So now that we have established what the dictionary says SEO or Search Engine Optimization is, lets get into what all that really means.
SEO is an ART!
I say this because there are many different strategies, styles and approaches to what SEO is and how it is accomplished. The SEO's tools include Onsite Optimization, Meta Tag Optimization, Keyword Optimization, Social Media, e-Marketing, User Experience, Content Creation and of course possibly the most important Link Building.
Wow that's a lot of stuff and that just the tip of the iceberg. You can probably see how with all these tools you could create vastly different pieces of SEO art. No two SEO campaigns will ever be the same and nor should they be. Every website and business is different and will benefit from different applications of your SEO consultants skills and tools.
Ok........but what is SEO Really?
SEO is reaching your target audience.
Well how do I know who my target audience is?
The people searching for your product, service or business are your target audience. They are actively researching and ready to buy your product or service. It amazes me how little some people seem to care about SEO or can't even seem to grasp why they would need or want it. SEO is the equivalent of advertising and marketing to only the customers who want to buy your product or service NOW!
Let me give you an analogous example:
Two college students after a long night of studying decide to grab a bite to eat. One says to the other "I want to get some pizza, do you know of a good place to grab a slice?" Instantly he is smacked in the face with a flyer for $1.00 slices after midnight, "A College Student Special!". The two hop in the car and head to pizza shop.
This is what SEO is. Putting your product in front of people looking for it NOW! If your not using SEO your losing out on free customers. Lets be honest, who still uses the phone book? NO ONE!
Why because Google is smarter and faster, will give me prices, specials, and even show me pictures. That's why.
If your web site can't be found on the first few pages of Google when your target keywords are searched your website is just an online business brochure. People who already know of your business and website will visit for more info and to check you latest specials. But your not earning revenue from new customers in fact your probably not even getting any new page visits.
Ok so now that you rank on Google whats next?
Now that your getting impression from people searching your keyword you need to convert those impressions into clicks. This is what is referred to as CTR or Click Through Rate. This is the percentage of people who see you website listing and actually click on it. Even if you have great onsite OP and your getting listed, it does no good unless people actually click on your link and visit your site.
Now that they are there....
Once we have new visitors to our site we need to give them the content they are looking for and make it easy to find and use. If the user doesn't immediately find what they are looking for they will leave. This is what is called Bounce Rate. The percentage of people who visit your site who instantly leave. Not only is this bad because your losing potential money and customers but it actually negatively effects how Google ranks your page. Why? This is because Google want to provide the searcher with the best possible content. If you have a high bounce rate Google thinks your content and User Experience suck (which it probably does).
Time to Convert....
Now that we have actively engaged our users and provided them the content they desire the next step is to turn them into Customers. This is most likely the most important step for online businesses and the only thing most business owners care about. Unfortunately most people don't understand it's not that simple. It's actually a long and complicated process that takes skill and practice.
So to recap.....
SEO is the art of getting your webpage ranked on Google for your target keywords. Converting search impressions into clicks. Keeping your visitors on your site by providing great content, and converting page visits into revenue.
Search Optimization is best applied from the very beginning of your websites creation. So hire a web designer who knows what they are doing from the start if you plan on making money off the website. It will be cheaper in the long run and you will rank much quicker than trying to build your own webpage and then optimizing it after.
Part 3 - What to Expect from SEO?