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Published On: Fri, Sep 15th, 2017

The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

And why it’s important for your business

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a relatively new concept, which is why many companies have not yet established it into the online aspect of their business. What do you think? However, it does play a significant role in online marketing. Here are the basics of SEO and its importance in 21st-century business.

photo/ Gerd Altmann

What is SEO?

Essentially, SEO focuses on increasing the “natural” or organic traffic to your site, as opposed to paying Google (or any other search engine) to display your page first. It’s about making your online content relevant and useful to people who read it. Useful/good content will be read, shared, and given higher ratings. Ultimately, this will increase its rank in a search engine’s results, bringing, even more, traffic to your site.

It also needs to be relevant to the search engine, not just the people. Computers take a very literal approach, so they will look for and match up keywords on your site to the keywords people search.

Why is SEO so important?

Primarily because of the sheer number of posts that go up every day – more than 2 million. The large number of daily published posts, people aren’t going to stumble across yours by accident. This combined with the fact that people, in general, are either lazy or in a hurry and are unlikely to scroll past the first page or two of results, means that you want your page at the top.

There’s also the conception, which isn’t too far off the mark, that the top results really are the top, i.e. the best and most relevant to your search.

Should you optimize for all search engines?

Yes and no – 65 percent of all search engine traffic goes through Google, 33 percent through Bing. The rest is divided between Yahoo, AOL, and various others. When you want to optimize your content, start with the top few search engines and go from there.

However, SEO through Google will be everyone’s priority, so aiming for top rankings in smaller search engines will offer more value, as opposed to simply being in the top hundred or so in Google’s search results.

Area Specific SEO

SEO is all about directing a higher volume of traffic to your site, but if you provide a service in a specific area, you want people in that area to find you. This is also why focusing on smaller search engines may prove beneficial. Examples of such sites might include “Yahoo Local”.

Running a plumbing business in Toronto, for example, means your online traffic needs to be people in your area, not overseas or out of state. This is when your SEO needs to be locally adapted – click here to learn more about SEO Toronto and why it’s important for your business.

If you implement SEO the right way, it really will do wonders for your business. More people will find, use, and recommend your company online and you won’t find your site buried at the bottom of a Google search.

Author: Pankaj Deb

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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