SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This just means we are doing some changes to your website so that it appears in the Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs and more importantly, it appears before other websites which could be competing with yours for your customers’ attention.
Why do you need SEO?
Let’s say you are a business owner or entrepreneur and you just decided to build a website for your business so that you can get more customers and make more money. So, you either build the website yourself or you hire a web designer to build your website for you. Then one fine day, you launch your website on the internet and wait for your customers to come rushing in from all over the world. But sad reality is – very few or no customers turn up. You wait for some more time, then you get frustrated and turn your attention to other things that you think will help you with earning some money. Eventually after sometime, your website is forgotten, you don’t renew it and then it just goes away. This is what happens to a large majority of the websites.
Now, let’s see why it happened? After you launched your website, you might have told a few friends about it and they might have visited your website a few times. But your friends are not your customers and they will not buy your product or service every time they visit your website. The real reason you could not get customers to your website is because your website just did not come up in front of your customers or those people who needed your product or services. This is because your website was not optimized for the search engines. (Please note, from now on, when I say “search engines”, I will be referring to Google, Bing or Yahoo.)
Importance of Search Engine Optimization
Now, your business would have been more successful if only your website could have appeared in front of more people who were looking for your product of service. That would have happened if only you would have optimized your website for the search engines using the right keywords using any of the SEO keyword research tools. In other words – done proper SEO for your website. There are a number of activities that are involved while doing SEO for your website. Search Engine Optimization or SEO can be broadly categorized into On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. Take a look at this image:
On-page and Off-page SEO activities
As you can see in the image above, a number of activities go into doing SEO for your website. All these have to be done for every single web page on your website. The content has to be unique and properly structured. You should use high-quality,light-weight images to increase user engagement. You will also need to create accounts for yourself (that is, for your website) on Google analytics, Google Webmasters, Bing Analytics. You will also need an account with Disqus which you will need while working on backlink creation by commenting on other websites or blogs. To create images, you can either use Adobe Photoshop or use a free account with Canva. You will also need to create a gravatar for your website. We will be discussing more about each of the above on-page and off-page activities in the other articles.
NOTE: Search Engine Optimization is a marathon, not a sprint. Which means, these are things that you have to keep doing consistently to improve your websites page rankings in the search engines and keep it there. You cannot achieve results overnight.