What Is SEO? (A Beginner’s Quick Guide to SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways for companies to grow online. What is SEO? SEO is a process that makes your website friendly to search engines and users through optimizations that happen on and off your site.

With a “friendlier” website, your business can rank higher in search results on places like Google and Bing, which can result in more traffic and revenue. Keep reading to learn more about SEO’s meaning, plus:

  • How SEO works
  • Why SEO is useful
  • How to learn SEO

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What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the process of improving your website so users and search engines can understand it more easily. It’s a universal marketing strategy that forms the cornerstone of Internet marketing as a whole. It has the potential to benefit any business in any industry, and it requires a minimal financial investment for outstanding return potential.

Everyone from a single-location small business to General Electric can benefit from SEO. The key is understanding the details of how it works, which brings us to our second question.

How does SEO work?

Watch our video and then keep reading to find out.

When you optimize your site, you help it show up in search engine results pages (or SERPs) for keywords that are related to your industry. So if you sell running shoes online, you can use keywords like “buy running shoes online” on your site along with helpful information on how or what to buy. Then, when someone searches for that keyword in a search engine, there’s a good chance they’ll see your site come up in the results.

The higher your site shows in search results, the more likely someone will click to your site. The ultimate goal of SEO is to get to the #1 spot in search results for keywords related to your business. Keywords are important because they reflect customer intent on behalf of the search engine user.

There’s pretty much only one reason someone would search for “buy running shoes online” through Google — and that’s to buy running shoes. Using that mentality, you can target a huge range of different keywords by writing pages full of in-depth information that teach something new to your website visitors. That information helps them understand your industry better, and it also makes your business a reliable source of relevant information.

By extension, you build trust with your visitors, and they can feel more comfortable taking the steps to become paying customers. Now that we’ve covered how SEO works, let’s look at some advantages.

Why is SEO useful?

The biggest advantages of SEO are its incredible reach and staying power. Google alone fields trillions of searches every year. That number is so big that there are bound to be a few searches for your business, at least.

By showing up in those searches, your site becomes its own advertising agent. You can passively gain new visitors to your site, and once they’re on your site, you can convert them into paying customers. All it takes is some know-how, setup, and maintenance.

Even if you don’t get new visitors to your site all the time, SEO is at least a method of promoting your brand name. Search engine users might click to one of your competitors, but seeing your brand in searches will let them know that you exist. And even at that level, you’re still successfully marketing your company in terms of awareness.

But one of the best parts about SEO is how well it dovetails into other Internet marketing strategies. It’s the perfect complement to pay-per-click advertising (or PPC), and it’s a reliable foundation for future strategies like social media marketing, content marketing, and reputation management. At its best, SEO is an affordable, passive way to earn more revenue for your company.

At its worst, it’s a free billboard on the most popular website in the world. Even if you don’t succeed with SEO at first, you’re still way ahead of where you’d be with traditional marketing.

You know SEO’s meaning, now take the next step

Now that you know the meaning of SEO, are you ready to take the next step? Whether you’re looking to learn more about SEO, searching for tips on SEO project management, or wanting to find professional SEO services, WebFX can help. With our bi-weekly newsletter, Revenue Weekly, you can stay in-the-loop about SEO and build your knowledge, and with our award-winning team, you can build a website that tops search results.

Subscribe today, or contact us online about our SEO services!

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