Raise your hand if you have ever been confused by the term search engine optimization (SEO) or if it still confuses you to this day. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. SEO can take awhile to wrap your head around and fully understand as there are several aspects to it. But in order to fully understand SEO you need to start at the beginning. So that’s exactly where I’m going to start, with the basics – what it is and why it’s important. Alright, let’s dive in!
What is SEO?
According to MOZ (the search engine optimization experts), “SEO is the practice of improving and promoting a website in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines.” Simply put, SEO helps to ensure your website will be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to what your site is offering.
Let’s use an example. Say you run an online soccer store. A search term potential customers may use could be “soccer shoes”. So when a person searches “soccer shoes” you want your company to come up on the first page of the search results. This way, you will have more visitors coming to your site, which means more customers and more sales.
Why does my website need SEO?
The goal of most websites is to generate traffic and have visitors come to the site to either find out information or to buy products or services. Now, how do visitors get to a website? Well, they may type in the website address directly (if they know it) or they may have followed a link from a social networking site. But, the majority of traffic comes from search engines (93% of online experiences begin with a search engine) as they are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users.
In order for visitors to find your website through search you want your business to appear in the search engine results, preferably on the first page. Consumers nowadays are looking for quick solutions to their problems and not many people are going past the first page to find results. Therefore, it is extremely important you are investing in SEO so your website will appear at the top of the search results and potential customers will find your website.
Can I do SEO myself?
Search engine optimization can be complicated. But it is easy to obtain a basic understanding as there are several resources available to you on the web (many of which are free!). If you are able to commit the time and are willing to learn, then handling SEO for your own website is achievable. On the other hand, if you don’t have the time or have a complex website, then you may want to hire an SEO expert to do it for you.
Now that you understand the basics of search engine optimization, are you ready to take the next step and learn more about SEO? If so, I recommend you check out Best Practices for Search Engine Optimization – SEO and Becoming a search engine optimization expert.