What is SEO and why is it important for your business? another guide for beginner

So by now you’ve heard all about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how it’s supposed to be the greatest online marketing strategy used to drive traffic to your corporate website. Just place a few keywords in the text on your website and your bound to show up in the top results of a search engine, right?
If only it were that simple! SEO is actually much more complex, but it is indeed a very valuable marketing tool that should not be casually dismissed by any company wishing to maintain a strong online presence.

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What is SEO?

Search engine optimization or SEO in short, is a set of rules that can be followed by website (or blog) owners to optimize their websites for search engines and thus improve their search engine rankings.
In addition, it is a great way to increase the quality of their web sites by making them user- friendly, faster and easier to navigate.
If you still aren’t convinced you need Search Engine Optimization, then consider these three important reasons.

Reason One – To Make Sure Your Customers Find You First

Competition between businesses on the Internet is increasing daily, and maintaining a strong web presence is vital for continued marketing success and a strong ROI. Your business may offer an exceptional product or service, but if your customer base can’t find you, then how would they ever know? Search Engine Optimization is the critical factor that often means the difference between optimal placement in search engines or being lost amidst hundreds of results.
A strong web presence can ensure that your company remains at the forefront of popular search engines, thus making it easier for your customer base to find you first. The key to maintaining a lead over the competition lies within the basic fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization. If you haven’t taken SEO into consideration, then your website is missing a vital tool.
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN utilize Search Engine Optimization when determining the placement of a website in organic search results. An SEO strategy employs keywords and keyphrases throughout your corporate website that can be used to identify your products and services, and drive traffic to your site. A website without Search Engine Optimization is a website that may never be found.

Reason Two – SEO Will Help Increase ROI

Search Engine Optimization, coupled with additional valuable marketing strategies, will help to ensure a significant Return On Investment. Too often a business will spend a large sum of money on website development and design, without ever considering SEO. Even more money may be spent on online advertising such as Google Ads and additional marketing strategies that simply aren’t as cost-effective as SEO.
When utilized correctly, SEO is not only a powerful marketing tool, but is also typically responsible for driving the majority of traffic directly to your website. Compared to high-cost, high-risk online advertising campaigns, SEO is low-risk, increasingly efficient and highly reliable. Search Engine Optimization can help place your site prominently in front of the customer’s eyes, where they are more likely to be actively seeking your products and services.

Reason Three – SEO Can Be Quickly Adapted to New Marketing Strategies

Each and every day, more businesses are beginning to understand the positive benefits of Search Engine Optimization, which means you need to be ever vigilant in making sure your own website is properly optimized for the web. Luckily, there are a variety of analytical tools available to SEO experts that will enable them to keep up with the fast pace of advancement.
If your website already has an SEO strategy in place, then you might want to consider having a keyword and keyphrase analysis performed by SEO specialists to determine how effective your current strategy is, and where it may be necessary to make changes. The SEO specialists at Active Web Group are highly experienced and well aware of the constantly changing environment of Search Engine Optimization, and can efficiently calculate which keywords and keyphrases are driving the most traffic to your site, and more importantly, how much of that traffic is being converted to sales.
Additionally, the SEO specialists at Active Web Group can help you develop a successful plan or an ongoing campaign, so that your corporate website remains continually optimized for ever-changing search engine algorithms.

An introduction to SEO for beginners

For beginners to SEO the above definition may sound complicated,  in simpler terms Search Engine Optimization is a way to improve your website so that it will appear closer to the top positions in the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines.
When you perform a search on Google (or any other search engine) the order by which the returning results are displayed, is based on complex algorithms.
These algorithms take a number of factors into account to decide which web page should be shown in the first place, second place etc.
Optimizing your web site for search engines will give you an advantage over non-optimized sites and you increase your chances to rank higher.
What are the main stages of the Search Engine Optimization process?
As I mentioned above, SEO is not a static process but rather a framework with rules and processes. For simplicity though SEO can be broken down into 2 main stages:
On-site SEO: What rules to apply on your site to make it search engine friendly
Off-site SEO: How to promote your website or blog so that it can rank better in search results.

On-site SEO

In my search engine optimization tips for beginners article I have explained with examples the 15 most important rules for on-site SEO.
These are simple tweaks you can apply to your web site and increase your search engine visibility. If followed correctly, these 15 SEO tips will also improve the usability and credibility of your website or blog.
In addition to the above guidelines, the structure of a web site is also very important for SEO purposes.
In my article: the importance of web site structure for an SEO optimized web site you can read about the essential components of an optimised web site.  Which pages should not be missing from your web site, what is a high quality site and why the navigation and URL structure is vital for good SEO?
If you seriously take into account these 2 factors i.e. web site structure and the seo tips, then that’s all you need to do to help search engines trust your web site.
There is no need to spend more time than needed with on-site SEO neither you should over optimize your website or blog because it can sometimes (under certain conditions) generate the opposite results.

Off-site SEO

Besides the changes you can do to your web site (on-site SEO) so that it ranks higher in the SERPs, the other way to improve your website’s ranking position is by using off-site SEO techniques.
Off-site SEO is generally known as link building but I prefer to use the term web site promotion since a proper way to promote a website involves much more methods and techniques than building links.
In general, search engines are trying to find the most important pages of the web and show those first when a user enters a search query.
One of the factors to determine the position a web page will appear in the results is the number of incoming links.
Incoming links are a signal of trust and depending from where the links are coming, they can greatly affect your ranking position (either positively if the links are coming from well-known and trusted sites or negatively if they are paid links, article directories, link farms etc.).
What can you do to get more links?
That’s a very good question and I am sure that if you search the Internet for that phrase you will get hundreds of different answers.
In my opinion, and this is what I will try to explain in this article, you should forget about building links and concentrate on creating good quality content for your web site.
Good content will get you natural links which in turn will give you good rankings and traffic.
If you try to buy links or get them the easy way (read this: Guest posting for links), you may have a temporary success and then see your web site disappearing from the top pages after the next Google update.

What is the difference of SEO and Internet marketing?

Some people often ask me “Is SEO the same as Internet Marketing?” The simplest answer I can give is that SEO is one of the tools available in your Internet Marketing arsenal.
It is not Internet Marketing as such but it can be part of your overall Internet Marketing campaign which normally includes other things like social media promotion, content strategy etc.

Good content is still the most important success factor with or without SEO

Before closing this introduction to search engine optimization you must have very clear in your mind that SEO cannot help you if you don’t have good content.
In other words if you try to SEO a website with not very good content your chances of succeeding (in the long term) are minimum.
On the other hand, a website with good content can do well with or without SEO. SEO will just give the web site an extra boost.

SEO is a must for every web property

To sum it up, Search engine optimization or SEO is a way to optimize your website so that search engines will understand it better and give you higher rankings.
It is important since a good SEO approach can drive more traffic to your website, blog or on-line store and gain more customers, make sales and fulfil your business purpose.

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