Whether you’re an IT professional, a literature student, or retired government servant, you use Google Search engine for various reasons.
Let’s assume you want to buy a smartphone phone within Rs. 10,000 and you want to learn more information about the phone before you actually buy it.
Google shows you a number of websites that tell you the popular smartphones available within your budget.
So, basically, Google not only tells you the best smartphone within your budget but also tells you where you can buy it.
Similarly, if you want to learn the history of India’s Freedom Struggle, Google will show you the following results….
In short, Google helps you whether you want to buy a product or learns about new things.
As you can see, Google basically shows you a list of websites to help you. Here’s the top ten results on Google for “How to Apply for a Home Loan”
If you notice, Google shows you only ten websites per page. However, there are thousands of websites who want to be picked by Google so you can visit their website.
But only ten websites rank on the first page and the rest don’t. Why?
Because Google considers some criteria to prepare the list.
As you can imagine, there is a competition between the websites to fulfil the criteria so they can appear on the top ten results by Google.
So, they follow a technical process to achieve the criteria – this process is known as SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
If you split the phrase Search Engine Optimization, it’s Search Engine + Optimization.
Google is a Search Engine, and Optimization is the process of improving a website to fulfil Google’s criteria.
Therefore, Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving a website’s criteria to appear on the top ten results on Google.
SEO is a marketing technique where sellers want to attract Internet users like you.
Most People Don’t Know What SEO Means
Despite the growing popularity of SEO, the concept of SEO is still a mystery to common people.
Explaining a technical term like SEO to a layman can be difficult. Assuming I have to explain SEO to my father who is into literature, here’s how the conversation could go…
Father: What is SEO? What does it mean?
Me: Suppose you are looking for some of the best short stories by Ruskin Bond on the internet, what would you do?
Father: I would go to Google.com and search ‘best short stories by Rusking Bond’ or something like that. As I click on the search button, it will show me a list of websites. I will click on them to see if they match my requirements.
Me: So you would be looking for information which is relevant to your query! Right?
Father: Of course!
Me: How do you know a website link is relevant?
Father: Not sure, but it’s quite obvious that I’d click on those links appearing on the top of the list.
Me: So the links you tend to click on are mostly those appearing in the first page, and towards the beginning of the list?
Father: Yes, most of the times.
Me: That means you trust the links that rank higher.
Father: Yes, I guess so.
Me: But have you ever wondered why only some websites appear on the top ten results while hundreds of other websites fail to do so?
Father: Not really
Me: It happens because of SEO. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process to improve the quality of your website so it can successfully appear on Google’s first page.
If you are a website owner, your primary objective behind creating the website is to increase the number of visitors, or attract more organic traffic. And, this is possible when you improve the SEO criteria of your website.
SEO is an online marketing strategy that helps your website rank higher on Google for specific search queries. With higher rankings, your website gets more traffic from Google and you sell more products.
In a conventional business scenario, a shopkeeper always wants customers that buy their products, and not the ones who do windows shopping.
In the same way, an online shopkeeper looks for quality traffic – the visitors to a website who buy stuff rather than just visit a couple of pages and then leave.
Thus, SEO never focuses on increasing the volume of traffic alone; it emphasises on the quality of traffic too. Quality of traffic refers to attracting visitors and offering them the solution or answers they are genuinely looking for. When your website offers more relevant information for a specific search query and your visitors tend to find it more useful, it’s said to have achieved a quality traffic.
Now when you know SEO in its most basic form, it’s important to know who exactly needs SEO. who is it for? The answers is, any entity whether individual or business who want their website to perform better in search engine result pages and increase the quantity as well as quality of search traffic needs SEO.
Why Do Websites Compete for the Top Ten Results?
If you are wondering why is it that necessary, here are a few reasons.
It Increases Traffic
High organic traffic is one of the major goals of every website owner. Search engine optimized websites and webpages tend to get better positions in search engine result pages. Hence, they obtain better visibilities and receive majority of clicks, which result in increase in traffic to your website.
It is cost effective
SEO is a cost effective marketing strategy. It only targets the online users who are actively looking for your products and it applies different techniques to make your website more accessible to them.
According to NewsCred, on average, organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate, compared to 1.7% for outbound marketing leads. SEO is more of an inbound marketing tactic where business owners can save expenses on cold calling and yet generate more leads.
It offers better ROI
Higher conversion rate is yet another feature of SEO techniques. As per the studies by Convario in 2010, The average click-through rate for paid search in 2010 (worldwide) was 2%, while it was 4% for organic search results.
It helps your website stand out from the rest
There are over 250 million websites in the web world and it’s quite difficult to find a name in such a over crowded platform. With correct SEO techniques, It possible to make your web presence standout from the rest.
It offers long term result
Unlike paid traffic, the results from SEO are applicable on a long run. Although you need to maintain the top position, as long as it’s relevant it’s going to stay there for quite long.
It help improve your marketing strategy
With different SEO tools, you can keep a track on different aspects such as search queries, demographic information, engagement metric that affect your search traffic. They provide comprehensive analytics so you can change or improve your strategies in order to get better results.
At present, SEO is one of the most effective online marketing strategies that improves your website’s performance. According to Digital Marketing, Search engine optimization is the most popular marketing tactic among terms searched by people. With more and more people looking up to internet as a huge source of information, there is a huge opportunity for website owners to adopt the right SEO techniques and maximize their business.