What is SEO, and why do you need it?
In today's digital landscape, the term "SEO" is frequently discussed, but many still wonder, "What is SEO?" Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of online marketing, wielding considerable influence over a website's visibility and success. While SEO may seem like a relatively new concept, it has rapidly evolved and established itself as a crucial strategy in navigating the competitive online world.
If you're curious about the fundamentals of SEO and its significance, this article will provide you with comprehensive insights. We'll explore the true meaning of SEO, its purpose, and why it plays a pivotal role in achieving online visibility and business growth.
By the end of this article, you'll have a solid understanding of SEO, empowering you to make informed decisions about implementing effective optimization strategies for your website. So, let's delve into the world of SEO and unlock the secrets to improving your online presence.
What is SEO? (Search Engine Optimization)
Be sure that you can currently find at least 1000 different definitions on the
Internet. What is SEO, but somehow the most accurate, although too broad, is
the one that reads:
SEO is a process that brings together all activities aimed on positioning
your site as high as possible in organic search results of all search
And perhaps the best definition is:
SEO is the art and science of publishing information in a format that will convince search engines that your content meets the needs of their users for relevant queries.
There is a whole list of activities divided by areas that aim at the one hand to raise your positions, and on the other hand to increase the number of relevant visitors to your site. Some of the activities are often intertwined with some other internet marketing areas, but as long as the goal is the same, this should not be a problem.
Why do search engines exist, and how do they work?
To understand why SEO is important, we must first understand why search engines exist. They are present on the internet to provide people with the highest quality results for their search. So, the only ultimate goal of every search engine is to deliver the most relevant data to its user in the shortest possible time. The whole search engine story could most easily be presented as a three-step process:
- the first step is the query that the person enters into the search form;
- the second step is all those steps that search engines do in the background that we don't see;
- the third step is the results that search engines show us.
- First: They send their "spiders" (crawlers; spiders) to search the Internet 24 hours a day and visit all the pages they come across. The spiders then send all those pages (newly found and existing) back to the data centers. It is a constant process and never ends.
- Second: Search engines develop and constantly improve their algorithms that filter the quality of all those collected pages. An essential process for users and SEO! Here, quality search engines are separated from wannabe search engines. The better the algorithm, the more relevant the results will be, and the more satisfied the users will be (if we remember, this is the goal of every search engine).
OK, what does that have to do with SEO?
SEO is there to optimize web pages (and entire sites) in such a way that the search engine algorithm accepts that optimized page as the most relevant for the user's query.
Third: This is about the technical side of the story, and we wouldn't
bother you much.
There are currently over a billion sites on the Internet, and their number is increasing by the second. If we multiply that number of
sites by the number of pages, images, and other things that make up one site,
we come to unimaginable numbers. All this needs to be collected in their
databases and delivered to users with tremendous speed.
Add to that all the math the number of users making queries, that is, requesting a search engine from their database, and this all further complicates the whole story. That's why search engines are investing a lot of money in this part, opening their data centers around the world and keeping them as if they were Fort Knox. But this is a different story.
Google and SEO
Google has been the largest and most important search engine for years (holding about 90% of the market), so site and online business owners have recognized the need to "flatter" it. Some of them did not have time, and many of them did not know, so the need and space were created for experts to do this work. So, SEO is another one of the many business positions created by modern businesses.
SEO experts have begun to make efforts to ensure that all sites are maximally adapted to search engine algorithms (especially for Google as the dominant one) and thus try to position themselves well. Because search engines, for understandable, reasons do not want to reveal the parameters of their algorithms, SEO experts research and analyze all available data and establish standards that lead to good positions for their clients. At the same time, they are in line with search engine standards. It is sometimes science, experience. In practice, it is a mix of all the above.
Since then results are displayed on the first page of the search engine after the query, it was logical to do research that would show which place in the results carries how much potential traffic. This is the purpose of SEO activities - to attract as much organic traffic.
The well-known fact is that the more your site is positioned on search engines, the more visits you will get, and potentially the higher the profit. So, the goal is to be on the first page, ideally in the first place.
One of the largest studies on this topic was done by the Chitika advertising
network in 2013 and obtained the following results (similar results were
achieved in some other studies):
Position on the first page of the Google search engine and average traffic percentage:
Data from these and similar research have laid some foundations for activities that SEO experts should include in their work for the results to be appropriate.
SEO vs PPC
One of the eternal hot topics in the internet marketing world - is SEO vs. PPC. If viewed objectively and professionally, both areas have their purpose of existence, and which should be (more) decided on depends on several things.
Those who are at least a little more knowledgeable will often use a mix of both areas. Those who ardently discuss this topic emphasize only one area as the right one for all you should look with hesitation about their expertise.
We will give you a brief overview of some advantages and disadvantages, of both of these areas.
Advantages and Disadvantages of SEO and PPC
The high positioning of the site on search engines, ie the organic traffic it generates, is the main result of SEO activity. Generally requires more time to be realized, but in return, its impact lasts much longer.
- SEO advantages: Long-term results, not expensive attracts over 85% of internet traffic, ROI is easy to track.
- SEO disadvantages: It takes a long time to see the results, it is more complicated than PPC, and the results are difficult to predict.
Inorganic traffic, in this text with a focus on PPC. It can deliver results
faster but is less effective over the long term compared to SEO
- PPC advantages: Faster results, great for targeted traffic, much more powerful in branding.
- PPC disadvantages: It can be very expensive. After the end of the PPC campaign, your visibility in the search results is zero. It requires constant fine-tuning.
