SEO is a very important component of digital marketing, yet what is SEO, really? SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to a series of techniques that can be used to boost your website’s ranking in search results.
The fact is, most people don’t go past the first page of search results. If you do a search for “restaurants in [your town],” for instance, the very first result will get over a quarter of the clicks. This means that ranking higher in the search results is an essential part of marketing for businesses.
In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at how SEO works and what it can do to help you.
Are you ready to learn more? Then read on!
1. It Boosts Your Organic Search Ranking
First off, as we mentioned earlier, the primary goal of SEO is to improve your search ranking. Organic search refers to where you appear in the search rankings without resorting to SEM (search engine marketing).
If you use SEM and pay-per-click advertising, you can jump to the top of the search results page for a particular keyword. However, this will only last as long as you keep paying for the SEM. This is known as paid search, and while it can help to give your traffic a boost, it’s not a long-term solution.
If you want a long-term improvement to your traffic, organic search is the way forward. Great SEO can land you on the first page of Google and draw in a lot more clicks, without you having to spend a penny on PPC.
SEO produces longer-lasting results, as it can be somewhat self-perpetuating. If you rank well in the search results, you’re going to get more clicks, which will help to keep you there. This means that an SEO campaign can pay off for years.
2. Great SEO Creates a Better Website
Many SEO techniques also have the added effect of making your website more intuitive to use. For instance, the page speed update that Google released a few years back, made it so that the faster a website is, the higher it will rank.
This incentivizes businesses to use better quality hosting, get more bandwidth, cut down on scripts, and so on. All of this results in a much breezier browsing experience that your customers, as well as Google, will appreciate.
Similarly, Google now uses mobile websites preferentially over desktop ones. This means that if you’re still just squashing down a desktop website onto your visitors’ mobile screens, your SEO will suffer. Put the effort in and make a better mobile website and you’ll be rewarded, while also pleasing your customers.
Many of the fundamental techniques of SEO have these kinds of effects and will improve your website generally, as well as your search ranking.
3. SEO Boosts Your Business’ Image
A massive part of SEO is about establishing your website as a credible, authoritative source. To this end, you should attempt to get backlinks to your website from other places on the web, preferably to well-written articles or white papers that you’ve created.
These kinds of links position your website as being a credible, informed, and ultimately, trustworthy source of information. Visitors will see that you know your industry well, which can make them more likely to hire you, too.
Website authority pays dividends in terms of search rankings, but it also helps to build a great deal of trust between you, your customers, and other businesses.
4. Local SEO Is Vital for Small Businesses
Local SEO is of particular importance for small businesses. This kind of SEO is all about creating content about local events, news, and trends, as well as using Google Maps and your “contact us” page to force Google to recognize where you’re located. This will result in you appearing in local searches, such as when someone searches for “business consultant [your town],” for example.
However, local SEO has offline benefits too. When people go shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, they usually have their phones with them. Before they head inside a store, they may well take out their phone and search your business’ name. You want to have images and information about your store ready to go, so that they can see what they need to right away.
This allows them to learn more about your business and may well turn them from a window shopper into a customer.
5. SEO Is Cost-Effective
While an SEO campaign isn’t free, it’s a very cost-effective way to market your business. You don’t need to spend money on SEM, you don’t need to create physical marketing materials, and you don’t need to run commercials on local TV or radio stations.
Instead, you can create content, make tweaks to your website, change your hosting company, and make other small, cost-effective tweaks like these to catapult yourself to the first page of the Google search results.
This means that SEO is a fantastic way to market your business regardless of its size. If you’re a huge multinational, SEO is a good way to stay on top. If you’re a new small business, you can keep costs low while still achieving very strong results.
Compared to other kinds of marketing, SEO is an effective and low-cost way to spread your brand’s name far and wide.
What Is SEO and How Can It Help You: Answered
When you began this article, you wanted to know “what is SEO?” and we hope that you now feel a lot more informed about this type of marketing and its benefits. SEO is cost-effective and can lead to many more customers, so why not put it into action?
We can help you by creating a custom SEO campaign, tailored to your business’ budget and needs. If you want to improve your website and get more customers, get a free website analysis and see how you can improve.