What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic from search engines to a website or web page. SEO targets organic, not paid, traffic.
Search engines, such as Google and Bing use bots or spiders to crawl pages on the web. The spiders go from page to page and site to site, discovering everyone’s wonderful content. Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking dozens of ranking factors into account, to determine the page order to appear for a given query.
It’s really about understanding what people are looking for online and how they are searching, such as what words or phrases they are using. If you understand this, you understand the intent of the audience.
But knowing audience intent is only one part of the SEO equation.
What are search engines?
Search engines provide answers – that’s what they are built for. They look through countless numbers of pieces of content. When you conduct a search, the search engine serves up the most relevant information to you, considering the terms that you are searching for.
Search engines catalog information by crawling and indexing sites, meaning spiders crawl the site looking for all kinds of content, including text, videos, blogs, and images.
The difference between paid and organic search results
Organic search results are those that are earned through effective SEO, meaning that all of the information provided on the page, including headings, copy, website tags, and backlinks all indicate that the content on the page is relevant.
Search engine results pages (SERPs) today are filled more and more with ads, usually appearing at the top of the search above the organic results. Search engines make money by selling advertising, so it’s understandable that these links will display at the top of the search results.
The negative thing is that sites that work hard on both their on-page and off-page appear even lower in the search results.
SEO can influence some SERP features on Google, including featured snippits and related questions.
Why is SEO Important
The large majority of online traffic is driven by search engines.
Organic results surpass paid ads in coverage, are believed to be more credible by savvy searchers, and receive more clicks. Among all US search results, only 2.8% of people clicked on paid advertisements.
SEO offers 20X more traffic opportunity than PPC.
When done correctly, SEO is one of the only online marketing channels that continues to pay dividends over time. Content that features the right keywords can snowball your traffic whereas advertising requires ongoing funding in order to drive traffic to your site.
Businesses have become more successful online as a result of SEO. Investing in SEO will help organizations with a strong web presence and prepare them for engaging the modern customer.
There are many forms of SEO and the space is constantly evolving. SEO covers everything to make your site attractive to search engines in a white hat way such as a blogger outreach program or on site optimizations.