What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of using techniques to increase the number of visitors to your website or content on the web by improving its position in search engines. With good SEO practices, your content or site will appear higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) on Google or other search engines. To understand SEO, it’s essential to review the different types of SEO and the various terms used in the industry.
Why is SEO important?
Think about the last time you wanted to buy a product or a service online. What’s the first thing you did? You probably fired up Google and gave it a search. Thanks to Google, we can now easily find what we need with the search engine. On the flip side for marketers, that means we need to figure out how to stand out and show up on the search engines. Showing up in the search engine is so critical because the searchers are expressing interest in a product or service that you offer and that is your chance to show up.
Think about it like this, if I was selling shoes and I went around offering them to every person on the street, I’d probably have a tough time making a sale. If I sold shoes to people in a shoe store, I’d probably have a lot more luck. When people search for something they are coming to you and expressing their interest. All you have to do is show up.
SEO vs. SEM
Now that we understand the power of the search engine, let’s compare SEO to another search engine option, search engine marketing (SEM). With SEM, or Google Ads, advertisers can pay to show up for specific keywords. Say we sell shoes, but we are struggling to show up in the organic search results, we could go ahead and bid on keywords related to the shoes we sell using Google Ads. You might be thinking, “Wow, I can just pay and be at the top!” Well there are pro’s and con’s to Google Ads compared to SEO.
While Google Ads provides the convenience of quicker results, good SEO often provides more sustainable results over the long-term. If you invest in SEO with content, backlinks, technical optimization, other SEO techniques, you will be able to reap the benefits of good SEO for a while, for free. With Google Ads, no matter how good your campaigns are, you will need to pay for every click, every time.
I sometimes think of it as renting vs. buying an apartment/house. It’s really tough to save up enough to buy something, but once you do it, you have it forever. With renting, you get the short-term benefit but at the end of the day you need to keep paying to live there. Doing SEO right is a great way to build long-term value to your business and continually be found.
If you want to dive deeper into SEO and learn how to do it to drive results for your business check out our SEO classes in NYC or live online offered at our partner school, Noble Desktop.