What Is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization (otherwise known as SEO), is the process of improving the quality and quantity of your website’s traffic by boosting its search engine rankings. Search engines like Google, for instance, have a “crawler” that gathers information about what they can find on the internet. They then consider the information through an algorithm that takes into account the relevance of each website. The more relevant, high-quality, and “optimized” a website is, the more likely it will rank high on the search results.
A website’s authority can be evaluated by the number and quality of links from other websites that link back to the site. However, and more importantly, it is essential that the website contains content that is unique and relevant to the search engines.
How Does SEO Work?
As briefly mentioned, search engines like Google and Bing use complex algorithms, or mathematical formulas, to attribute values to websites and searches that are performed to determine which website should rank the highest for a specific search. These algorithms use combined values, such as relevance, authority, interest, quality, keywords, and many other factors.
The purpose of SEO is to accurately structure websites in a way that focuses on the values of search engines’ algorithms. In other words, optimized websites rank higher and more efficiently than others. Therefore, the ultimate goal of SEO for each website is to prove to search engines that they are the best result the search engine can provide for users.
Why Is SEO Important for Small Businesses?
For a small business owner, there are many aspects to consider when it comes to creating a successful online marketing campaign. However, SEO should always be the cornerstone. After all, what good is a high-tech, elaborate campaign, if no one ever sees it? Without proper optimization, it is unlikely that a website will be discoverable in the search engine results.
If you are still not convinced, here are a few more benefits of SEO that small businesses can take advantage of:
- Increase traffic to the website. Search engine optimization is one of the most effective and affordable marketing tools available to small businesses. With the right SEO, you will be able to attract prospective clients that are searching for the particular product or service you offer.
- Create a user-friendly website. SEO will help remove clutter and irrelevancy on the website which will improve the visitor’s experience. A user-friendly webpage will increase the chances of the visitor staying longer and attracting new clients.
- Improve Conversion Rates. A website with successful SEO will load faster and display correctly on all devices, including tablets and phones. It will provide the required information quickly and will also be easy to navigate. The ease and efficiency will increase the likelihood of a casual visitor becoming a loyal customer or a repeat visitor.
- Build brand awareness through higher rankings. Let’s face it- credibility is a huge component when deciding on a business to choose. Websites are no different. A website on the first page of a search engine is credible and trustworthy in eyes of the users. In turn, this will attract more visitors and increase brand awareness.
The bottom line is that effective search engine optimization will drive more traffic to a website and make it more visible, which will result in increased sales and business growth. In today’s competitive business world, SEO must be the pillar of any successful internet marketing campaign. No strategy provides as many benefits at an affordable cost for small businesses as SEO.