As the passage of time and technological progress bring us further and further into the digital age, more and more areas of business must migrate onto a digital platform. One of these areas is marketing. Anyone who browses the Web can perceive the reality of this trend anytime he or she encounters an advertisement on a search engine like Google. But paid advertising is not the only means of effectively marketing one’s business on Google; another approach, known as SEO, is brought up more and more as an essential marketing strategy for any business with an online presence. Just what is SEO? SEO is short for search engine optimization, a strategy through which any business can market itself organically, for free.
Some consider SEO and paid advertising to be two different subsets of search engine marketing (SEM), while others might refer to SEO as a field separate from SEM, identifying SEM strictly with paid advertising and SEO strictly with organic optimization. Such terminological discrepancies are not as important as understanding the purpose of SEO: making one’s website one of the first results brought up by a search related to the topic of the website. No matter how fantastic a business’s website might be, it is useless if potential customers cannot find it; and the further from top search results a website is, the less chance it has of being found. Thus, many business owners want their site to appear on the first page of results for searches relevant to the products or services their business has to offer.
This is accomplished by optimizing one’s website so that it ranks high in Google results for searches containing keywords—words that signify what a website is about or what it has to offer. Thus, a business may optimize its website for different keywords, depending upon what words potential customers might use as search terms when seeking the kind of products or services that a particular business offers. Google has a secret and highly complex algorithm for ranking websites in its search results. In keeping with Google’s dedication to user experience (“Focus on the user and all else will follow”), this algorithm makes sure that only pertinent websites with quality content are brought up by a user’s searches. Despite the secret nature of Google’s algorithm, clever individuals have figured out a variety of metrics that this algorithm uses to rank websites. The next blog post will introduce some methods that a business can use to optimize its website according to these metrics for higher ranking and a more competitive marketing advantage. If you have any questions regarding SEO, please contact Biel’s today!