What is SEO, and Why is it Important?
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me; “what is SEO?” or “why do I need SEO for my business?” I would be able to quit my day job in the SEO industry and retire early. I get it… it can seem like a bunch of complicated, mumbo jumbo, usually spoken in industry jargon. Not exactly easy to understand, or pay attention to, right? Well, that is the point of this article; to help break it down for you.
So, what will we be going over?
- We will find out exactly what SEO is, and why it is important.
- Why SEO is important to you, and your business.
So… what is SEO you ask?
Well, the easy answer is that it stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. However, the broken-down way to define it is: The practice of optimizing websites and online content to improve their visibility and rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal, and point of SEO is to increase organic, non-paid (think google ads), traffic to a website by making it more attractive and relevant to search engines and users.
So, google has these little robots that scan the internet when someone searches something in the google search box for all kinds of relevant information, and web pages that hold said information. These robots crawl (scan) hundreds of websites and start ranking them on the results page as they seem fit. How do make these decisions? Through a combination of factors such as how much code is on the web page, the amount of text compared to code on the page, how much duplicate information there is on the page, whether your web page’s sitemap can be found, your website speed, how many referencing domains, and backlinks your site has, and so on, and so forth. All this information is gathered by these robots, and then, poof… you now have a page of search results in front of you with the best, most credible, websites first.
That leads up to question two: “why is SEO important to my business?” Funny you should ask…
In today’s increasingly digital world where online presence and engagement becomes more important by the day, you need to be seen to make an impression on potential new leads, and clients. Gone are the days of “Word of mouth supports my business” or “I don’t need to be online” if you wish to be taken seriously or have the chance at maxing out your financial potential as a business. Your web page to potential clients is a first impression. Think of how you dress and prepare for your first interview for a new job. You get yourself in a nice suit, put on a color coordinated tie, make sure you have a clean shave, fresh breath, etc.. Why do you do all that? To make a good first impression and look professional. Your web page should be viewed in the exact same way.
Now that you understand the importance of a good-looking web page… I have a question for you; “what good would that web page be, if it is never seen?” No good, right?
This is where SEO comes in and saves the day. Most google searches end after the first page. In fact, most sources claim that between 78-90% of searches end before going to the second page. We can all attest to this. How often do we really click through to the second page of google? I personally cannot tell you the last time I have. So, it would seem imperative then to be on the first ‘google search’ page. Using SEO, your web page for your business can climb through the ranks of Google’s search until you are on top. Having yourself on the first page helps you stand out from the competition. Think of a small CPA firm or Law Office for example. With such a large number of those businesses out there, it can be hard to stand out from the pack when someone is simply searching for: “Lawyers” or “accountant” on Google.
Using, primarily, Keyword research, along with blog posts, backlinks, and on page optimization, an SEO provider can generate more of that organic, non-paid, traffic that we talked about earlier, to your web page. The more searches that your page shows up in, the better chance there is for a potential client to find your page which equals more clicks, more views, more clients, and of course, more income for you and your business, and who doesn’t want that?
The biggest part of SEO is keyword research. What is keyword research?
Keyword research is a crucial component of search engine optimization (SEO) that involves identifying and selecting the most appropriate keywords or phrases that users are likely to use when searching for information, products, or services online. The goal of keyword research is to understand the search behavior of your target audience and optimize your website’s content to align with those search queries. Seems important, doesn’t it?
Next, what the heck is a backlink?
Well… A backlink, also known as an inbound link, is a hyperlink on one website that directs users to another website. In simpler terms, it is a link from one website to another. Backlinks are important in SEO because they serve as a signal to search engines about the quality and relevance of a website. One thing a good SEO provider will be sure of is the quality of your backlinks. There is a difference between good and bad backlinks. The bad ones are known as “toxic”. Yes, just like that ex-partner of yours, backlinks can be toxic as well. Google can tell the difference between toxic and non-toxic backlinks, so it is paramount that the entity controlling your business’ SEO knows the difference between quality and quantity.
Now, we all know what a blog post is… if you don’t then you need to step out of the late 90’s and step into 2023 for me. However, why is a blog post important in SEO?
Two words: Content Creation. Blog posts provide an opportunity to regularly create fresh and valuable content for your website. Search engines favor websites that consistently update their content, and a blog is an effective way to achieve this. By publishing blog posts on a regular basis, you signal to search engines that your website is active and relevant. You know what you can also use blog posts for? Backlinks… remember those? This is an excellent way of creating non-toxic backlinks for your site. I suppose you could also use a blog to write about that toxic ex-partner too…
As with most IT related products and services, the language and acronyms can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing, but hopefully this article has shown you just how simple SEO is and how it works. In today’s world, your online visibility and presence could not be more important, and as a business owner and operator, your marketing budget should reflect that. We have all heard “you have to spend money to make money” and that is still true to this day. Do not sell yourself and your business short, and do not miss out on leads, and potential new clients by not taking your online presence seriously because your competitors probably are, and they are the ones that are scooping up those extra leads and sales every month.
Just like everything else in business, SEO usually comes down to ROI – Return on Investment. No matter what you’re paying out of your marketing budget, you should be getting that back and then some in new business, or potential new business. Nobody wants to pay $1000 a month for a service that is only bringing In $200 a month in new business. Let’s be honest… most companies don’t want to pay $1000 a month period. However, it has been said by every great business mind, founder, and CEO for decades that; “You have to spend money to make money.” That $1000 investment in your brand every month seems like a bargain when your SEO is bringing in $10,000 a month in new business for you. Enter Tom Cruise with “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”
If you are still unsure about investing in SEO for your business, let me ask you this:
“How much is a new client worth to you?” or better yet … “How much is ten new clients worth to you?”