What Is SEO and Why Do I Need It?

SEO doesn’t have to be some mysterious acronym if you don’t want it to be. So just exactly what is SEO? SEO is the way that internet users find your website and content using search engines on the internet. The internet is often described as the world wide web. Think of it as a spider web, with all of the websites interconnected by threads to other websites. SEO helps identify and your site and connect your site to the rest of the web. Without SEO, your website is just floating around on the internet without any context or categorization. If you want more web traffic to your website, it’s essential to master SEO.

what is seo

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What is a Search Engine?

Search engines like Google, Bing, or Baidu, are databases that compile indexed maps of websites and their content for the purpose of returning useful search results to its users. When a user’s query in the search box triggers enough relevance, that website gets shown to the user to help them answer their question.

For instance, if you went to Google.com and asked for “Takeout near me” Google’s algorithms would deliver restaurant websites within your city that offer takeout instead of sit down restaurants, or restaurants that aren’t near your search location. That’s because the search engine has carefully gathered that information about the site’s location, service area, and available services in order to deliver you useful results.

what is seo

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What is SEO?

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art of writing, coding, and formatting the content on your website  to make sure it can be read, organized, and found easily by search engines. What point is having all of that content on your website if no one can find it?

4 Types of Website Traffic:

There are several ways for users to find your website on the internet:

  • Direct Traffic
  • Organic Traffic
  • Referral Traffic
  • Social Traffic

What is Direct Traffic?

Direct traffic describes a user arriving at your website by typing in the URL or web address in directly. For instance, a well-branded or easily memorable URL like cdc.gov would take you directly to the CDC’s own website. You wouldn’t have to preform a search to find the page because it was so short and well-known that the user had it memorized and typed it right into their web browser.

What is Organic Traffic?

Organic traffic refers to traffic that lands on your page by natural search engine results, meaning your content was one of the best answers to someone’s search query using a search engine.

While Google, Bing, and Baidu are all search engines, nearly 66% of all searches are preformed through Google search engine. There are several ranking factors that will help your site preform better in organic search.

What is Referral Traffic?

Referral traffic describes another website or source that linked to your website. The user clicked on that link and landed on your page. Congrats! That means your content was recommended or referred by someone else and identified your website as an authority or subject matter in their content.

What is Social Traffic?

As one of the chief ways to market content, social traffic refers to web traffic that has been linked to using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Because each post can contain its own link, social traffic is measured separately to see how effective your social channel’s reach is and how many people are engaging with your content on those networks.

what is seo

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What is SEO Web Traffic?

SEO Specifically affects your website’s organic search results and traffic. This is vital, because it means the people who are actively looking for your content or brand can find you. If your website isn’t showing up in organic search, the only type of traffic you’ll be receiving are those you personally created via branding, referral outreach, or social media. Those are also incredibly important sources of traffic, but they don’t produce traffic as consistently as being found in organic search and hopefully attracting new readers to your content.

Why Do I Need SEO?

1) Once your content is written, organic traffic is free

Not having to spend advertising dollars on getting your content seen is one of the best accomplishments a website can attain. Focus on building quality content with SEO best practices in mind, and your site will flourish.

2) SEO is most often the primary source of traffic

As one of the largest scalable sources of traffic available to your website, why wouldn’t you want to leverage showing up on the first page of search results? It is possibly the largest untapped source of traffic your site can have.

3) SEO builds trust and authority with your readers

SERPs can affect the way users perceive your website. If you aren’t showing up in search, are you knowledgeable or dependable in your field? Remove all doubt and invest in the way you present yourself and your work online.

4) Good SEO means a better user experience (UX)

Luckily for you, SEO is a hit two birds with one stone phenomenon. Many ranking factors that will help boost your SEO also help make your website cleaner, easier to navigate, and faster for your users.

5) Local SEO creates more traffic, engagement, and conversions

The easier it is to find your content, the more benefits you have from the number of people reading and engaging with your content down to the number of sales you’re able to make.

6) SEO impacts they buying cycle of your products

Search trends in cyclical waves. Having content prepared to catch users at all stages means the harsh seasonal interests can work for you instead of just against you. Make sure you prepare a mix of evergreen content good for any time of year as well as seasonally inspired content types

7) SEO is constantly growing and evolving

As search engines learn more about the way its users search and look for content, they are constantly refining their search algorithms that affect how your website performs in a search. Making sure you’re hip on the latest SEO changes or best practices will set you ahead of the crowd.

8) Understanding SEO helps you understand the web

>From the way you personally use the internet to the way you design your site for users, SEO will give you a better understanding of how the internet works and cooperates with other moving pieces. This gives you an edge in how to think strategically when planning content or designing a new website.

9) SEO is a long-term strategy

Even with the best-designed content out there, it typically takes search engines 6 months to a year to recognize a new website as a reputable source. SEO isn’t an overnight strategy. It will take months of hard work to build something worthwhile. Starting early with SEO in mind will give you an edge when your site is finally eligible to place.

10) You can measure SEO with metrics

Unlike many other types of marketing, you can measure how effective SEO is by how much organic traffic your website is getting. With Google Analytics, you can sort your traffic by type to determine how your content is preforming, how they found your website, and how much traffic your SEO strategy has netted your website.

11) SEO requires creativity and new angles to succeed

Because the way both technology and human beings think and change, learning how to utilize those patterns is how to win at SEO. SEO rewards those who think outside the box and spot the new trends as they happen.

12) If you’re not on the first page of search results, you aren’t getting the traffic you should

Nearly 80% of all clicks go to the very first listing on page one of search. If you aren’t even on the first page, chances are no one knows you exist. Put time into your SEO strategy to reap the benefits.

what is seo

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Clearly, SEO can do a lot of good for your website, traffic, and sales. All it takes is learning how to optimize your website and content, stay on top of major trends and changes to SEO, and you can benefit from your hard work for many years to come.