What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers simply to the process of designing all aspects of a website to cater to search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. SEO is important because it helps win you new customers by enabling your website to be found organically when people search for keywords relating to your business. This makes SEO practices an important form of Internet marketing for businesses hoping to succeed now and going forward. At face value, it may seem fairly simple and straightforward to make a website that “gets found” on search engines, but in reality, ideal practices require extensive knowledge, experience, and constant reevaluation of an ever-changing SEO landscape.

 

How Do Search Engines Work?

There are many components to a website which are analyzed by search engines to determine where each page will rank for given keywords in search results. Major search engines such as Google use computer programs known as “web crawlers” or “spiders” to scrutinize websites’ overall design, user experience, content, linking structure, metadata, and more, assigning them a ranking for relevance to certain keywords. The textual components of web pages are then indexed on search engines’ servers for retrieval when relevant searches are made.

Does SEO Really Matter?

Yes. Google, for example, lists 10 sites per page of search results, so the ultimate goal of most SEOs is to rank in the top 10, or ideally the top 3, results for as many keywords and keyword phrases as possible. This dramatically increases the number of people who find your site without prior knowledge of your business. If you do not rank on the front page of search results for search terms relating to your business, then people who are looking for the kinds of products and services you provide will most likely find them from a competitor whose site ranks higher.

Location, Location, Location

One crucial aspect of SEO has to do with local searches and search locations. Search Engines show different results for the same search terms in different areas. This means that people searching for “pizza” in Raleigh are going to see a different list of results than people in Charlotte, for example.

Additionally, SEOs must ensure that their sites rank highly for location-based searches, such as “pizza in Raleigh.” These location-based searches are by far the most common way that people use search engines to find the products and services for which they are looking. Building a website which ranks highly for keywords relevant to your business AND for the specific locations you serve involves extensive keyword research and carefully-crafted content and metadata. But ultimately, if you own a pizza restaurant in Raleigh, having a well-designed website that organically ranks in the top 3 results for searches like “pizza in Raleigh” is a necessary part of finding new customers and staying competitive.

“Passive” Does Not Have to Mean “Ineffective”

Although organic SEO is considered to be a “passive” marketing component, do not be fooled: properly-administered SEO can be all a company needs to generate the desired amount of business. At TexTivia, we have clients who come to us planning to run active, paid Internet marketing campaigns only to discover that the organic SEO we deliver brings them more than enough new business. While this will not necessarily be the case for every company we serve, organic SEO will always be a crucially-important part of our clients’ overall Internet marketing efforts.

Still Not Convinced?

If you remain skeptical of the importance of professionally-administered SEO, then check out these statistics, courtesy of Search Engine Journal:

  • 93% of online experiences begin with search engines
  • 70% of the search links users click on are organic
  • 70-80% of users ignore paid aids in search engine results
  • 75% of users never make it past the first page of search results
  • For Google, 18% of organic clicks go to the #1 position, 10% of organic clicks go to the #2 position, and 7% of organic clicks go to the #3 position

According to these stats, the majority of Internet users find organic search results to be more trustworthy, and therefore clickworthy, than paid ads. Also, because more than a third of organic clicks go to the top 3 search results and a full three-quarters of clicks go to first page results, the importance of ranking in the top 10 or better for keywords relevant to your business becomes clear. At TexTivia, we have years of experience with running successful organic SEO campaigns, and this makes us your ideal partner for increasing the traffic on your site.

Call us today at 888-866-4233 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how TexTivia can manage all of your web design, branding, and online growth needs!

About the Author: Jon Wolf is Director of Content Generation at TexTivia, a Raleigh, NC Web development company. Find him on .

TexTivia is a full-service Web design, optimization, marketing, and branding company in Raleigh, NC serving clients nationwide.