increasing your website's visibility so that more people see and visit it. More visitors to your website means more potential customers and that in turn means more potential business.
Think of your business as a boutique in a mall. The mall is huge and your boutique is but one among hundreds of others. Fortunately, there are several customer representatives that are willing to help customers find what they're looking for.
In this example, the boutique is your website, the mall is the internet and the CSRs are the search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing). When a customer comes into the mall, they will probably ask one or more of the CSRs for guidance or directions. In this situation, SEO would be how well your boutique presented information about itself to the CSR; this in turn can allow the CSR to direct more relevant customers your way.
Without SEO, the CSR would have to make their own judgement of what your business is about. Eventually, you're business will become an afterthought to the CSR as they will favor other businesses that they are sure about instead. (In the real world, this means those websites that have done their SEO properly will rank higher on search engines than those that did not.)
On the same note, if the business presents information about itself that is false or does not align with what the business is about, the CSR will think negatively of that business and will altogether actually avoid directing customers there. (Again, in the real world, this would mean the websites who purposely mislead people and search engines by pretending to be something that they are not. Search engines actually lower the ranking of these websites!)
How SEO helps My Website?
If done properly, SEO will help your website by showing search engines what your business is about, after which you can then sit back and let the search engines bring the customers to you!
This does not mean, however, that each visit to your website will guarantee you a sale! This is where SEO ends. Whether your content is actually worth a customer's hard-earned dough will be up to the customer and your content! The key is to make sure that your SEO shows what your content is about so that search engines in turn can bring you customers who are actually looking for what you're offering. A thousand customers a day doesn't mean anything if none of them are buying, right? This means that it's up to you to make sure that you're putting out quality content that is actually worth it.
How Do I Get Started?
This article is a series of blog posts about SEO, be sure to subscribe so you don't miss out on the next ones as they can help you get to know more about SEO and learn all its benefits! If you need help now, there are many guides out there on the internet to get you up to snuff with the basics.