The full meaning of SEO is “search engine optimization”. It is the practice used by most marketers to increase both the quality and quantity of business website traffic through organic method (Non-Paid Method)
SEO is much about people as it is much about the search engine too. When doing SEO you will need to understand what people are searching for online, the answers they seek to know, the words they are using to search for the answer on the search engine, and the type of content they wish to consume.
Knowing the answer to all these questions will give you the capacity to connect to the people who are searching the internet for the solutions your business offers.
Knowing what your potential audience wants is one part of SEO, delivering the solution to them in a way that the search engine crawlers can find and understand what your solution is all about is another part.
SEO can be categorized into three parts, which are;
Both the three parts of SEO goal are to make sure that your website is valuable and user friendly, as well as trustworthy to online users and the search engines.
The friendlier your website is to the internet users and search engines, the more search engines increase your website visibility and make it rank well for different keyword searches.
Let’s use two websites for an example;
Website X and Website Y.
Website X has a website that is responsive for both desktop and smartphone users, have great quality content and it is easy to navigate while website Y is not responsive to both desktop and mobile phones users, nor does it have great content users can learn from and it is not user friendly.
With these examples, the search engine will prefer to show people more of website X because it is responsive and user-friendly.
Search Engine Basics
The search engine can also be known as an answering machine because they provide an answer to people's queries.
They scour billions of web content and evaluate thousands of factors to make them determine the pieces of content that are most likely to answer your query.
The process in which the search engine does all of this is called “crawling and indexing”.
Then they show you the best piece of content that provides an answer to your query (Just like this blog post) in a process we refer to as “ranking”
Which search results are "organic"?
As I have said earlier, organic search results are the search engine results that are not paid (Advertisement ad) for but earned through effective SEO practice
Search engine results pages which are also known by marketers as “SERPs” are filled with both advertised and organic results formats which are called the “SERP Features”.
An example of “SERP features” is featured snippets that show up as an answer box on the search engine when a query is searched for.
Most of the SERP features on Google are organic and that can only be done through search engine optimization.
These features include featured snippets (they are short snippets of text that usually appear in a box at the top of the SERPs in order to provide a short and quick answer to search queries).
Below is an example of a featured snippet giving you an overview on "10 tips to learn French Fast"
More SERP features continue to emerge largely because of what the internet users are looking for.
For example, if you search for “Washington weather,” you are likely to see a weather forecast for the city of Washington in the SERPs directly instead of the search engine providing a link to a website that will have the weather forecast.
You have to also know that search engine makes money from online advertisement.
Their ultimate goal is to solve the internet user's queries within the SERPs so users can come back to search for more queries.
Why SEO is important?
Search Engine Optimization is an important campaign strategy in the digital marketing world because people conduct billions of search queries every single day with the commercial intent of finding information about products and services.
Search queries are the primary source of online traffic for most businesses and they complement other marketing channels.
It also gives your business more online engagement, credibility, and visibility and makes your website rank higher in the SERPs than that of your competitors in the same industry.
Although for quick results most businesses use paid advertisements like social media ads, google ads, and other online platforms to generate traffic to their website.
But the best way to generate traffic to your business website is through SEO because the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines.
Organic search results cover more digital real estate than paid results, organic results also appear more credible to internet users and they also receive more clicks than paid advertisements.
Search Engine Optimization is also the only online marketing campaign that will continue to pay dividends over time when it is done correctly.
If you provide a solid and relevant piece of content with the right keywords, the content can generate thousands of traffic to your website for years, unlike advertisement that needs continuous funding.
Optimizing your website for Search Engine Optimization will help it to deliver better information to search engines so that your web content can be properly indexed and displayed within search results.
Few reasons why Search Engine Optimization is important;
- Visibility and Rankings
When users go online to search for what they need, 80% of them choose one of the top five websites that comes up in the SERPs.
SEO will help your business website rank higher in the SERPs and gain more online visibility which will make potential audiences find you easily and click on your site link to learn more about what you offer.
- Web Traffic
If your website is properly optimized with an SEO technique, it will make it easier for your customers to find your website and increase your sales opportunities.
SEO will increase the organic rank of your website, which will increase the number of visitors that visit your website each day.
The more potential audience sees your website, the more likely you are to increase your business revenue.
SEO gives your website a score for ranking, the more score you get the more your website will appear on the SERPs.
The google search engine is appealing to all organizations that have an online presence because of its higher visibility in the search engine market.
Online users trust the result recommendation that search engines give them when they search for queries, so having a higher ranking for keywords that your potential audience is searching for will solidify your business to be a trustworthy one in your audience's mind.
SEO is the key to your business growth because it will expose you to your potential audience and 70% of your website traffic will come from the search engine.
The highly educative your website contents are the more SEO will bring web traffic to your website.
Optimizing your content with the relevant keywords will also bring traffic to your website from those looking for what you offer.
A well-optimized website will gain more customers that are likely to make a purchase.
Your web visitors are also likely to share your educational and informative web content on social media platforms if they find it through SERPs.
The Difference Between White hat vs black hat SEO
White Hat SEO is the best SEO practice and strategy that abide by the search engine code and rule.
White hat SEO focuses more on providing value for people.
Black hat SEO on the other hand is an SEO practice that is done to spam the search engine with plagiarized content.
Black hat SEO works most times but it puts the business website at the tremendous risk of being suspended and penalized by the search engine and this act can implicate a lot of businesses.
Penalized websites can bankrupt your businesses.
That’s why you need to be careful when making the decision to choose an SEO professional.
Should I hire an SEO professional, consultant, or agency?
Whether you should or shouldn’t hire anybody would depend on your budget and SEO goal.
You can perform some SEO basics yourself if you have the time and ability to or you might need the help of an expert to help you handle all the SEO projects.
Anyone you choose should depend on your SEO goal.
If your idea is to hire an SEO professional, it will be important for you to know that many agencies, professionals, and consultants provide SEO services that defy in quality.
Choosing the best SEO professional will save you a lot of resources like time and money because the wrong SEO strategy can harm your business website more than it will help it.