Objectively speaking, SEO should always be a long-time strategy, while
PPC should be used as a tactic that, if used properly, can indeed be very
But even so, the paradox is that SEO, which brings 75% of search engine traffic, spends less than 15% of the average SEM budget, while PPC, which brings about 25% of search engine traffic, holds about 80% of that same budget.
Can anyone do SEO?
Learning and practicing SEO requires certain skills and knowledge. Whether you're considering diving into SEO or wondering who can practice it, here are some key points to consider:
1. Continuous Learning:
- SEO is an ever-evolving field, and it's crucial to stay updated with the latest industry trends, algorithm changes, and best practices.
- Dedicate time to ongoing learning through reputable online resources, industry blogs, forums, and attending SEO conferences or webinars.
2. Technical Understanding:
- A solid understanding of the technical aspects of websites is essential for effective SEO.
- Learn about website architecture, HTML, CSS, website performance optimization, and how search engines crawl and index web pages.
- Familiarize yourself with tools and analytics platforms used in SEO to track and analyze data.
3. Analytical Skills:
- SEO involves analyzing data, identifying patterns, and making data-driven decisions to optimize websites.
- Develop analytical skills to interpret website metrics, keyword research data, and user behavior to make informed SEO strategies.
4. Quality SEO Courses:
- While there is no formal SEO school, you can find reputable SEO courses that provide comprehensive training.
- Look for courses offered by experienced professionals or reputable organizations that cover essential SEO concepts, techniques, and best practices.
- Research course content, student reviews, and instructor credentials to ensure you're enrolling in a quality program.
Remember, becoming competent in SEO takes time and practice. Embrace the learning process, stay updated, and continuously refine your skills to become proficient in optimizing websites for search engines.
Benefits of SEO
SEO has long been recognized as an effective, important internet marketing strategy. While there are many benefits to a good SEO strategy, I’ve singled out nine, hoping you’ll recognize why SEO is what it is.
Benefits of Implementing SEO Strategies
Here are the key benefits of SEO, along with additional advantages:
1. Increased Organic Traffic
- SEO helps drive a higher volume of organic traffic to your website.
- By optimizing your website and targeting relevant keywords, you can attract more visitors who are actively searching for products or information related to your business.
2. Measurable ROI and Tracking of Results
- SEO provides measurable results, allowing you to track the effectiveness of your strategies.
- Through web analytics tools, you can monitor metrics such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, and revenue, enabling you to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts.
3. Enhanced Brand Awareness and Consumer Trust
- SEO plays a crucial role in building brand awareness and establishing trust with your target audience.
- When your website appears in top search results, users perceive your brand as authoritative and trustworthy, leading to increased brand recognition and credibility.
4. Improved User Experience
- SEO optimization focuses on enhancing the user experience on your website.
- By improving site navigation, page load speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall usability, you create a positive experience for visitors, increasing their likelihood of staying on your site and engaging with your content.
5. Long-Term Strategy with Sustainable Results
- SEO is a long-term strategy that yields sustainable results over time.
- While it requires ongoing effort and adjustments to stay competitive, the benefits of SEO can continue to generate organic traffic and visibility for your website, even without additional advertising expenses.
6. Targeted Traffic and Qualified Leads
- By optimizing your website for specific keywords and target audience segments, SEO helps attract highly targeted traffic.
- This means that the visitors coming to your site are more likely to be interested in your products or services, increasing the chances of converting them into qualified leads or customers.
- Compared to other digital marketing strategies like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, SEO is cost-effective in the long run.
- Once you achieve higher organic rankings, you can generate continuous traffic without paying for each click, making SEO a more sustainable and affordable option.
8. Competitive Edge
- Implementing effective SEO strategies gives you a competitive advantage in the online landscape.
- By outranking competitors in search results, you increase your visibility and attract potential customers who might have otherwise chosen a competitor.
9. Local Business Visibility
- For businesses targeting local customers, SEO helps improve local visibility.
- Optimizing your website for local search queries, such as "near me" searches, and managing your Google My Business profile can help your business appear in local map listings and increase foot traffic to your physical location.
So many regular displays/mentions of your brand can gain greater consumer trust and be recognized as synonymous with quality. And you will agree that this will bring you potentially increased traffic, i.e. profit. So, the higher your position, the more profit you can expect. Very simple.
One thing is for sure, whether you want to learn SEO for personal business or
to become an SEO manager, knowledge in this area will help you improve the
online presence of any business.
As we conclude our exploration of the world of SEO, it becomes evident that search engine optimization is far more than just a buzzword in the digital realm. It is a fundamental strategy that can make or break your online presence and business growth. By understanding the true meaning of SEO and its purpose, you have gained valuable insights into how it can elevate your website's visibility and attract relevant traffic.
Implementing effective SEO techniques is a continuous process that requires staying updated with industry trends, understanding technical aspects, and analyzing data. While SEO may seem complex, there are quality courses and resources available to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate this ever-evolving landscape.
The benefits of investing in SEO are abundant. You can increase the volume of organic traffic to your website, measure your return on investment, and boost brand awareness. As you climb the search engine rankings, your brand becomes synonymous with trust and quality in the eyes of your target audience.
In a world where digital competition is fierce, SEO provides a competitive advantage by improving your online visibility and attracting potential customers. By staying committed to SEO best practices, you can drive sustainable growth and achieve long-term success for your business.
So, take the knowledge gained from this article and embark on your SEO journey with confidence. Implement the strategies and techniques that align with your business goals, and watch as your online presence flourishes, organic traffic increases and your brand establishes itself as a force to be reckoned with in the digital realm.
Remember, SEO is not a one-time endeavor but a continuous effort. Embrace the power of SEO and unlock the full potential of your online presence. Start today and pave the way for a prosperous future in the competitive digital landscape.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2021 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.