Knowing what SEO acronym stands for and understanding how SEO works are two very different things.
In this article, we will explain how it works, discuss why SEO is essential for almost any business, and show where to start with SEO.
Let’s dive straight in.
Breaking down the meaning behind the SEO acronym
SEO acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO represents a combination of on-page and off-page SEO practices (the difference explained later in the article) you can use to improve website rankings in search results.
In essence, SEO helps you optimize your website in such a way that when someone googles something related to your core services, your web pages are the ones that show near the top of search results.
Think of it this way. Let’s say you go to the market to buy some apples. If all of them look pretty much the same, are you going to buy apples that are on top of the pile, or are you going to dig to the bottom? You’re going to take the ones from the top – the same happens with your prospects that browse the web.
Now, even though you might only use Google, there are other search engines out there like Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Baidu, etc.
Every search engine has its own algorithm to decide what shows up after you type in certain words in their search bar. While they all put a lot of value into high-quality backlinks, they do have some specific differences. Keep those in mind if you want to optimize your website to rank better for a specific search engine.
The reason why marketers and businesses focus heavily on Google is because it holds a monopoly in the search engine market for a whole decade now with over 90% of the market share. In other words, 9 out of 10 internet searches are done using Google.
When you take these statistics into account, it is easy to see why there is so much focus on Google.
Spending time to optimize your web pages for other search engines is rarely worth it, especially since many ranking signals (like quality backlinks) help you perform better across all of them.
Why does Search Engine Optimization matter for your business?
It is way easier to list businesses that don’t need search engine optimization than those that do.
If you are a company that gets all of your clients through word-of-mouth and personal connections, then yeah, you probably don’t have to learn about SEO and related acronyms.
For the rest of us, SEO, combined with content marketing, is often the most cost-effective way to grow a business.
This is because when your website shows up on top of search results for keywords that are important for your business: your customers will start coming to you.
You will not have the need to run paid ads, make expensive promotion deals with influencers, or send tons of cold emails.
Those are not empty words designed to sell you on SEO. Just look at these stats:
- Hubspot confirms that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. This shows you two things. One, Google is pretty good at placing the best content on top of search results so you rarely have the need to look for beyond the first page. Secondly, it is really important that your web pages show up on the first page for terms that are related to your core service. Otherwise, no one will be able to find you online.
- According to research done by Databox, 70% of marketers say that they prefer SEO over PPC (paid ads on Google/FB/Instagram…) because it is more cost-effective at driving sales and a better overall long-term strategy.
- Stats provided by Go Gulf state that 46% of all Google searches are made with the goal of finding some local information. That goes to show you how important local SEO is for small businesses.
- Around 90% of all marketers (B2B and B2C) use content marketing and SEO in some capacity to build their audience and grow their business.
You do not have to look further than yourself to find more proof.
Whether you are buying a new watch or looking for accounting software, what is the first thing you do? You will open your browser and do a search. That’s what we all do nowadays, that is why SEO is the name of the game, and that is why everyone wants to be on top of SERPs (search engine result pages).
Types of SEO: On-page SEO vs Off-page SEO
Google’s algorithm takes into consideration a vast array of different signals to determine how to rank websites and content. Those are called google ranking factors.
There are a LOT of different techniques, tools, and tactics used in Search Engine Optimization. The goal of those tactics is to positively impact the these ranking factors.
While no one can provide you with a complete list of factors and their effects on your overall placement in search results, numerous tests marketers have been doing over the years show that quality backlinks and good content are a recipe for success.
And it is something we were able to replicate for many of our clients.
A very popular way to categorize SEO efforts is by splitting them into two categories: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to techniques and optimizations that are done directly on your website (your web page content, title tags, subheadings, loading speed, image names, etc.)
Off-page SEO refers to efforts to bring awareness and traffic to your website from other sites (most commonly done in the form of link building).
In simpler terms, on-page SEO ensures that Google’s algorithm understands what your page is about, while off-page SEO aims to build signals that prove your page is trustworthy.
How to get started with SEO
There is a never-ending debate if you should do SEO in-house or outsource it to a digital agency.
In both cases, the first thing you should do is read a few ultimate SEO guides. Learn the basics of SEO and get a better grasp of everything that hides behind the SEO acronym.
If you want to do it yourself, you will have a better idea of what you need to do, and if you are outsourcing it to a digital agency, you will have an easier time evaluating if what they are offering you makes any sense.
Many businesses decide to outsource SEO (or parts of it) and focus on their core business. If you are on the fence or just unsure in which direction to take your marketing efforts, we invite you to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our on-page SEO services and link-building services.