What Is SEO?

Define SEO: What Does SEO Mean?

SEO, also called search engine optimization, is the process used to rank specific keywords in major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. The priority purpose of SEO is to drive organic search engine traffic to your web properties when they search for products, services or information 

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Why Is SEO Important?

SEO is important to all businesses because it’s one of the largest sources of traffic online. When you want to buy a product, research a topic, read reviews or get directions, the majority of users use search engines to find those answers. Most people use Google, the world’s largest search engine.

In fact, when you combine the 3 major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo), together they account for over 70 percent of all online traffic. In short, that’s a lot of traffic and if you’re not using SEO, you’re missing out on all of that traffic.

Organic Traffic VS Everything Else

Organic traffic refers to the traffic you bring in by your SEO strategies, these traffic sources would come from search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Since search engine optimization accounts for 70 percent of all online traffic, that means social media, paid advertising and other online traffic sources only account for 30 percent of the remaining online traffic you could get.

Let’s use a real live example of how SEO can benefit you. Let’s use an commerce example, we’ll say you have a store and you carry gemstones. For this keyword, it’s searched 64,000 times a month in Google alone.

Since the first result usually gets around 20 percent of the clicks from that traffic, that means you’re going to see 12,800 clicks a month! With that many people landing on your website interested in what you have to sell, that would have a big impact on your sales. The best part, that’s just one keyword!

How Much Is SEO Traffic Worth?

Now, using that same example, how much is the organic traffic worth in our scenario?

For the keyword “gemstones,” this would be around $1 a click. The monetary value of ranking this keyword first would be $12,800 a month! That’s a value of $153,600 for the year! Keep in mind, this is only one ranking keyword, you can rank as many keywords you want.

Can you imagine if you were ranking hundreds of keywords? Thousands of keywords? SEO is one of the biggest opportunities you have to grow your business. It’s also one of the best ways to ensure positive ROI, so as long as you’re doing your search engine optimization right.

Organic VS Paid Traffic

If you don’t use SEO to drive targeted traffic to your website, you can use paid traffic. Also known as PPC, this strategy is where you pay to show ads in search engines when someone searches for the keywords you want to target.

While PPC can be effective, some industries like insurance and loans have keywords that cost $50 a click. If you want to send traffic to your website or a landing page, it would cost $1K to send 10 people there. If you’re in a high competitive niche, running paid ads can cost you a lot of money. 

This is why the majority of business owners choose SEO versus running paid ads, or another marketing strategy all together.

How Search Engines Function In A Nutshell

Search engine databases are massive. Crawlers, also called spiders, crawl the entire web on a constant basis. These spiders crawl your web folders and stores what it finds. The crawler stores this data and chooses whether to index it in results or ignore it all together. What content is stored in the index will go through the algorithms and the ranking of every known keyword is determined.

How Does Search Engines Work?

If you don’t use SEO to drive targeted traffic to your website, you can use paid traffic. Also known as PPC, this strategy is where you pay to show ads in search engines when someone searches for the keywords you want to target.

While PPC can be effective, some industries like insurance and loans have keywords that cost $50 a click. If you want to send traffic to your website or a landing page, it would cost $1K to send 10 people there. If you’re in a high competitive niche, running paid ads can cost you a lot of money. 

This is why the majority of business owners choose SEO versus running paid ads, or another marketing strategy all together.

While Google doesn’t come out and explain how its algorithm works, we know through trial and error what works. Google also has patents and they do have guidelines to follow. 

Let’s take a look at the core of Google’s algorithm and what you need to focus on the most for your SEO to work.

Authority: Building Sites The Internet Loves

Authority is a common term used in SEO and refers to the amount of SEO value a specific webpage has.

Google measures authority by evaluating the backlinks a website has, hence why link building is at the heart of SEO. When Google wants to know how authoritative a page is, that’s one of the main factors they look at to analyze its SEO value.

Links that your website obtains from other websites is called backlinks.

Essentially, the more backlinks a page has, the higher it ranks in Google. While that’s not always the case as there’s many Google SEO ranking factors, it’s true for the majority of ranking websites.

While Google doesn’t come out and explain how its algorithm works, we know through trial and error what works. Google also has patents and they do have guidelines to follow. 

With the right SEO software, you can easily evaluate a website’s authority. Ahrefs calculates authority with their DR (Domain Rating) metric and Moz calculates authority with their DA (Domain Authority) metric. While these are great SEO tools to use, Google doesn’t rely on them to know your authority, nor does Google care.

Relevance: Building Relevant Content

Relevance is another common term you’ve likely heard about in the SEO world and just like authority, it’s at the core of Google’s algorithm.

Have you ever paid attention how accurate Google’s search engine rankings are when you search for something? Google is very accurate, they know you want to see relevant search results for what you’re searching for.

If I’m searching to find directions to the local mall, I don’t want to see results about buying a motorcycle. It wouldn’t make sense, right? Relevancy is important to Google, it’s important to your SEO too.

While relevancy is at the algorithm core, it’s not the only thing Google is using to display relevant results. There could be a million other pages relevant to any search query, so how does Google know what to show?

 

Helpful: Solves A Problem, Provides Solutions

You know now you need to build authority and relevant pages, what else? Your content must be helpful, it must be useful and Google has ways to ensure your content is helpful.

In fact, Google has come out and stated such. They said “higher quality content is not necessary, more useful content is.

On-site signals, user signals, engagement signals, Google can track these on mass scale to tell what pages users like the most. 

These user experience signals have become a major part of Google’s search engine rankings.

If Google knows users are finding a search result more helpful, it can drastically improve your search engine rankings.

Better User Experience Increases Rankings 

Google has confirmed many times prior for webmasters to focus on creating “useful” content. This is a core pillar of SEO today and one you need to take to heart.

Think of your users first. If they’re searching for XYZ, is this webpage going to solve their needs? You rarely see webmasters thinking in this manner and if you’re not, the end results won’t be there. Think like Google, Google wants to give users the best possible content for their search queries. Is your content worthy of that ranking? Answer it honestly.

Once you start thinking like Google, you’re going to see your SEO a lot differently and that’s a good thing! 

When you’re creating content for the purpose of ranking a particular keyword, always consider everything your users may need. You want them to find your content helpful, useful, informative and engaging.

If your content doesn’t hit on those elements, your SEO is going to be a struggle. 

The Two Foundations Of SEO 

There’s two core components to every businesses’ search engine optimization strategy, one is called On-Site SEO and the other is Off-Site SEO. These 2 pillars will always be vital to everything you do for SEO.

 

On-Page SEO 

This refers to making sure Google can find your content and understands the types of keywords you want to rank in search engines. This includes your content, products, on-site engagement, metadata, site structure, site speed, and ensuring your website is mobile friendly.

Off-Page SEO 

This refers to getting other websites to notice you and link to your website. Each link you get is like a vote of trust, so as long as it’s coming from a trusted website. This also includes web mentions, engagement and social signals.

How To Rank Your Website On The First Page Of Google?

If you want to rank on the top of Google and other search engines, create a website your users will love and Google to.

Search engines are smart and if users love your website, search engines will reward you. Here’s the best advice I can give you.

    Sure, there’s a lot you need to learn but that’s what I’m here for. Below, you can sign up to get on my list and get access to my free SEO training so you can start learning what SEO is and how to use it in your business.

    If you already know all the SEO basics and you need more advanced SEO training, be sure to sign up here. 

    No matter what level of SEO experience you have, focusing on what I discussed is going to help you start improving your keyword rankings.