What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a collection of best practices, optimizations, and initiatives to help improve online visibility. Since two-thirds of web traffic comes from Google searches, appearing in Google search results is essential. And now with "semantic search" via AI-powered voice assistants, it's more important than ever to score for relevancy.
Qualify for good SEO
A combination of many factors leads to better rankings and visibility. Penalties (bad code, bad security) can block you from showing up where you otherwise would. A complete SEO Audit identifies easy-to-fix blockers and suggests simple improvements.
Data drives benefits from SEO
You can learn a lot from your search and visitor data. Where are your visitors coming from and why? What do they do once they arrive? Which channels or queries are most effective? What opportunities are you missing? Where should you spend your energy?
You can also collect and analyze data from all of your channels such as sales data, CRM's, social media, online ads, and other campaigns to get a macro view of your online energy and ROI. Learning where you are valued can help you position and own your niche.
Improve your keyword targets' rankings by improving the presentation and substance of your content. Keyword data guides you to provide visitors with quality, relevant content to attract qualified traffic!
Further optimize your website
Schema, or structured content, adds another level of descriptive meta to your website's code. This is especially helpful if you feature products or multiple locations on your website.
Calls to action
Ultimately, this is about *real* conversions such as buy orders, phone calls, new subscriptions and follows, sample downloads, demo signup, or some other clear call-to-action.
Many websites -- especially on mobile -- lose visitors right away because there is no clarity of what to do next. Good design and compelling substance guide people to find value on your SEO website.
Most web traffic (over 70%) comes from search engine results. Getting found in the search engines -- which means as close to the top of the first page as possible -- is key to earning web traffic.
Wikipedia says: Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results.
This depends where you are starting from, but the earlier you are thinking about it... the better.
Fixing technical problems with your website is essential as you might be getting penalized for something that can be easily fixed. Research, analysis, and strategy help you optimize your content and show up higher in searches. Structured data and better meta help optimize your SERPs (attract more clicks.)
Many factors contribute to this. While we don't know what Google's constantly-evolving search engine recipe is exactly, they have provided plenty of guidance and tools so we can mutually strive for quality.
Ideally, the web page with the most popular, high value answer to a query earns that spot at the top of Google.
The best way to get ROI out of SEO is to include SEO research, analysis, and strategy in the early phase of building your site. A properly structured site can then grow organically in stature and traffic.
Both Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing can be powerful tools for building your audience. SEO is slower but more pertinent, while SEM (like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Bing Ads) stops working the moment you stop feeding cash into it.
SEO builds long-lasting value while SEM can get you more immediate results which is great if your website is new. This article is a good comparison: SEO vs SEM: Which is Better for Your Business?