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What's the Fuss About Website SEO? — What is SEO, and Why is it important?


What's the Fuss About Website SEO? — What is SEO, and Why is it important?

SEO is so vast that a single article can hardly cover every aspect of it. So, I'll attempt to provide a simplified overview of SEO, what you must know and do when it comes to SEO, why it is important, and, of course, the all-important relationship between your website SEO and search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo).


Alright, let's dive right in!

What is SEO?

SEO means Search Engine Optimization. The idea behind website SEO is pretty simple — to build more traffic to your website; after all, that's why your brand/business is online. As you throw in content onto your site/blog, you also want people to see them. So, every practice, tactic or strategy, and process involved in realizing increased website exposure is what we call SEO.


SEO generally describes the practice of improving both the quality and quantity of website traffic and increased visibility of a brand through organic search engine rankings. Note that this is different from Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which involves driving traffic and gaining brand visibility from both paid and organic search engine ranking.


In a nutshell, SEO is the practice of positioning your website in a way that helps search engines pick it up and deliver your content to users as the best answer to their queries. This definition helps us understand SEO as a priceless two-sided coin. On the one hand, your website must offer great content, while on the other, search engine crawlers must be able to find and understand it.


In other words, it is not enough to know what people are looking for or have the solutions to them; your website content must equally be deliverable so that search engine crawlers can index them for those looking for what you're offering. Once you understand and implement this, you're already crushing your website SEO!


But that's not all there is to SEO.

Here's What You Must Know About SEO

Whether your website appears on the top of the list on search results, somewhere in the middle, or at the bottom, is entirely based on merit. Search engines use an algorithm with which they pick and display the most helpful content to users.


When someone searches a keyword on Google, Googlebot — Google's web crawler, instantly runs through billions of materials online (web pages, images, videos, PDFs, etc.) and evaluates thousands of factors to help it decide which content offers the best answer to the user's query.


The role of search engines in all these is to provide a list of the best answers to every query in descending order by relevance. Search engines achieve this through a process called Crawling and Indexing. It then lists each web content by how well it matches the user's query. This process is what is known as “ranking.”


Essentially, the ranking of your website depends, in part, on how well its content matches what people are searching for. Proceed to the next section to learn more about ranking.

Why is SEO Important?

The most important reason why you should pay serious attention to SEO is organic traffic. SEO drives organic traffic to your website because it is free publicity. When users click on your page, you are not paying to appear on search engine result pages (SERPs). If you run a paid ad on Google, for instance, you will have to pay each time a user clicks and visits your website.


Essentially, the primary benefit of SEO is organic traffic. If you get everything right, then you stand a chance of getting a free flow of constant traffic to your site. These days, featured snippets (short snippets of texts that appear at the top of Google's search results that answer questions at a glance. The content appears inside of a box) are another technique for achieving organic ranking that people use to boost the visibility of their sites on SERPs.


It would interest you to know that more than 80% of search engine results are organic traffic. Only a few of them are paid ads. In fact, organic search results look more credible and receive way more clicks than paid Google ads. Also, most traffic generated online is through search engines, not social media and other online platforms. According to some interesting statistics quoted by Moz about SEO, we understand that SEO produces 20 times more traffic opportunities than pay-per-click (PPC) ads.


I guess it makes so much sense to take SEO seriously after all. Unlike paid advertising, if you create and publish solid content on relevant keywords (note that people often search for things using certain words or phrases, known as keywords), you will enjoy the benefits for a long time without doing anything extra. Paid ads, on the other hand, need continuous funding to be effective.


So when you optimize your site, you help search engines deliver good content to users whenever they come searching. In other words, even search engines need your help to help you stay visible to people who need what you're offering. So how exactly do you help search engines deliver the best content on SERPs?


You should observe a few practices if you want to optimize your website for increased exposure online. But you can either perform basic SEO yourself or hire professionals to do the job.

SEO Best Practices

These are things you must do to enable search engines to deliver your content to users optimally. By doing these, you improve your website ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). This is another broad area of SEO, but in a nutshell, these include, but not limited to:


● Writing unique titles and descriptions (title tags and meta description tags) for every content you publish on your site.

● Improving the user experience of your website

● Creating very useful content

● Using relevant, ranking keywords in the body of your web content

● Optimizing your site’s loading speed.

● Using internal links and also linking to websites that rank high on SERPs

● Building useful backlinks to your own website.

White Hat and Black Hat SEO

White hat SEO refers to any SEO technique or practice that helps you improve your site's ranking on SERPs, while also abiding by search engine policies. White hat SEO primarily focuses on providing the best content to users.


On the other hand, Black hat SEO refers to any technique or practice that attempts to spam or fool search engines in a bid to achieve a high SERPs ranking. For instance, the use of strategies that improve the ranking of your website without regard to delivering amazing content to users is black hat SEO. The disadvantage of this is that Google can penalize your website or completely delist/de-index it from search results.


That’s obviously bad for businesses, so you want to stay away from that. You want to also watch out for this when hiring an SEO expert or agency.

Wrapping Up

SEO generally involves everything that improves the ranking of a website and helps the owner maximize their presence online. To better harness the advantages of having a business/brand website, SEO is a necessity. It is the most effective way to build organic traffic to your website.