What is SEO and why do you need it?

Do you have an online business and would like to improve your web presence and increase your traffic organically? If that’s the case, you’ve landed on the right page! You have probably noticed, the word SEO is being thrown around a lot these days when it comes to best marketing strategies, and for good reason. Indeed, not only is SEO a great way to boost your traffic and increase your sales, but it’s also a free way to do so!

The good news is, if you already have a website, you might just be a few tweaks away from significantly increasing your traffic and your revenues.

To assist you, we’ve highlighted below what SEO is, before exploring the reasons why SEO is important for your business and how it works.

Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization.

A search engine is a program that scours the internet and serves up information based on keywords or search terms specified by the users.

Therefore, Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing web content in order to be discovered through the organic search results produced by a search engine. There are many different search engines, but some of the most popular include Google, Bing, Yahoo, or YouTube.

As a business owner, using SEO techniques is critical as it means optimizing your website to answer specific users’ queries and to be visible in a search engine’s organic results.

Why is SEO so important?

Nowadays, the internet allows companies to create a website and reach new customers all around the world, 24/7, regardless of their size, and without necessarily requiring a physical location. However, although it might seem easy to create a website, with over one billion websites competing for a spot on the first search engine results pages (SERP), an efficient SEO strategy is more important than ever to drive traffic to your website and increase your sales. 

Indeed, A study led by Infront Webworks revealed that 95% of web traffic goes to the websites listed on the first page of Google, and over 31% of people click on the first result according to a study led by Backlinko. Note that the first top three organic results showing on the first page usually capture around 75% of the traffic.

Therefore, ranking high on Google and other search engines can help significantly grow your business by:

  • Increasing your traffic
  • Boosting your brand awareness
  • Building trust
  • Outperforming your competition

However, in order to be able to rank high on search engines and outperform your competition, you’ll need to use SEO techniques. Indeed, the key will be to optimize your content so that when a potential customer types in keywords related to your products or services, your website comes up on the first page of search results.

Therefore, SEO is the cornerstone of any efficient marketing strategy because it is a free way to drive traffic to your website consistently and all year-round.

SEO marketing facts

How Does It Work?

90% of desktop searches are done on Google, and the number goes up to 95% for mobile searches. Therefore we’ll take Google as an example.

When someone types in keywords into Google, the search engine sends out crawlers (or robots) to scan content and store all this information in an index (or content database). Google’s algorithm then scours the index and pulls out the content deemed the most relevant to the user’s search (a process also known as ranking).

The first page of results usually features in this order:

  • A few ads at the very top.
  • A knowledge graph presented in an infobox and showcasing the results Google believes are answering a user’s query perfectly.
  • Ten organic results. These organic results are not paid ads, but they have been so well optimized that Google automatically recognizes them as answering this particular query, showcasing them on the first page.

Top Factors to rank on Google

Google uses 200 factors to determine top ranking websites. However, the key factors the search engine analyzes when deciding which websites appear on the first page include:

  • Relevancy: You need to make sure your website answers exactly what users are looking for.
  • Quality Links: Having high-quality links redirecting users to your website is one of the most important signals to Google that your website is authoritative.
  • User friendly and Useful: When a user clicks on your site, the information should be easily found and relevant. Indeed, the longer people stay on your website, and the more they click on different articles or pages within your site, the higher Google will rank you as it deems your content useful.
SEO page factors

How to Optimize your Website for SEO

Last but not least, there are two ways to work on SEO for your website to help Google rank your website highly:

  • On-Page SEO: This process involves optimizing every individual web page with the right keywords to improve your rankings on search engines. With on-page SEO, most of the changes needed to boost your rankings are within your control and include; keywords in the title, body and image description, supporting keywords, alt text and title tag, relevant content, and internal links.
  • Off-Page SEO: Off-page SEO is all about making sure other websites are linking some of their content back to you (also called backlinks).

We hope this article sheds some light on what SEO is and how it works. While SEO is extremely important to ensure your business’s success in the long run, keep in mind it might take time for you to see the results of your hard work. However, once you do, the positive impact on your traffic and sales can last for months and even years!

Have you been using SEO to generate leads and sales? We’d love to read about your experience in the comment section below!

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