Beginners Guide to SEO Part 1- What is SEO?

As a small business owner, you wear many hats. Whether you like it or not, a big part of making your business successful means one of the hats you must wear is that of a marketing executive. Whether you are familiar with marketing strategies of today’s day and age or completely new to the concepts, an important and somewhat digestible place to start is SEO.

What is SEO?

Have you heard these three letters be thrown around together before? In today’s digital world, where business competition is fierce, having a strong SEO strategy is crucial for small business owners.  

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The purpose of search engine optimization is all about creating more organic online traffic and enhancing your online visibility. 

Why is SEO so Important?

SEO is so important because it captures the most common behaviors of online browsers and helps them find your website amongst the vast and never-ending pool of resources on the internet. 

Think about this. When you need to find a plumber, what do you do? You go to your online search engine, type in “plumber (your city)” and most likely choose a few selections from the first page of the result to browse and compare. How often do you continue scrolling past the first page? If you are a plumber, your best bet at gaining that organic website traffic and business is to use SEO to optimize your website to show up on that first page of search results. 

Some Interesting Statistics….

According to globalwebindex:

  • 60% of the world population have access to the internet
  • 53% of Business to business and business-to-customer website traffic comes from organic search

That statistic means that if you aren’t taking advantage of SEO strategies you could be missing out on nearly where half of your website traffic could be coming from, and therefore missing out on sales and other opportunities. 

Greater Understanding

Now we know how important SEO is in the vast realm of digital marketing, let’s get a greater understanding of how it all works. The great thing about SEO marketing is that it can be done at no extra cost. SEO is different from search engine paid advertising. With paid advertising, you’re paying search engines like Google to show your website on the search result page. Instead, with SEO, you’re optimizing your website for Google search, so it organically shows up on the first page of the search result. 

Search engines, like the popular, Google, use complex algorithms to determine which websites should appear at the top of any relevant search result. In our next post, we will go over exactly what you can do on your website to optimize it for these algorithms. But  As part of learning SEO fundamentals, it’s crucial to understand how search engines work to determine which aspects of your website you need to optimize. 

There are three steps a search engine like Google takes when online browser types in a keyword search. 

  1. Crawling.Google sends out robots (also known as spiders or crawlers) to follow hyperlinks on the web to discover new content. The content can be webpages, PDFs, images, videos or anything that can be linked to. When crawlers get to a web page, they gather information about that page and follow links to other pages. Then they report back what they find to Google.
  2. Indexing. If crawlers find unique content, they add it to the huge database of discovered URLs, also known as the ‘search index’.
  3. Ranking. Once the URLs are in the database, the ranking process begins. For each search query, Google has to try to organize the results from most relevant to least relevant.

The Benefits of Implementing SEO

The benefits of utilizing SEO strategies will be seen when used consistently over time. You can expect to see Implementing SEO strategies brings a multitude of benefits. 

Firstly, it improves your website’s visibility, ensuring that your target audience can find you when they need you. 

Secondly, it increases organic traffic, meaning more potential customers are discovering your offerings. 

Additionally, SEO helps build credibility and authority in your industry, establishing trust with both search engines and users.

SEO is not as complicated as it seems. Once you become familiar with the fundamentals of SEO, you’ll realize that SEO is about implementing best practices that give search engines and visitors the best chance of finding your website. 

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