SEO Broken Down
SEO stands for search engine optimization. In a nutshell SEO is the process of attracting organic traffic & users to your website via keyword searches related to your website in search engine results (Google, Bing, etc.). If you are using the internet to market your business and reading this blog post, I probably don’t have to explain the value of attracting visitors to your website.
What is Organic Traffic and Why is it Important?
Organic traffic is one of the core four (not to be confused with this Core Four) traffic sources for any website. For our purposes, the core four traffic sources to any website can be broken down into the following things:
- Direct Traffic (When a user types your website URL directly in – exp. Google.com ). Direct traffic visitors typically come from people who already know your business exists or have seen your web address in an advertisement.
- Referral Traffic (When a user finds your website via a link on another website). Referral traffic can come from any number if sources. A good example is a hyperlink to your law firm’s website on a site such as Avvo or FindLaw.
- Paid Traffic (Advertising Platforms such as Google Adwords or Facebook Advertising). Google Adwords allows you to bid on keywords related to your products or services, while Facebook Advertising allows you to target potential clients through demographics based marketing. Paid traffic can take many forms, these examples just highlight two popular advertising platforms.
- Organic Traffic – This is the hard fought, hard earned stuff – appearing near the top of the search results for keywords related to your product/service/business. Many times i relate building organic traffic to a website to losing weight or going to the gym. In order to be successful and see gains in your organic traffic efforts, it’s going to take a consistent effort and patience.
For the purpose of this article we will be focusing on organic traffic, after all that is the goal of any SEO campaign.
The True Goal of Search Engine Optimization
Black hat, white hat, grey hat, local SEO – In my time as an internet professional I have heard SEO explained a million different ways. What is worse is if you ask 5 local SEO companies to explain their SEO process, it is entirely possible to get 5 different answers. If you are novice to search engine optimization, all of this information can seem overwhelming.
At the end of the Day SEO is pretty simple to understand
- Ranking content (pages, blog posts) on your website in search engine results
- Improving the rankings of content that is already ranked in search engine results
I like this definition of SEO because it is simple to understand. There’s no mystical knowledge or understanding of SEO required to understand this definition. At any given point in time, you are either targeting new keywords your website doesn’t rank for, or improving the rankings of content your website is already ranking for.
Still Have Questions About SEO?
SEO or search engine optimization can be an incredibly complex topic. This blog post is by no means the be all end all in regards to SEO. There are a ton of free resources out there on the internet to help you better understand search engine optimization, below is a list of a few of my favorites:
- Search Engine Land
- Moz – The Beginner’s Guide. The Beginner’s Guide is a must read if you are new to SEO.
- Reddit – Great place to ask questions (make sure you read the rules first unless you want to unleash the trolls)
- Google – Yes Google wrote a helpful PDF that outlines the rules pretty clearly
Still have questions? Contact me – Seriously, I love talking about search engine optimization.