What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and why do I need it?

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and why do I need it?

These days, it is tough getting noticed on the web.   As most people have discovered, it is not enough to just have a website or web presence. People are often questioning why they are not receiving traffic, why they are not being found online or why their website is showing up on page 15 of Google search results. It all boils down to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)…

So, just what is this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) thing and what does it do? Simply put, SEO is all of the things you do to your website to help it rank higher in search engines. It is the practice of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in search engine results. The ultimate goal for SEO would be to get to page one, and ideally to position one.

To put this into context, just think about the way you search the Internet. When you are looking for information on a specific topic, one of your first instincts is to go to Google because it is the fastest and easiest way. Once you’ve inputted your search terms, you’re likely to search through the links on the first or second page of results because they are the most relevant to what you are looking for. This is the point of Search Engine Optimization, to try and get your site ranked as highly as possible on search engines. As a general rule of thumb, websites that appear higher in the search results page will receive more traffic, and in return, more business.

A common practice for Internet users is to click a website on the 1st or 2nd page of search results. Hubspot reports that 75% of people do not scroll beyond the first page of Google. Why build a website that no one can find? For this reason, it is important to constantly keep SEO in mind when creating a website.

So, how does SEO work? SEO works by finding certain keyword phrases or conversational questions that your target audience enters in search engines and by matching those phrases with the products or services you offer on your website. seoWorks has outlined some of the key elements that effect the SEO of your website:

On your website

  • Targeting keywords that your target audience might search
  • Matching relevant content to target these keywords
  • Constantly creating new content to target these keywords
  • Website infrastructure and architecture

Off your website

  • Developing on-theme incoming links
  • Having a relevant and active social media presence
  • Creating citations about you
  • At least half of your SEO results are influenced by elements outside of your control

One of the best SEO strategies is considered to be high quality, relevant and informative content with researched keywords naturally inserted into the text. Google rewards websites that are continuously posting new, relevant and interesting content.

Gaining top rankings can take a very long time. Just because you follow all of the best practices for SEO, does not mean you will be found on the first couple of pages. You cannot set up optimization strategies for your website once and leave it untouched. SEO is a continuous process that requires constant and well-maintained efforts. We’ve only just scratched the surface here.

Looking to (re)design your website with SEO in mind? Learn about the 6 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid during your next re(design).

Are you interested in learning more about the complex world of SEO? If so, leave us a comment below and we’ll be sure to address your questions in our upcoming articles.