What Is SEO and Why Is It Important?

Many businesses struggle to come up with ways to increase their website traffic. Between writing a new blog post, posting on social media, and strategizing for a new email campaign, it's hard to look back and see what's driving traffic to your site and what isn't.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic from search engines. It has become a critical component to the online success of businesses. Those who want to make sure that their organizations have a strong online presence and are ready to engage the modern customer need to invest in strengthening their SEO strategy.

How Does It Work?

Search engines like Google, Bing or Yandex use crawlers, sometimes also called bots, to gather information about the content they find on the internet and index it in their systems. Next, algorithms analyze the pages, taking account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query.

When a user types something into the search box, the search engine uses the same complex algorithms to find what it believes to be the most accurate and useful list of results. These organic results can include web pages, news articles, images, videos, local business listings and other types of content.

There are many factors that go into the search engines’ algorithms, and these factors are evolving all the time to keep up with changing user behavior and advances in machine learning.

Some of these factors include:

  • Overall security & accessibility of the website.
  • How relevant is the content and keywords on the page.
  • Speed at which the site loads on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Mobile friendliness and optimization for smaller screen sizes.
  • Age and authority of the domain name.
  • Links to your site on other, more established websites.

Why Is SEO Important?

Search engines are often the primary source of digital traffic for brands. People conduct trillions of searches every year, often with the intent to find information about products or services, so naturally, SEO has become a fundamental part of digital marketing.

When searching for something online, users are more likely to choose one of the top five suggestions that the search engine shows them. SEO helps you rank higher in their results, garnering more visibility online and making potential customers more likely to click over to your site and convert.

Unlike paid search ads, you can’t pay search engines to get higher organic search rankings. It takes time for effective SEO to catch on and it’s something you’ll have to regularly monitor.

While you can do this by yourself, it takes a lot of time, effort and knowledge, so most businesses will hire a digital agency or a specialist to help them. While there are some costs involved in effective SEO, they are still not as high as paid advertising.

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