June 8, 2020

What is Search Engine Optimization?

What is this thing called SEO?

Don’t you just hate it when marketing people start talking in abbreviations and you just sit there, nodding your head like you know exactly what they are saying. At the same time, you are creating a mental note of all the letters you should Google after the conversation. One of these include SEO.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Let’s break SEO down

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Just by reading the word, you can already see that is has something to do with internet search engines. Here Google is the alpha dog-owning 75% of the search market. This doesn’t mean that the other 25% aren’t important, it just means that you should focus a bit more on what Google wants for Search Engine Optimization. Next is optimization. The same way some people want to optimize their fitness routines, you want to optimize your web pages, content and relevance. When someone is searching for your type of product online, you’d want your business to be the first on that results list, because let’s be honest, no one goes past page 1. Marketing people will sometimes drop the term traffic when they try to explain optimization. This means that if businesses were lanes, you want to find ways to make all the cars drive in yours.

Put your website on a search engine pedestal

Seeing that there are millions of searches running through search engines daily, you want to set your website up so that it’s the shining light between all the other dull sparks. You put effort into your content and web pages. You don’t want Steve’s boring website to be seen before yours just because he understands the importance of Search Engine Optimization. Just remember that those search results you see with the little Ad-block before them, are paid search results. This is a topic for another day. Our focus is on SEO. SEO is more related to organic search results.

What happens behind search engine screens

Search Engine Land has a fantastic visual explanation of SEO through a librarian analogy. Their video draws a comparison between librarians and search engines. If you ask a librarian which books have information on potatoes, there is a system that they use to give you the best, most applicable answer. Search engines basically do the same. The process search engines use to gather this information is called crawling and indexing. Imagine a bookworm, crawling around and looking for information to satisfy your search needs. During this process, all the information that’s available on the internet is ordered and ranked to give you the best result for your search.

SEO has a human-focused side too!

SEO isn’t all about technicalities. Your audience and their search activities are just as important as the place you want them to go, e.g. your website. Amongst other things, you want to know what people are searching for and which keywords they are using. By understanding these actions, you can help the librarians aka search engines, to give the most suited result. This can also help you to understand what content your potential client or customer is looking for. Moz refers to the human aspect of SEO as the other side of the SEO coin.

SEO can especially help small, medium and startup businesses to boost their relevance and visibility on search pages. Use Search Engine Optimization to benefit your business and take up space on the search results page. The higher your web page is ranked, the more likely someone will see it. And hopefully after reading this, you’ll know what’s going on the next time someone drops the SEO bomb.

Search engine optimisation forms part of our Digital Marking Strategy at Fun Things SA.

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