What is SEO and How does it work?

Why is it imperative for you to learn SEO?

In today’s digital age, shouldn’t it be easy to advertise to massive groups of people by using plain social media alone? Why is there a need to do SEO? What does SEO even mean? These questions may look elementary to those who know all about SEO.  But, for those like you who have just encountered this three letter term, everything is mind-boggling.

That’s why we came up with this short article explaining what SEO is, what does SEO do, what can it do for your business, and how you can do SEO. You’ll also learn why SEO is crucial in today’s digital marketing age. And discover the edge that SEO can give to businesses, to help them rise against their competitors, and make a lasting mark in the different markets found in the economy.

Ask him anything White Hat SEO Network by Chase Reiner!

1. What is SEO?

Laptop on top of a wood table with a mobile phone located left next to it;

Before we go into the technical stuff, it would be best to define each term that you’ll encounter when learning about SEO. Knowing the meaning of these terms will make learning about the subject matter easier.

Let’s start with the term SEO. What is SEO? Is it an acronym for a long word. Or, is it an actual word?

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, in simple terms it means that you’re optimizing your website or webpage for search engines. When you optimize something, it means that you rearrange, rewrite, or redo your data to improve its quality. In the case of SEO, you optimise it to increase its visibility. You rewrite your content, redo it, or rearrange it so that it can be seen on search engines.

Why do you need to optimize it or make it better for a search engine? And what is exactly is a search engine?

A search engine is a software that is designed to retrieve or search information on the World Wide Web. So, it’s a software designed to give you information based on the queries you type in its search bar. A great example of a search engine is Google. Google answers over 3.5 billion search queries every day, that’s over 40,000 searches every second. Add that up and that’s 1.2 trillion searches per year. Aside from Google, other popular search engines include Yahoo, Bing, Duckduckgo, Naver the South Korean search giant, Baidu the Search Engine that 77% of Chinese people use, and many other search engines.

Why is it important to optimize your content for Search Engines like Google?

As stated earlier, when you enhance or revamp a content you rearrange it so that people will see it on the results page of search engines. These results pages are commonly referred to as SERPs, and the goal of any website owner is to get their websites or web pages to show on the first results page of Google, or any search engine. Because, when a person enters a query on a search website like Google, for example, he or she will most likely click the first result on the first page.

No logical person would enter a query, and then immediately jump to the results listed on page 10. Naturally, they click, or read the first suggested answer given to them by Google. That’s why it’s important for websites to rank or show up in the first page of any search Engine.

2. How Did SEO Start?

A man writing SEO surrounded by words on a clear glass board with ared;

SEO can be described as the result of a problem that persisted in the early 90s. Back then, anyone can rank or get the number one spot by just stuffing their web pages or content with “keywords”, important words that tell a search engine what the page is about, in order to fool the software that their website has valuable information.

All that change when Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page founded Google, and introduced the idea of PageRank. The technology that allows Google to help organize, and rank results based on how good the content is, and not just by keywords alone.

Brin and Page designed their search engine “Google” to utilize algorithms in order to determine and rank websites on their results pages. With SEO now meaning that spammy and keyword stuffed sites that gave irrelevant content would no longer show up in the first page, but instead be penalized.

3. What is SEO Today?

Search Engines have gone far from the keyword stuffing of the past; now websites are striving to create more relevant and accurate content on their websites. And numerous people have become famous on the internet as SEO experts or SEO consultants. Here’s a list of  some of the SEO masters you may have encountered on the internet:

  • Rand Fishkin
  • Guy Sheetrit
  • Vanessa Fox
  • Barry Schwartz
  • Danny Sullivan
  • Neil Patel
  • Matt Cutts
  • Marissa Mayer
  • Eric Enge
  • Brian Dean
  • Bruce Clay
  • Spencer Haws
  • Stephan Spencer
  • Aleyda Solis

The different algorithm updates that Google has launched, and continues to launch, has revolutionized the way webmasters and web owners design and publish their products, services, blogs, adverts and overall content to the general public. This, in turn, influences the ever-evolving industry of Search Engine Optimization.

4. Understanding Keywords

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Keywords are basically the phrases that users type in the search queries; it can single words like dog, camera, cake or it can phrase like “how to take a great picture” to “best chocolate cake.”

