What Is Search Engine Optimization?


If you’ve ever read the acronym SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, and wonder what exactly it is, this article is for you. Not only will we explain what is Search Engine Optimization, but why it’s so important and what benefits it brings.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Something most people do every day – do a search on Google – may seem innocuous at first, but it’s to first step to explaining what is Search Engine Optimization.

A Search Engine is an online directory of websites, usually ranked (SERPS) and often with snippets of information about them.

For any website to be found in a search by an online Search Engine (of which Google is  the most popular and regularly used), the website MUST be listed somehow.  Usually, websites can be manually submitted to Search Engines, but in most cases they are ‘crawled’ by the Search Engine’s own ‘spiders’ or ‘bots’.

Search Engine Optimization then is a strategy to :-

  • ensure a website is listed on a Search Engine
  • provide information related to the website for the Search Engine to display
  • improve ranking so that the Search Engine displays the say prominently and in a priority position
  • ensure the website ranks for certain keywords, relative to it’s operation (e.g. a BMW garage in London would ideally be displayed when someone searches for ‘London BMW garage’)

Why Search Engine Optimization is important

SEO is vitally important for any website because ‘organic search’ – i.e. search results from a Search Engine – is still one of biggest drivers of traffic to website.

Direct traffic may visit a site from links or social media, but Search Engine Optimization is vital because it matches search results for people looking for specific services websites may offer.

Imagine if you were an online business, but nobody knew your web address? You’d likely receive very little – if any – traffic, whereas your competitor may receive an abundance of traffic because they’ve employed SEO.

Not only is there website listed in a Search Engine, but they’ve optimised their site to feature for the exact keywords that people are searching for. This ultimately means qualified leads and potential customers are finding their site, whilst your site is missing out.

Benefits of SEO

There are three distinct benefits of SEO :-

  1. Ensuring your site features prominently in search results before any of your competitors
  2. Ensuring your site is displayed for the right keywords that suit your business function
  3. Ensuring those keywords are actively being searched for by potential customers

Conclusion: what is Search Engine Optimisation?

SEO is perhaps the single most important aspect of having an online website.

Whilst all the ‘bells and whistles’ such as theme, page speed, usability, content and style are important, they’re useless without traffic.

Conversely, you could have a very basic website, but if it’s SEO is implemented effectively, it will be receiving a steady stream of traffic. What’s more, that traffic will be qualified buyers as they’re already searching for the keywords that the website is optimized for.

Filed under: SEO

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