What is SEO and do I need to worry about it?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing a website, based upon specific keywords and phrases. For example, if a company sells running shoes, people who visit Google are going to search for terms like: “running”, “Nike”, “jogging shoes”, or “best running shoes.” What SEO does is basically looks at the reasoning behind the terms/phrases people are searching for and optimizes their website to include those words and phrases, to help the site rank on Google (and other top engines).
SEO isn’t purely about keyword stuffing
In years past, when SEO was still a new concept, it was all about having as many keywords as possible on a site, without worrying about readability or quality. Basically, if you had the term “running shoes” on each page of your website, 20-times, you were going to outrank competitor sites. Today, this isn’t the case. Google relies on analytics and factors including:
- Readability and providing “value” to the reader.
- Reliable backlinks to other reputable sites in your industry.
- Incorporating social media onto your site.
- Including images.
- Having working links, and having a mobile website.
It’s not as easy as spamming your website with dozens of keywords, without delivering value; in fact, search engine ranks will penalize you for this today.
Is SEO really important?
Yes, if you want your site to be visible on Google and other search engines, it is important. Basically, SEO-rank is determined based upon how high your site shows up, when people search specific keywords on search engines. So, going back to the “running shoes” example, if a person types “Nike running shoes for women”, your SEO rank is a combination of the above factors, and how well your site is optimized, for the reader. Depending on the optimization of your site, Google will rank your page accordingly. If you want to do well as a business owner, you need to outrank your competitors. For this reason, SEO-rank is important, and it is important for companies to properly optimize their site for visitors.
What does it all mean?
Basically, it means you need to create a website which delivers value to your visitor. If you are simply throwing in keywords hundreds of times, on each page of your website, you’ll be penalized. Rather, today SEO-rank is determined by various factors. Because SEO is ever-evolving, business owners need to understand these changes. Only by properly optimizing your site, and delivering content your visitors want to see, will you do well in search engine ranks. And, because most people use Google/search engines to find products/services, if your site doesn’t outrank competitors (or if your site isn’t on the top 10-20 listings), you might never be seen.
Regardless of your niche/industry, SEO matters. As a business owner, if you can’t keep up with Google analytics and the ever-changing world of SEO, it is worthwhile to invest in hiring SEO professionals to develop, monitor, and implement “best practices”, to ensure your site continually ranks atop the search engines, for your niche-audience.