What Does SEO Mean in Business? (And 5 Other FAQ Questions)

For many companies, search engine optimization (SEO) is a brand-new field. With almost 90 percent of marketers finding success with SEO, however, it’s a digital marketing tactic that businesses can’t afford to ignore.

Yet many company leaders find SEO’s meaning in business confusing, which can make earning support (and a budget) for SEO difficult. That’s why this post covers what SEO means and answers some of the most common questions that businesses have about SEO.

Keep reading to provide your company everything it needs to get on-board with SEO!

1.     What does SEO stand for in business?

SEO focuses on improving your site’s visibility in search results on search engines like Google and Bing. It features an umbrella of strategies, like content marketing, to help your website appear higher in search results related to your business, products, and services.

Improves your site’s visibility in search results to provide your company with an additional source of revenue

For example, if your company provides roofing services, then you’d want to appear in search results about hiring a roofing team. Depending on your strategy, you may even want your site to show up in search results about roof maintenance, roof design, and other roofing topics.

From a business perspective, SEO means providing your company with an additional source of revenue. Via search, your organization (even if you’re a brick-and-mortar store) can reach your target market as they shop and research their next purchase online.

2.     Why does SEO matter to businesses?

Almost 75 percent of businesses invest in SEO, and here’s why:

A checklist of why SEO matters to businesses


Companies across all industries, from home services to manufacturing, can leverage SEO to generate sales. That’s because 80 percent of consumers (and 71 percent of business-to-business clients) start their search for products online.

When it comes to search, however, 75 percent of users stick to the first page of results. If your company doesn’t invest in SEO, your website probably appears past the first page of results, which means a significant portion of your market doesn’t even know your business exists.

With SEO, your company can change that. You can see these results by browsing the successes of businesses that invest in SEO. Our SEO services, for example, have helped our clients earn more than $1.5 billion in revenue in the past five years.


Depending on your industry and business model, your company may have a heavy focus on lead generation. You want to earn high-quality leads for your sales team to close, and SEO can help your business accomplish this goal.

Digital marketing, which includes SEO, provides your company with dozens of data points when it comes to your audience. With your site’s analytics, which you can access for free in Google Analytics, you can gain valuable insights about your audience from their demographics to their browsing behavior.

SEO delivers dozens of data points that provide valuable insights about your audience

That information can inform your SEO strategy.

For example, you can tailor the tone, style, and writing level of your content to your audience. This shift can have a direct impact on your target audience. It makes users feel like your business understands them, which can motivate them to submit quote requests or contact you.

Companies, from home service contractors to medical practices to software providers, have all used SEO for lead generation with success. Our clients, for example, have earned more than 4.6 million leads in the past five years with our performance-driven strategies.


A successful marketing strategy includes building brand awareness. While brand awareness may not result in an immediate sale or lead, it can help your business start a relationship with future clients, as well as improve the loyalty of current customers.

With SEO, your business can appear in not only service- or purchase-related searches but also queries signature to users in the early stages of the buying funnel. They may ask about the value of a service, for example, or search for answers related to a common problem, like lawn weeds.

As your company continues to appear higher in search results, you become a trusted point-of-reference for shoppers. When they’re ready to purchase, call, or inquire about a product, expect your business to earn a spot on their list.


If you’re looking for a shorthand version of SEO’s meaning in business, it’s simple. SEO creates real, tangible growth for your company. It helps you increase your revenue, which makes it possible for your business to expand into a new area, hire new team members, or even launch a new product or service.

In today’s technology-driven world, people rely on the Internet to find what they need. They go to their favorite search engine to ask questions, find answers, and discover the products and services they want. If your company doesn’t appear in searches, you don’t exist to the modern consumer.

That’s why SEO is critical for businesses today.

3.     How does SEO work?

When it comes to explaining how SEO works, it can quickly become confusing. If you want your company’s leaders to sign-off on SEO, you need to ensure they understand SEO. That means explaining SEO in terms that make sense for them, as well as answering their questions.

