From our experience, the typical first reaction we get when we talk about SEO is, “What is that?”. Honestly, it’s a fair question. SEO isn’t exactly a term that is floating around in the public lexicon so it isn’t surprising that many people have never heard of it until we bring it up!
So what actually is SEO? Well, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing the amount of quality traffic to your website through organic search engine results. You see there are two main strategies for bringing quality traffic to your website. First, there is paid traffic generation often referred to as PPC (Pay-per-click). These are the links you see at the top of the Google page with an ad icon next to them after you search a certain topic. Advertisers pay money to have those links placed there at the top of the page making them the first thing you see when searching for whatever related topic you are searching. Paid traffic generation is typically good for quick short term results but isn’t as conducive to long term success as the other strategy, organic traffic generation.
SEO Is Organic
Organic search engine traffic is basically any search engine traffic that you are not paying ads for. Organic search engine results are the results that show up on the page below the ads and typically below the Google Maps section. This is where SEO comes in to play. With SEO you are making internal and external improvements to your website to get it to place higher on the organic search results page. You have a way better chance of getting more visitors to your site if you are appearing on the first page of google naturally rather than the third! You are also looking to increase the quantity and quality of the traffic looking at your website. If you run a flower shop then you want as many people as possible who are googling flower shops to see your site. This whole process takes much more time than PPC does and the results are not immediately apparent right away. You can’t just shoot yourself up to the first page of the Google search overnight, or in one week, or even one month. Applying good SEO strategies that will pay off takes time. In the end though, the pay off for great organic search engine results is better than any PPC campaign.
So what makes one website better than another and helps your website make it up the ranks in Google? Really what organic search engine results are is just Google’s ranking of those websites in that search. When you google flower shops, all google is doing is using algorithms to find and display what they think is the best flower shop options around you. So basically you want Google’s algorithms to like your website and see it as one of the best options for search results pertaining to your website. There are a lot of intricate things that Google takes in to consideration when determining a websites value.
These things are commonly referred to as Google’s ranking factors. Google takes in to account things such as domain name length, domain name response time, domain name keyword match, social media metrics, usage & traffic, brand features in news and media, and domain in news and media. They also take into account the length of content on site, readability of content, uniqueness of content, load speed, content quantity, content quality, content relevance, links on the site, the quality of those links, anchor text distribution, quality of link sources, and quantity of links. This really only scratches the surface too. It is all pretty technical and is actually quite a rabbit hole but we wanted to give you an idea of what Google looks for in a good website.
So this is the basic gist of what SEO is! We aren’t going to any deeper because we wanted to keep it simple and digestible. We will likely add some extra content and links to this article in the future as we expand deeper in to different areas of SEO in future articles!