Unless you are a very famous person or brand, with an already existing large following, simply publishing a website and waiting for the traffic to roll in is usually not a very effective way to market your business online. Even very famous people and brands heavily invest in search engine optimization and other related services that help earn their websites and other online assets greater exposure. Why do they do this and why should you? Because most of the online traffic to your business will go through an intermediary, namely Google or some other search engine. And as long as there is an intermediary, understanding it and how it works will always be a vital aspect of internet marketing.
What is SEO?
The common perception of SEO is that it’s all about keywords and link-building, but this is really a myopic view because it misses the essence of what a search engine optimizer does. It is true that earning links to a website and making sure the content targets the right search queries is still part of what an SEO does, but my point is that it’s only a small part of a much larger picture. SEO is really about understanding how people use intermediaries — e.g. Google and Yahoo! — to find the websites they need, so that you can get more of the right kind of traffic that is most likely to buy the products or services you sell.
With the above definition in mind, let’s think about what it means to “SEO a website.” SEO is a perspective that influences the intention behind the website by taking into consideration its purpose (what you’re trying to sell), the type of customers or patients it’s targeting, and how these specific customers or patients search for websites like yours. Some of the things an SEO considers while optimizing your site include:
- Does the content, in whatever form it’s in, speak to the right type of reader (the type most likely to be interested in the products or services you offer)?
- Does the website offer the right type of reader the information he or she is looking for?
- Does the websites’ presence on the intermediaries that people use to find it accurately and persuasively reflect what it has to offer?
There are most certainly technical aspects to SEO that include keyword optimization, link building, determining the structure of the website, and many other things, but these are all branches of a larger tree. And even when one withers away, the tree is still there with many other live branches. So, for example, you may have heard that keyword optimization is becoming less and less important. While (somewhat) true, this is no way invalidates the role of SEO, since the broader picture — search engines acting as intermediaries between users and websites — is still the same.
Why Do I Need SEO?
The internet is a gargantuan ocean where it’s very easy for to find oneself lost and cut off from the rest of humanity. Without SEO, not only will your website attract less potential customers or patients, but it will also attract the wrong kind of people. In other words, without SEO, all the money you spent on your site will be for naught. You need a lighthouse that navigates people to your site. SEO does this by making sure that the site attracts the right kind of reader, so not only are you getting more traffic, but that traffic is more likely to convert into customers or patients.
If you’re interested in learning more about what Now Media Group’s SEO team can do for you, we encourage you to contact us to speak to your consultant. We are more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have and to help you bring greater success to your internet marketing.