These keywords tell search bots or crawlers what a site or page is about, but the key to using keywords in any content is that it should be used naturally. Keywords shouldn’t look forced within a content, it should be readable, and how it is used should make sense. Take a look at these two sentences for example:

Big house block Manfield

A big house located in Block four Manfield

Which of the two sounds better? The first? Or the second? Sentences or phrases like the first doesn’t make sense, and does not flow naturally. Search bots wouldn’t rank a site with content like that in its SERPS. The goal for keywords is to integrate them into the sentences, and phrases to the point that a reader or a visitor wouldn’t be able to notice that it is, in fact, a keyword.

5. What Can It Do For a Business?

4 Tall glass paned skyscrappers all clusterred together;

Getting a website to rank number one on the search engine results page will mean one thing, traffic. Traffic not in the sense of cars and vehicles on the road, but traffic in the form of increased website or page visitors. These visitors can become potential customers when they become convinced by what the website sells or offers.

Think of it this way, shops located near a busy street are considered prime sites because many people can potentially notice and enter these shops. That is similar to ranking high on the SERPS, Google is the highway, and the 1st page is the Madison Square Garden.

You get more visitors to your site. Once these visitors enter your shop, they can then become leads. And leads with proper nurturing can become customers. Customers well taken cared of will buy again and again from your business. It’s a cycle that generates revenue to any store, and in the online world, website traffic is the push that keeps that cycle going.

6. Is SEO worth it?

A man holding a tablet showing the Google Search Console results;

Does hiring an SEO consultant or a specialist produce good results? A business that fails to optimize it’s website loses more than it imagines. A site that is not optimized will not show up in the results pages of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. And no visibility means no traffic. No traffic means no new leads. And no new leads means no new customers.

Your website is like your physical store except it’s located online. When no one visits your shop it will go bankrupt; the same can be said of your website. When no one visits your online store, you’re just wasting resources on funding a project that doesn’t rake in any revenue.

7. The SEO Edge

A jar glass full of coins with 4 stacks of coins next to it with plant sprouting;

The 1st thing in SEO and business that you need to understand is that SEO isn’t an upgrade, it’s an investment. You invest in SEO to bring in more traffic, more visitors, and more prospective buyers to your website. That is your edge compared to businesses who don’t do SEO. They lose the chance to gain more visitors, more leads, and more customers. And if your target audience can’t find your website on the internet, then they’ll head on to your competitor’s site who’s page shows up in the Google results.

What does SEO stand for in business? SEO is the medium to get more traffic.

What does SEO mean in marketing? It gives businesses the edge to outdo and outperform their competitors when done right.

8. How Can You Do SEO?

A man writing SEO surrounded by words on a clear glass board with a red pen

  • Use your keywords naturally in all your website content
  • Create excellent quality content that is worth the time your readers and site visitors invest in reading it.
  • Use only credible and relevant back links, that way you avoid spammy and atrocious websites.
  • Plan your headlines, meta titles and meta description well. Always keep in mind that humans will read them and not robots.
  • Use Google’s free Search Console, and determine how much traffic your site is getting and which pages get the most traffic.
  • Be up to date with the updates of each search engine and be sure to implement changes when changes are required.

9. Hiring an SEO Specialist

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When you’re in doubt about how to do SEO, you can employ the services of SEO specialist. People who know SEO well like it’s the back of their hands. These experts will make sure that your site lands that coveted no. 1 spot on the SERPS.

What to look for in an SEO Specialist?

First is expertise, how long have they been in the business of optimizing websites for search engines? Specialists that deliver SEO that works have reviews that show the growth, and impact of their SEO in their clients’ website. SEO is an investment; if it doesn’t show positive outputs, then it’s not worth the money, and time you put into it.

Look for someone who has:

  • Great projects to show for
  • Positive reviews
  • Extensive knowledge on SEO
  • Reasonable rates when charging clients

But remember, the more renowned the person you hire is, the higher the rate. You can’t expect Neil Patel to charge you only a few hundred dollars for his work. In the same way, you won’t pay a specialist thousands of dollars if he/she is still new to the field.

Conclusion

SEO boils down to this, you build or rebuild your website to be visible to search engines, like Google and Bing, and rank first on the SERPS. By doing this, you drive large volumes of traffic to your website. From this traffic, you can pick out prospective leads, who can become your customers when treated right. This transforms SEO into a tool, an investment for you and your business.

So, the question is SEO worth it? Wouldn’t be hard to answer anymore. Because SEO gives you the Edge, you need to rise above your competitors. And it gives you the push you need to turn no profit into big revenues in the future.