What is Search Engine Optimization(SEO) and Why Should You Care?

  • SEO makes it easier for online consumers to find your brand.
  • Not all SEO strategies are effective or ethical.
  • Brands that provide high-quality content on their websites already have the foundation for good SEO.
  • This article is for business owners who want to connect to a wider audience by improving the SEO quality of their websites.

Search engine optimization (SEO) makes it easier for search engines to find your website. SEO leverages the way search engines categorize online content to rank your website near the top of someone’s list of search results.

At its core, high-quality SEO gives website visitors what they want: interesting, useful content delivered through simple and readable copy.

So what does SEO have to do with you and your business?

Effective SEO can expose a wider audience to your brand. Moreover, if your web copy’s optimized for search engines and for humans, those new visitors are likely to convert to new customers.

SEO Increases your visibility

Brands can (and should) use social media and paid advertisement to reach new customers, but people are much more likely to click the links that show up in their search results than to click a paid ad or spontaneously follow your brand on social.

Effective SEO ranks up your website so that search engines lead someone looking for a solution you provide directly to your brand. If you want to see what I mean, open up a new tab and search for the keyword “shoes.”

First, you’ll see a whole bunch of ads. If you’re like most people, you’ll glance at that and keep scrolling.

SEO vs Paid Ads

A conveniently placed map with a list of nearby shoe stores follows. If you’re looking for online options, you’ll keep this list in the back of your mind and scroll down some more.

SEO Map List

Finally, you get to a list of search results.

SEO top search result ranking

These top four websites are ranked highest because… well… they’re major shoe stores and they’ve got some stellar SEO on their sites making that obvious to search engines.

Here’s the problem, though. Most people will check out the top 4 sites on their list of search results and then stop looking. Understandably, there’s a massive amount of competition to get into one of those spots.

So what do you do if your site’s not even in the first 10 pages of search results?

You start building. You can take on the project of improving your site’s SEO quality on your own, or you can recruit help. SEO experts can audit your site and provide recommendations. You can also hire a freelance writer to create website copy or SEO-embedded ongoing content.

Effective SEO boosts your credibility

Effective is the key word.

The most basic rule of marketing is also the foundation of good communication: know your audience.

If you have a website, your audience is comprised of two different species. Search engines and your every day human being.

Some people attempt to game search engines with tactics that ruin the human being’s experience.

Here’s an example. You search “best internet provider in Indianapolis,” click on a site, and this is what you find:

Welcome to the best internet provider in Indianapolis. We are the best internet provider in Indianapolis and can tell you all about the best internet provider in Indianapolis. Indianapolis internet providers are the best internet providers Indianapolis.

Oof.

That’s got all the key words you’re looking for, but it’s useless and really annoying to read. In fact, search engines will penalize you for “black hat” SEO strategies like that. Keyword stuffing might rank your site up in the short run, but it doesn’t do the important work of building your brand’s credibility.

And at the end of the day, that’s what’s going to convert a visitor into a customer: trust.

“White hat” SEO employs ethical strategies that get at the heart of what search engines and human beings really want: content with real answers to real questions.

If you have the time and drive, you can learn a substantial amount about SEO on your own and for free using online resources. Search engines like Google offer free SEO guidelines, and there are tons of other online resources with high-quality SEO learning material available at no cost.

But what should you do if you learn a bunch about SEO, put it to practice, and your website still doesn’t rank in the top 4 or 5 sites for your most relevant keywords?

Keep using white hat SEO knowing that the people who visit your site will still appreciate the concerted effort you made to streamline their experience.

If your goal is meeting your customer’s needs, then white hat SEO can help. The natural consequence of focusing on your customers is increased trust from visitors who know that they can rely on you to give them what they’re looking for. Keep on trucking along the way of SEO, and search engines will figure that out, too.

your Content is King, SEO is its Herald

SEO is not the goal.

You read that right. Yes, I just spent this whole post explaining why SEO is important for your business. Because that’s the goal: your business.

Improving your website’s search engine ranking and increasing traffic on your website can absolutely be mechanisms for converting your visitors to customers.

If you have an excellent product and want to utilize your website to increase your brand’s exposure, you should care about SEO. You should also care deeply about the quality of the content visitors will find once they click on your links.

Creating content that captures distracted, busy visitors takes time, creativity, and expertise. But if it works, your website is doing the job you hired it to do.


Let’s work together

Dianna K Benjamin Indianapolis Freelance Writer

I’m Dianna, a freelance writer in the Indianapolis area.

Have a brand and a website but no time to develop an SEO-focused content strategy? I offer a content consultation service that will get you started. If you’ve already got a plan but need a highly-skilled freelance writer to create blog posts, get in touch with me about my article and blog writing services.

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