A checklist of what SEO includes for businesses

Ok, so how does SEO work for businesses that adopt it? In four steps:


Before you can start optimizing your website for search and users, your company needs to evaluate your current status when it comes to SEO. With a site audit, your team can discover where you need to improve and where you excel.

A screenshot of a site audit report

While a paid audit takes a deeper look at your SEO, free SEO checkers are also available for use.


Remember, SEO builds your online visibility in relevant search results. It’s up to your in-house team or SEO agency to determine which search results matter to your business and its goals. That’s where keyword research comes into use.

With keyword research, your team investigates keywords related to your business, as well as used by your target audience. You can uncover relevant keywords a few ways, like by researching your competitors or browsing your social media.

Companies also like to use a few keyword research tools, like Ubersuggest or Keywordtool.io.


Once you audit your website and research your keywords, your company can start optimizing your site. In some cases, your business may develop a strategy, which details your game plan and what your company wants to accomplish with SEO.

If you partner with an SEO agency, like WebFX, you can expect a well-researched, custom strategy.

Optimizing your website can include several steps, like the following:

  • Updating your title tags and meta descriptions
  • Adding your targeted keywords to specific pages
  • Changing your image filenames
  • Improving your page speed
  • Modifying your page URLs
  • Redesigning your website’s navigation

As some of these steps require web design and web development expertise, your team may need to collaborate with other departments. Or, you can partner with a full-service agency, like WebFX, which can take care of all your SEO needs.


When you invest in SEO, you make a long-term and ongoing investment. Your business can’t optimize all your content and then leave it. Otherwise, any increased visibility your site gains in search results will decay as competitors launch their SEO strategies.

SEO is a long-term and ongoing investment

That’s why your company needs to continue to create new content, as well as optimize old content. With this proactive step, you can gain additional ground, appearing in more search results relevant to your business and your audience.

With re-optimization, your company can expect to follow the process of auditing and optimization.

4.     What does an SEO company do for businesses?

While many businesses manage their SEO in-house, it’s a challenge for small-to-midsized companies. Even for massive companies, it’s difficult to lead SEO initiatives internally. That’s why these organizations partner with SEO agencies.

An SEO company provides your business with everything it needs when it comes to SEO. They audit your website, develop your strategy, optimize your site, and measure your results. Plus, they have access to tools and technology that provide in-depth reporting to you and your company decision-makers.

WebFX is an example of an SEO agency.

With our decades of experience, plus advanced artificial intelligence tech, we’re one of the top SEO companies for small-to-midsized businesses. That’s why our client recommendation score exceeds the industry average by 488 percent.

5.     How much do businesses spend on SEO?

If you’re looking to partner with an SEO agency, small-to-midsized businesses spend an average of $350 to $2000 per month. For many businesses, this is a cost-effective amount, especially when considering the additional responsibilities and limited time of your marketing team.

Small-to-midsized businesses spend an average of $350 to $2000 per month on SEO

Should your company decide to partner with a professional SEO company, watch for agencies promoting “cheap” or “low” monthly prices. These offers can seem great, but they often leave your business with little show for when it comes to SEO results.

Choose an experienced agency with reasonable prices instead. While your business may pay more upfront, you will receive a better client experience, as well as better results. For your company and your team, that helps you earn more from SEO.

Start using SEO in your business!

Ready to onboard SEO into your company? Get started today!

If you’d like to receive additional information about SEO, from strategies to tips, sign-up for our newsletter. We’ll send you exclusive content that you won’t find on the blog, plus actionable advice to help your SEO succeed.

For professional help with your company’s SEO, browse our award-winning SEO services. Or, call us at 888-601-5359 to chat with an experienced strategist about your business and SEO. You can also contact us online!

Get posts by email

Be the first to know when we publish a new blog post!