SEO 101: Chapter 2
How crucial is SEO to your SEM? Where do you rank in the SERPs? Did we lose you already? You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the necessity of SEO and how it relates to the success of your business on the web. But what is ‘it’ exactly? If you don’t manage your own internet marketing, or if you’re new to it, you’re probably awash in the sea of endless internet marketing acronyms. To understand how to achieve SEO, you’ve got to get back to search engine basics, and to the root of search engine processes.
What is SEO?
First off, SEO is the abbreviation for search engine optimization, or your site’s ability to be found by web searchers in the search engines’ organic / natural / unpaid results. If you’re over the age of 8, you’re probably familiar with Google, Yahoo and Bing. All of whose jobs are to present web searchers with the most relevant information that best matches their keyword search.
As we mentioned in our last blog, “The Mission of Search Engines”, the process that takes mere seconds in users’ eyes is actually an extensive four step phase comprised of crawling, indexing, ranking and serving results. This means Google crawls the web for relative information, indexes the information into its own databases, pulls the information upon request, and using a complicated algorithm, ranks the results for users in order of importance and relevance.
Why is SEO Important?
SEO is a vital component to any company’s internet marketing strategy. Today, most companies have a website, but what good is a website if customers can’t even find it?
Search engines are like the new Yellow Pages. People turn to the web to begin their purchasing experience by conducting online research, comparing prices and reading reviews. According to a (now dated) comScore1 report in 2010, over 88,000,000,000 (88 billion) worldwide searches are performed every month on Google alone! That’s breaks down to about:
- 3,000,000,000 searches per day
- 121,000,000 searches per hour
- 2,000,000 searches per minute
- 34,000 per searches second!
By the time you’ve finished reading this sentence there will have been 170,000 searches performed on Google! SEO helps websites increase their visibility and exposure to this enormous market.
How to do SEO
In a nutshell, to be search engine optimized, your website must not only be ‘crawlable’ by search engine spiders but must also be deemed relevant in relation to the queried keywords and keyphrases that searchers are using.
Achieving high organic search engine ranking for any keywords depends on two main sets of factors:
- On Page Factors – Things we can generally influence, modify or add to the website. Also known as On Site Optimization.
- Off Page Factors – External ranking factors, such as inbound links from other websites gained from link building efforts.
Although inbound links aren’t the only off page factor, they are certainly very important. This is because the web is really one giant popularity contest where inbound links are like ‘votes’. The more ‘votes’ or inbound links a website has pointing to it, the more popular it appears to be in the eyes of the search engines.
Even if your business is a leader in the industry, if Google or other search engines have a hard time finding the association, your website’s importance can easily be missed. Taking the time to ensure your website is SEO-rich in content and getting others to link to and talk about your website (i.e. social media, blogs, digital press coverage) will help increase your chances of ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO is best understood when you break down the acronym, processes and meaning to your business. With the help of an SEO expert or a few simple search queries on your own, the search engine basics can easily become a routine addition to your current marketing efforts, and mean a significant boost in ranking and traffic.
In the next chapter of our SEO 101 blog series, we will explore the purpose of keywords and how to perform effective keyword research to reach your target audiences.
Read more from our SEO 101 blog series.
- comScore Reports Global Search Market Growth of 46 Percent in 2009. comScore. January 22, 2010