You’ve probably heard marketers talk about the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a digital marketing tool. And they’re right. SEO is a vital tool for businesses to increase website traffic and gain prospects.
The majority of online traffic comes from search engines, and competition for organic traffic is at an all-time high. Not only is there more content online, but there are more internet users (over 4 billion) than ever before. SEO matters because it makes your website more visible, which means more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into customers.
Having a basic understanding of the numerous elements that make up SEO will put you on the track to success in the digital world. Let’s take a look at what SEO is and its foundational elements.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of optimizing your online content and website so that search engines are more likely to show it as a top result for specific keyword searches. The goal is to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic (unpaid) search results.
While this may sound technical, it’s important to remember that SEO is about people. Google and other search engines’ “customers” are people searching for content about a specific topic, not you.
You need to understand what people are searching for, the words they use, the answers they seek, and the type of content they consume for SEO to be effective. There’s no value in visitors to your site searching for cell phone retailers if you sell socks.
How does SEO Work?
Search engines put out web crawlers, gathering information from billions of content pieces and indexing it into categories. The index runs through an algorithm and ranks content depending on how likely it is to answer a query.
These organic results used to be easy to spot — ads were clearly labeled, and the top results were listed below. Today, search engine result pages (SERPs) make up more and more ads and dynamic organic formats (“SERP features”).
Some standard SERP features are featured snippets (or answer boxes), People Also Ask boxes and image carousels. User requests drive these features. For example, if you search for “Austin coffee shop,” you’ll get a group of results for coffee shops in Austin.
While it may seem daunting competing with advertisements, there are organic SERP features that SEO can influence. These are featured snippets, a promoted organic result displayed in a box answering a question, and People Also Ask boxes or related questions.
Remember: searchers trust organic search results more than paid ads.
Why SEO is Important for Businesses
SEO aims to drive more relevant traffic, leads, sales, and revenue for a business. Implementing proper SEO tactics into your digital marketing strategy is the most effective way to drive relevant and sustainable traffic to your website. A quality piece of content that ranks for a specific keyword can continue to grow traffic over time without any added cost.
Ultimately, SEO can help your business grow as you build relationships with your audience, provide a better customer experience, establish yourself as an authority, convert leads, and generate revenue.
Therefore it is essential to understand what SEO is, how it can help you meet your digital marketing goals, and evolving best practices.
The majority of online traffic comes from search engines, and competition for organic traffic is at an all-time high. SEO matters because it makes your website more visible, which means more traffic and more opportunities to convert prospects into customers.