SEO: Search Engine Optimization
You hear this all over marketing & advertising articles, your marketing director uses this phrase all the time, but you're not quite sure what it means or don't see the value in spending more time on your website. So let's break this down:
Search Engine: As defined by dictionary.com is "a computer program that searches documents, especially the world wide web, for a specified word or words and provides a list of documents in which they are found." In terms we can understand: we're talkin' Google, Bing, Yahoo and even YouTube - anywhere we perform a search online to find more information.
Optimization: Making the most of anything. I optimize my performance at work by having a good cup of coffee, or I optimize my closet by hitting up the end of summer sales. You catch my drift.
When we optimize for search engines, we are making the most out of our presence on sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
So back to our original question - why do I have to spend more time on my website?
The short answer is: spending time on SEO helps you get to the top of search engines, thus creating more traffic to your website. Hardly any of us have actually seen the uncharted territory that is the 2nd page of Google. Getting on the first page of Google requires a solid SEO effort.
To get down to the nitty gritty, let's say we want to find a new spot to go apple picking this year. Our first step is either A) Google it or B) phone a friend. So you head over to Google and search "Apple Picking Milwaukee WI" which yields 334,000 search results!
We start scrolling down, and you see a few local farms and head to their website to see if it's what you're seeking. You also may see a few local listings pages such as Trip Advisor, Yelp, or Travel Wisconsin. However, you don't see the farm that your family has been going to for years - why?
Having the right SEO performed on your website tells search engines exactly what your website is about without it having to guess. So your local apple orchard is missing out on even more customers only because search engines don't know what searches should list their website. Google is always updating their algorithms to give the user accurate results based on their search terms. Google is smart enough to not bring up results for "strawberry picking" as #1 on your search, but it does need help from your website SEO team to guide it in the right direction.
The more time you put into making your website search friendly, the better it will perform. It is safe to say that SEO is an ongoing process that allows your website to be the shiny red apple everyone wants to pick... Well, click.
It can be difficult to determine where to start as there are so many strategies. If you need a good starting point, make sure to register here for our upcoming webinar, SEO 101.