SEO = Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in organic (or “natural”) search results, thus making your website more visible to people who are looking for your product or service via search engines.
SEO is part of the broader topic of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), a term used to describe all marketing strategies for search. SEM entails both organic and paid search. With paid search, you can pay to list your website on a search engine so that your website shows up when someone types in a specific keyword or phrase. Organic and paid listings both appear on the search engine, but they are displayed in different locations on the page.
So, why is it important for your business' website to be listed on search engines?
On Google alone, there are over 694,000 searches conducted every second. Think about that. Every second that your website is not indexed on Google, you are potentially missing out on hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities for someone to visit your website, read your content, and potentially buy your product or service. Practicing SEO basics, as well as more advanced techniques after those, can drastically improve your website's ability to rank in the search engines and get found by your potential customers.
What about paid search?
Yes, you can pay to have your website listed on the search engines. However, running paid search campaigns can be quite costly if you don't know what you're doing. Not to mention, about 88% of search engine users never click on paid search ads anyway.
Because the sole purpose of a search engine is to provide you with relevant and useful information, it is in everyone's best interest (for the search engine, the searcher, and you) to ensure that your website is listed in the organic search listings. In fact, it is probably best to stay away from paid search all together until you feel you have a firm grasp on SEO and what it takes to rank organical.
Google Replaces the Phone Book
Outbound marketing as we know it is dead. It used to be that a majority of a local company's marketing budget went to yellow pages, newspaper, and radio advertisements. In order for you to get any business, you had to put your offers and advertisements in your prospect's face. Well, not anymore. The age of the Internet has made it so that consumers are now in control.
It has never been easier for consumers to tune out the plethora of advertisements and commercials they hear each day. Since you can no longer get their attention with outbound marketing, you have to switch your approach to inbound marketing and make sure you're easy to find when consumers are looking for you. When was the last time you used a phone book? Google is the new phone book.
If your website is not indexed and optimized to show for keywords and phrases that are relevant to what you have to offer, all of that potential traffic is going to your competitors.
Tip: Use the FREE Hubspot website grader to see how your site/blog is doing. You can also check the site of your competition!
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