When it comes to navigating the world of online marketing, a common abbreviation you’ll hear is SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. While most business owners understand that having a business website is important, some don’t fully grasp how big of a role SEO plays in their customer and revenue flow.
Especially when it comes to running a small business, understanding SEO and using it to effectively promote your business is critical to your online success.
In fact, many business owners could be losing out on a large slice of their customer base, as according to a 2013 study by Eventility, a whopping 97% of consumers search online when looking for local businesses.
While not meant to be comprehensive, here is a basic guide to help you understand what Search Engine Optimization is and how it works.
So What is SEO?
As its name would indicate, Search Engine Optimization is a marketing strategy that involves understanding and utilizing how internet search engines operate. Some of the most popular engines are big names such as Google, Bing, Ask, and Yahoo! Search.
Essentially, these search engines look through mass amounts of online information, links, and sites in order to connect searchers with what they are interested in.
Thus, when a website has been optimized for search engines, it will typically rank higher and be more visible to consumers.
How Does It Work?
While the online search process is fairly complex, one way to understand it is through the common comparison of the “World Wide Web” to a spider web.
Say, for example, a customer is interested in buying custom cowboy boots and types that phrase into a search engine. When that happens, that search engine begins looking through the “spider web” of billions of websites via a computer program known as a “crawler” or “web spider”.
This spider is tasked not only with finding everything related to “custom cowboy boots”, but must also organize that info into a useful search result. After all, modern day searchers expect results to instantly appear at their fingertips and be exactly what they were looking for.
With this in mind, it’s not hard to see why enabling web spiders to quickly find relevant information is a top priority. Likewise, it makes perfect sense why search engines like Google are constantly improving their crawler program algorithms with updates like Google Penguin.
Indeed, compared to the early days of the internet, search engine programs are now quite advanced and use hundreds of ranking factors, such as relevancy and physical proximity, to evaluate and rank web content. For any business, this higher ranking ultimately equals greater visibility, customer traffic, and overall revenue.
In a nutshell, streamlining the search process and efficiently finding the best information is the name of the game for search engines. This means that web spiders are programmed to rank a business based on whether or not their page contains content that meets certain criteria.
As a result, properly employing SEO techniques is extremely valuable for business owners since an optimized website will utilize the factors that search engines deem important and thus be ranked more highly.
If you have more questions about how SEO works please leave them in the comments below.
And if you need help improving your search results call us at 512-651-2963 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help you succeed online.