What does SEO stand for? Let's get back to the basics with the answer to this question as well as other SEO facts you should know.
If you're looking to build your small business' online presence, you've likely run across the term 'SEO' on a regular basis.
While you may feel tempted to ignore SEO as a marketing buzzword, you'll want to think twice before doing so.
SEO is a cornerstone of the digital marketing world, with companies spending $80 billion on SEO services to build their businesses.
But what does SEO stand for, anyway? And for that matter, why is it such a big deal?
Let's get back to basics by delving into the meaning of SEO and exploring a few basic facts about the SEO process.
What Is SEO and What Does SEO Stand For?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization.
According to Webopedia, SEO can be defined as:
"...a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) - including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines."
That's a rather wordy way of saying that SEO is the process of using a variety of methods to boost a site's visibility.
SEO Is More Important Than You May Think
Great content and a great website alone are sure to drive results, right? Not so fast.
While both are quite important components of a strong web presence, ignoring SEO is a costly mistake.
According to Pew Research, 92% of people use search engines. And many of that 92% use search engines multiple times per day, even, and often as a means of discovery.
Many people use SEO to discover local businesses, for instance. Or to read reviews in hopes of finding a trustworthy service.
The simple fact is, small businesses can't afford to ignore the power of SEO. Ignoring SEO is a surefire way to lose traffic, be it digital or physical.
If you're still not convinced, check the very web browser you're using to read this article. There's a high likelihood that it has a search engine built into the address bar.
It's an Umbrella Term
Peek under the hood of the latest SEO update and you'll begin to notice that there's a lot more to SEO than most businesses think.
It isn't only about keywords and links. Here are a few factors that affect a site's SEO ranking:
Outsourcing to organic SEO services is a great way to allow small business owners to focus on the growth of their business without having to master dozens of minute details.
It's Possible for a Site to Appear Invisible in a Search Engine
Maybe you've tried to find your website on Google or Bing with no luck. You've searched page after page and still can't seem to find the site you spend time and money on.
No, your site isn't gone.
However, it may have broken an SEO regulation, and as a result, was deindexed and removed from the search engine altogether.
Most incidents of de-indexing are caused by black hat SEO techniques, which are unethical techniques to boost a site's rankings.
Black hat SEO techniques include:
Content scraping (plagiarism).
Hiding links (cloaking).
While some SEO methods can be unethical, it's possible that you broke a rule without knowing it and had the best of intentions.
A deindexing isn't all doom and gloom, though. Google has made it quite simple to check your site's status.
What's more, they're great about telling websites what they need to fix in order to appear on a search engine again.
So while a deindexing of your site may seem like the end of the world, it's quite possible to bounce back and learn from your mistakes.
If You're Not First, You're Last
Everyone wants to appear at the top of a search engine. But since there's only one first result, millions of sites lose out on traffic only because they didn't optimize properly.
While coming in fourth or fifth on the first page of Google is still admirable, it won't deliver the traffic you're after.
According to the findings, the top three results on Google generated over 60% of a query's traffic, with a steady but sharp decline in traffic in each result after.
While it may sound extreme, if your competition has the top spot on a search engine, you're likely losing business.
Whether it's engaging with our favorite brands on social media or learning a new hobby, the way people access information is shaped by technology.
As a result of users' evolving needs, search engines must evolve as well.
For better or worse, the rules of SEO change on a frequent basis. Most of the time it's a small algorithmic change. But in other instances, such as changes to reflect mobile and voice searches, an SEO update may have more drastic changes.
Unless your company has a dedicated SEO team member or outsources organic SEO services, it's all too easy to fall behind.
PPC and SEO Are Two Different Aspects of Marketing
There's a common misconception among those new to marketing that pay-per-click marketing (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) are the same things.
As a result, you may find yourself debating the merits of SEO vs. PPC. Both are great ways to generate traffic, but they do so in a different fashion.
PPC involves paid advertising. A company's ad appears in a certain spot on a search engine -- often the top of the page. They then pay the search engine each time someone clicks on the ad.
SEO may have a paid accompaniment, such as a sponsored post, but it's still organic traffic.
Final Thoughts on SEO Basics
From learning what does SEO stand for to exploring more in-depth aspects of SEO, these basic SEO facts are a great starting point for anyone interested in mastering modern marketing.
If you're interested in learning more about how SEO can help your business grow, be sure to reach out today.