Blame it on the masterminds of search engines, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Before Google, there was Yahoo. Google’s prominence was unstoppable though. Eventually, it surpassed Yahoo as the most widely used search engine there is. True enough, whenever you are searching for anything today, you go first to Google. It has come automatic for web users.
Then came websites. Eventually, creators realized they need visitors so they can maximize the purposes they built their sites for. They need to draw people to their page so they can offer their services or products. They need to be known by the public. Unfortunately, as time passed by, more and more websites are being built. The competition to stay ahead of search engine results became tougher. Website owners in turn became more eager to find ways how they can sustain their visibility online, despite the stiff competition.
Just how stiff the competition is?
Key in “laptop sleeve” on the search box. Google shall give you over 14 million results. Now the task is all on you to check out these sites and determine which one gives you the exact information you’re looking for. Let’s say you are selling laptop sleeves as business. Imagine the number of competitors you will have to beat. That isn’t a simple goal.
That’s where search engine optimization comes in.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the natural or organic way of promoting a website’s visibility in search engine results. How do you know which ones are organic?
When you look up anything in search engines, on top of the list you will see sites that are highlighted in yellow. These are ads. Scrolling down, you will see sites that are not highlighted. These are the organic search results.
Google deems these websites as the most useful, credible and relative. As a website owner, your objective then is to be acknowledged by Google as trustworthy. But we know trust. It is hard-earned. The websites that appear at the top, under the paid advertisements, get the majority of the clicks. It’s estimated that the #1 position can get 45-65% of the website traffic.
So why would you bother to work hard to reach at least the first page of search results?
Ranking high, what’s in it for you? Let us just say that each visitor you earn represent a potential source of income. And businesses are highly dependent of consumers for survival. Meaning, you cannot care less about marketing or promotion. You need to do everything to reach out to your target audience and let them know that you actually exist.
If your website is on the 100th page of the search results, it is least likely that people shall notice it. Internet users, like anyone else, are busy individuals. They do not have all the time in the world to scan up to the very end of the results. Majority of website traffic is brought by search engines, Google being the most popular. So you might say that there are other ways how you can drive traffic to your site. You can promote using social networking sites, for instance. That is true.
However, it cannot be denied that search engines are still the primary resource used by netizens. This is where people go to first to look for anything they need. In addition, search engines are different from other avenues in many ways. First, results are organized according to a person’s needs. Traffic is targeted. So if search engines cannot locate your website, you already miss out on tons of opportunities.
Search queries or those words that you enter in the search box are of immense value. These words that can generate traffic to your site can be converted to returns, anytime. Investing efforts in search engine optimization is hence worth it.
So there is really no other way to do it but be on top. Another factor to consider, which is outside the scope of this article, is website conversion. Read more about ways to improve your website and focus on customer conversion once you have great search engine rankings.
Two types of SEO
SEO can be divided into to two types.
First is the on page SEO. This refers to everything you do on your website to promote it. You create compelling content for instance. You post informative blogs. You make sure that you regularly update your site.
Second is the off page SEO. This is where your effort to reach out to other sites to help your page maintain visibility comes in. It is either you communicate to other website owners so you can be allowed to post blogs or articles on their page. Or post comments and forge connections. This process is known as link building.
Is it possible for your site to maintain visibility even without SEO?
Search engines are wise. They have the ability to get to know websites, even the newest ones. They are innovative. It is not disclosed in public but it is known that search engines devise parameters to follow when ranking sites. On this part, your site needs the help of SEO. It is giving crawlers a hand so they may notice your site immediately.
Take that, it is not humans that scan through websites. They are robots more known as crawlers.
You need to be extra careful though in incorporating search engine optimization in your promotional strategies. Few wrong moves may bury your site deep into the search results, instead of pushing it on top.
Can you do SEO on your own?
You can learn the basics probably by conducting research on your own. After all, it is free. There are thousands of downloadable tutorials online. And articles like this you’re reading right now that helps you understand what SEO is all about.
Depending on your needs, think carefully whether you need Pennsylvania SEO specialists: www.PennsylvaniaSEO.org to back you up. There are several SEO firms and they can help you lay out the right marketing strategies for your business. Exhaust all your possible options first though.
At least educate yourself on the core concepts of SEO so you have an idea on services that may work for you.