Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your website to improve its rankings in search results so that you can earn more traffic and revenue from the web.
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing your online visibility in organic search results to increase the quantity and quality of your website traffic in business and marketing. Overall, the goal of this digital marketing strategy is to increase your company’s online visibility and generate revenue and growth.
Ready to learn more about SEO’s definition and get answers to some of the most frequently asked SEO questions, such as “What does SEO do?” or “What does SEO mean in business?”
This mini-guide covers the top seven things every marketer and business owner should know about SEO, as well as a bonus FAQ that answers questions about SEO’s cost and more. Just keep reading to get started!
SEO stands for search engine optimization.
When someone says SEO, they’re referring to search engine optimization.
When you use SEO marketing, you optimize your website for search engines like Google and Bing.
With a well-optimized website and a competitive SEO strategy, your company can achieve the top spot in search results, also known as search engine results pages (SERPs). For the best results, your company should appear in searches for its products or services.
SEO is a collection of strategies.
The “optimization” part of SEO refers to a set of strategies. Because search engines like Google use more than 200 factors to rank websites in search results, you can optimize your website in a variety of ways.
Among the most trusted methods for optimizing a website for search engines and users are:
- Creating a user-friendly and fast-loading website
- Making site content that is optimized for specific keywords or search phrases as well as user intent
- Creating compelling and informative meta descriptions and page title tags
- repairing broken website links
- Publishing website images with a descriptive alt tag and a relevant filename
- Obtaining valuable links to website content from credible and relevant websites
SEO focuses on organic search result rankings rather than paid search result rankings.
Answers to the question “What does SEO mean?” are insufficient without mentioning organic and paid search results. Remember that SEO can help your company gain more visibility in search results. It is important to note, however, that Search Engine Optimization only focuses on organic search results.
A paid search result is an ad that promotes a company and its services. As a result, searches with a purchase intent, such as “hvac emergency services,” are more likely to include ads. You may even see ads for navigational searches, as in the preceding example.
Businesses can also create ads that target the brand name of a competitor, such as “QuickBooks” or “TurboTax.” Overall, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising provides many businesses with a new strategy for promoting their products.
While paid ads appear first in search results, earning a top spot in organic search results, which appear after paid search results, is still valuable.
This is due to the fact that paid advertisements are not free.
In comparison, when someone clicks on your site in organic search results, you pay nothing. Not to mention that 70% of search results clicked are organic.
As a result, most users prefer to click on organic search results rather than paid ones.
That is not to say that PPC advertising isn’t effective.
It’s an excellent digital marketing tool as well as an SEO-friendly strategy. PPC, for example, can provide your company with immediate visibility in search results, which is beneficial because SEO takes several months to produce results.
Even better, you can use paid ad campaign data to inform your SEO strategy.
PPC advertising, for example, provides keyword data or search terms. This keyword data can assist your company in determining which keywords to target in future site content.
Consider the potential value of a short-term PPC campaign in addition to SEO.
SEO includes both black-hat and white-hat strategies.
Companies that use SEO can employ both black-hat and white-hat strategies.
This is because black-hat SEO tactics harm rather than help your SEO strategy.
Here are some examples of black-hat tactics:
- Stuffing a page with keywords, reducing its readability
- Including hidden text, such as white text on a white background, to target keywords
- Buying links from other websites, such as link farms
White-hat tactics, on the other hand, enable your company’s website to appear in relevant search results.
Because they follow SEO best practices, they provide your company with much-needed visibility in search results. Examples of white-hat tactics include:
- Writing readable content that provides users with the information they seek
- Creating shareable, high-quality content that earns links from reputable sites
- Regularly adding new content
- Keeping the website’s usability and functionality
With white-hat SEO tactics, your company can appear at the top of relevant search results.
You also avoid the penalties associated with black-hat tactics, such as a ban from search engines like Google. That is, Google will not include your website in search results.
Because Google controls more than 90% of the search market, you want to avoid that scenario.
Because of modern shopping habits, SEO is important.
When pitching SEO to company decision-makers, it’s critical to provide compelling evidence that proves its worth. You want to demonstrate that SEO is important and beneficial to your business.
It’s also critical to understand why SEO matters to businesses as part of understanding what SEO is. People today shop differently, from businesses to consumers.
Instead of going to a physical store, many people use their phone, laptop, or desktop to search for products, ask questions, read reviews, and do other things.
In fact, 80% of shoppers conduct product research online. Not to mention that more than half of users find a new company or product after conducting a search. Search engines are an important part of the purchasing process for both consumers and businesses.
You do not exist if your company does not appear in search results.
Even if your company appears in search results, a position on page two, three, or four renders it invisible to the majority of users. This is because only 25% of users click past the first page of search results.
That is why SEO is important for businesses today.
You can use SEO to increase user awareness of your business, whether you have an ecommerce store or a physical location.
Consider our clients’ successes to put the power and utility of Search Engine Optimization into perspective.
In the last five years, we’ve helped our clients earn more than $1.5 billion in revenue through SEO and other digital marketing strategies. That’s fantastic, and it’s enabled our clients to pursue a wide range of objectives, from opening a new location to launching a new product or service.