Did you know that there are more than 3.5 billion Google searches made every day?
With the number of Google searches rising every year, it’s clear that businesses cannot afford to ignore SEO when planning out their websites and marketing strategies.
Maybe you’ve already seen websites and businesses talking about their “SEO strategy,” or maybe you’ve seen digital marketing agencies advertising their SEO specialist services…but you’re still a little in the dark about what exactly SEO is.
What does SEO stand for? What does SEO do? Why is it important?
To help answer these questions, we’ve compiled this little “SEO for dummies” crash course to help brush you up with some SEO basics!
What Does SEO Stand For?
SEO simply stands for “search engine optimisation.”
When businesses and websites talk about SEO, they are talking about a variety of techniques and practices to make your website appealing to search engines.
For many people, the first thing they think of when they hear “SEO” is “keyword research.”
It’s true that SEO involves meticulous keyword research — finding top-ranking search keywords and working them into your site’s web content in a natural, contextual way.
But any true SEO expert can tell you that SEO involves much more than just keywords. A couple other aspects of SEO are:
- On-page optimisation – Every detail of your page can be optimized for search engines. Break your content up with headers that make things easy to read and digest. Use a descriptive and relevant page title. Make sure that your page’s metadata (back-end coding) matches the content that users see.
- Site structure – The way that you build your site matters. Is it clear and easy to navigate? Are your pages and sections built around important keywords?
- Link building – This is one of the most important aspects of SEO. You should be linking to relevant sites, but you should also be getting “linkbacks” from relevant sites within your industry. When your site is being linked to on other relevant sites, Google and other search engines see that as a clue that your site is also relevant and reputable. This is where social networking and guest posting often come into play.
What Does SEO Do?
Basically, SEO makes your webpages rank higher in search engines, thus driving more traffic to your site. More traffic means more conversions.
There are quite a few benefits of using SEO for your business, but basically, effective SEO strategy helps you make more money.
Effective SEO does not try to trick search engines with meaningless keyword stuffing or other shady practices. Those kinds of “black-hat” SEO practices might work in the short term, but often end with your site getting blacklisted and never showing up in Google again.
Ultimately, good SEO is about creating a website that will be valuable to a real person, not just to a search engine.
Search engines know that their results serve real people! Although they are primarily run by complex algorithms, there is often a human web search evaluator behind many search engines. That person evaluates web content in search results to ensure that everything is relevant, useful, and spam-free.
Why Is SEO Important?
High-quality content on your website can keep you ranking in search engines for the long term, continuously driving more and more traffic to your site — unlike paid advertising, which requires continuous funding.
Not to mention, organic search results (that is, pages that have ranked naturally due to their SEO strategy) have significantly higher CTR (click-through rates) than paid advertising.
A MOZ study of searcher behaviour revealed that “SEO has about 20X more traffic opportunity than PPC on both mobile and desktop.”
Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that money-making opportunity?
Ready to Take Your SEO Strategy to the Next Level?
Now you’ve got the answer to “What does SEO stand for?” — but you’re just getting started.