If the objective of online marketing is to help connect people online with your business, SEO is absolutely critical. SEO is important because its aim is to help a site to rank in the top positions for free, organic results when someone is searching for keywords relevant to your business. This makes SEO a sound investment because top positions get the vast majority of traffic – the top five results enjoy approximately 90% of the traffic – and generally the higher the traffic, the higher the conversions. So at the most fundamental level, SEO is about helping search engines find and connect with your site. Yet while this sounds simple, the complexity of making this happen is what makes my job incredible.
What do I need to know about SEO?
The first thing to know about SEO – which may seem obvious - is that search engines are not humans. Quite frankly, search engines are rather limited. They work by sending “spiders” or “robots” to crawl the web for the most relevant sites for a search query. The spider returns information to store in the search engines’ gigantic databases. Thus, when someone searches the web, search engines are able to rapidly sort through their database looking for the most relevant site. Whatever site appears most relevant to their many algorithms shows at the top of the results page. But again, spiders look for things that often are not immediately visible to the human eye. For example, Google cannot “see” images, which is a significant element of web-user experience. Google attempts to overcome this limitation by reading text that has been associated with the image, called an alt tag. Unfortunately, some web-masters, and certainly most business owners do not know this, which essentially withholds valuable information from search engines. This example is among a myriad of examples that differentiate spiders from humans.
This last point is absolutely critical to understand because it leaves us wondering what search engines “see” as valuable. Sounds like the subject of another post.
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