You’ve probably heard a hundred times that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital digital marketing tool. But do you really know how SEO works? Even if you have a basic understanding of what it entails, you may still not have a solid grasp on this complex and multifaceted process.
SEO has two main goals. The first is to help you understand what users are searching for online so that you can create high-quality content to satisfy their intent. The second is to help you create a website that search engines can find, index, and understand its content.
In addition, following good SEO practices is a great way to increase the quality of a website by making it user-friendly, faster, and easier to navigate.
The most important SEO tasks have to do with:
- Identifying what users are searching for that is related to your products and services
- Creating content that will make users happy
- Providing the right signals to search engine crawlers and algorithms through various SEO techniques
SEO can be considered as a complete framework since the whole process has a number of rules (or guidelines), a number of stages, and a set of controls.
SEO is important because:
- The majority of search engine users (more than 70% — see graph below) are more likely to click on one of the top 5 suggestions in the search engine results pages (SERPS). To take advantage of this and gain visitors to your website or customers to your online store, your website needs to appear in one of the top positions.
- SEO is not only about search engines but good SEO practices improve the user experience and usability of a website.
- Users trust search engines and having a presence in the top positions for the keywords the user is searching, increases the website’s trust.
- SEO is good for the social promotion of your web site. People who find your website by searching Google or Bing are more likely to promote it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media channels.
- SEO is important for the smooth running of a big web site. Web sites with more than one author can benefit from SEO in a direct and indirect way. Their direct benefit is an increase in organic traffic and their indirect benefit is having a common framework (checklists) to use before publishing content on the site.
- SEO can put you ahead of the competition. If two websites are selling the same thing, the search engine optimized website is more likely to have more customers and make more sales.