What is SEO & Why is it Important?

Honestly, it becomes little difficult to imagine a life without Internet. Such is the nature of the beast. We live in an absolutely connected world. Physical mail has been completely replaced by emails. Postcards have been replaced by instant messaging. The one-on-one direct contacts with people are completely replaced by live voice calls. The web has completely changed the way we do everything. It is almost impossible to imagine a scenario where we had to look for information on encyclopedias or public libraries. All of this amplifies the way the world has changed in the last 20 years. It is unbelievable.

What is SEO?

We are definitely leading a better life than our ancestors. That’s the power of the connected world.

One of the significant advancements in last few years is the advent of the multibillion-dollar giant, Google. The big G along with other search engines has made a world of difference to the ‘way we look for information’. Right now we have an ultimate access to the huge collection of ready-made, easily searchable, and stacked together resources available at a single click.

Just a small tab on the mouse and you have everything at your doorsteps.

It’s a new, more search friendly world

Search engines have changed the way we view the world and look for answers. They have changed the way we communicate and find stuff. If that was not enough, the search engines have affected the way students learn as well.

You see, what’s the point of memorizing information that you can easily find on Google. Our minds have completely changed because we know we can find anything, and I mean anything, that too anytime of the day.

The process of search

Before moving forward, let’s quickly go through the common process of web search.

It is simple, really. As any person looking for information, you go online and enter few keywords in the search bar. When you click, a page full of “so-called answers” come up on your computer screen.

Search engines are making use of certain tools in the back. There are search algorithms in action here. These search algorithms have been successfully developed over years. The answers that we see on the screen is based on millions of threads of information (and algorithms) that the search engines go through once you enter the query.

google search result example

In a way, the search engines are answer machines.

When a person is looking for some information, the engines only return the results that are relevant to the original query. The results that are displayed are already ranked according to the popularity of the links of the websites serving that particular information.

Clarifying further, the results are actually ranked in order of relevancy  and popularity. In fact, everything that you see on the internet is all about these two words.

The whole SEO experience is centered around these terms. SEO! Now, what the heck is that?

SEO, How it works?

If you’re familiar with the buzzwords in online marketing you’ve surely heard about SEO. Let’s try and define it in a way that you easily understand the concept.

So you got certain answers displayed on the screen. These are the ‘search results’ for the particular query you entered in the search box. As mentioned, these results are the most relevant and related links to your query.

But how do you get these results?

Google algorithms rely on a number of clues that makes it possible; to respond to and guess what you are looking for. Signals like quality and freshness of content, the authority of links and even the region where you belong, play an important role in the overall process.

For example, here are the Google search results for “what is online marketing”

what is online marketing

Search engine optimization is a process to apply various strategies to ensure that websites appear higher in search results. The process includes both the technical and creative traits required to drive search traffic and improve overall rankings of the webpage.

The higher you rank on the search engines, better it is.

Search engine optimization is a way to ensure your site is structured in order to make it useful for search engines. Website owners are looking to get more traffic to their website by ranking higher than their competition. When people click through to your website, hopefully, you have the answer to the original query.

and that, in a nutshell, is the whole process.

Why should I invest time, effort, and resources on SEO?

The answer to that lies in certain stats that are difficult to ignore.

  • Google, the search giant sends almost 90% of the overall web traffic.
  • More than 70% people use search engines to find about local businesses or online stores. In fact, the percentage of users who use search engines has been constantly rising at a fast rate.

and you can find hundreds of similar facts like these.

The thing is, search engines are & will be the number one source of traffic for most websites. If your website (and your content) is not optimized, then search algorithms would never know how to rank it. When people in your particular niche search for a query, and they don’t find your website in search results, what’s the point of having one? In a way, you are losing the traffic and the customers.

Search engine traffic can make or break an organization’s success.

Everything that you want is on the other side of SEO

At the end of the day, these are complex mathematical algorithms running at the back of the search engines powered by millions of web servers. There is a limit to how they can operate. You need to help the search engines find you. In fact, as a site owner, it’s your responsibility to help the search engines find your content in the best possible way.

“With the right kind of SEO practices, you can invite hundreds and thousands of visitors towards your website. It’s a great way to ensure that your site has maximum visibility. Isn’t that one of the primary things  a business is looking for?”

As highlighted with the stats before, web search is an incredibly popular (and growing strong) medium. Web search is a source for rock-solid online and off-line economic activity. In today’s day and age, it’s your ability of your website to get found quickly will determine your success and relevance.

Let’s take an example. You, along with three of your competitors start a sort of same business in a similar niche, around the same time. When a prospective customer searches with a  particular query on Google, the website that comes up at the top of the results will not only get a lot of traffic, it will also build a tremendous amount of confidence in your brand. This kind of relevance and popularity will make you invincible and stand out among all your competitors. It means more numbers and more moolah.

and yes, once you are at the top of the search engines, you’ve almost won the race.

Awareness about SEO will lead to profits

Knowing all about search engine optimization also gives you a detailed picture of the abilities and the limitation of the web as a medium. This is important as it helps you channel your energy in the right direction. I’m sure you met thousands of site owners spending money on meaningless paid marketing campaigns with no real results to show. When you invest in SEO, you know the importance of your resources and how to use them. You can find numerous cases in which small businesses have got monumental returns with useful (yet free) SEO practices. In fact, with SEO, you can add value to your website and your overall business. You can extract the best out of your online resources.

Let’s begin the journey

In today’s day and age, everything starts with simple words typed into a small search box. How people find something that they’re looking for has changed over the years, but the primary principles of web search have largely remained untouched. The thing is,

  • Now is the time to understand the search processes and take use of effective SEO practices for better ROI.
  • Now is the time to convert every user into a customer.

Among everything that has changed over the years, one fact still holds the ground. Every eye is drawn to the search results near the top of the page. The link at the top will always get the most attention. This means that you’ve already won the game of first impressions. The user is already excited and about to click the link to enter into your world.

If this can be termed as a journey from a random web user to a dedicated customer,  search engines are the highways that make it happen.

In a world where all businesses compete for attention and the top place, only those with the knowledge of SEO would get there. Let’s make that journey happen.

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