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What is SEO, and why do I need it?

Updated on January 15, 2018
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To see an example of what "SEO" is, follow these steps:

1. Go to Google Search and type in the words "cheap vacations" in the search box.

2. Take a look at the search results for cheap vacations. On the first page you will see online businesses, webpages and websites that are all trying to attract you to click on their website based on their titles and descriptions of what they are offering you with regard to cheap vacations.

3. Are you enticed to click on one particular webpage rather than one of the others? Do the key words that they used in their title or description make you want to click on their website to get the best information about cheap vacations?

That in a nutshell is SEO, the websites that have good SEO in place appear on the first page of the Google results and entice you to click on their website.

Results, the webpages with good SEO are:

  • The first website appearing in the Google search results for cheap vacations
  • The websites appearing on the first page of the Google search results

The websites listed on the first page have optimized their pages to contain the most information and topics about cheap vacations. They have provided enough good content to make their pages worthy of a top search result position. The higher ranked on the search results, the more visitors they will receive and these visitors can then be converted into customers.

They have mastered search engine optimization, ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by the Google search engine.

What is SEO
What is SEO

So now you have the answer to the question "What is SEO?". It is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, the business of trying to make your website appear as close to the first page of Google results as possible. The first listings generally receive the most visitors to their websites, and in turn more possible customers.

Why do I need it?

In a nutshell, you need to have good SEO on your website so that your website will appear highest in the google search results enabling potential customers to click on your website. For example, if I own a website design company and I am trying to attract customers to my company website to see my services and pricing, I want my company website to appear on the first two pages of the results when someone types "website design companies" in Google search.

Currently, when I type the phrase "website design companies" in Google there are 301,000,000 websites that appear in the results. WOW! What chance do I have of someone finding the terrific website I created for my new website design company? Three hundred million to one to be exact, which are also your odds of dying in a shark attack - 1 in 300,000,000.

In America alone we perform 20 billion web searches a month. When you entered the term cheap vacations in the Google search, how many pages in the Google results were you willing to browse through before you found a website description that you thought looked good, informative, and made you click?

Statistics show, most people don't even go to the third page of results most of the time! So, the goal for you is to optimize your company's website or webpages so that they appear in the first few pages of Google Search results by using search engine optimization.

Learning SEO

By using Search Engine Optimization, you will make your website search engine friendly with the use of keywords, backlinks, traffic, titles, descriptions, content and more. You can certainly pay a person or company to help optimize your website. Or you can start by doing it yourself. One way to learn about SEO is to purchase a book that will walk you through the SEO process. It is not a 1,2,3 process, and with a book you can learn gradually and spend an hour or so a day learning and implementing what you've learned on your website. One book I have found very useful is Search Engine Optimization for Dummies. I am a big fan of the entire "Dummies" line of books, and in particular their internet and online business books are terrific. They are a wealth of information and provide some easy do-able steps that can make a quick difference in your website, as well as provide in-depth information on the entire SEO process. In addition, there are many online tools that will teach you the basics of Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is a complicated topic, but there are 3 main areas that are most important: content, keywords and backlinks. You will often hear the phrase "content is king", because original content is what will drive organic traffic to your website. You will want to focus your energy on learning about each of these topics and how to implement them successfully on your website.

Below is a description of each of these top three important factors for successful seo marketing.


Keywords. It's important to have well chosen phrases and keywords on your website that directly relate to your business, product, or webpage content. The goal is to narrow down what words people would use to search for your service or business or product, and then incorporate those key words into the content of your webpage, repeatedly. You must target these specific keywords so that the search engines can find your site. For example, if I have a travel website and the only time the word travel actually appears is in the title of my website I am not making the best use of keywords. Use an online tool to check the keyword density of your website.


Backlinks. Backlinks are basically just other places on the web that have a link to your website. For example, if I were to put a link on my travel blog to your website design company's website, the link on my travel blog would be considered one of your backlinks. Google and other search engines use this information when rating your website pages and when considering if your webpage should be given a front page spot on the Google search results page. Use an online tool to check the backlinks to your website.


Content. Not just content, but original content is the most important element of a great website, blog or webpage, and an important part of SEO. Over and over you will hear the phrase "Content is King" when talking about successful seo and blogs, websites or webpages. Your content must be original, not copied from somewhere else on the web. Your original content will contain terms and phrases (keywords) that generate will generate traffic to your website.

Why Should I Use Search Engine Optimization?

In a nutshell, if you have a blog, website or online store, SEO can help your business grow. If you don't use SEO in your marketing plan the traffic to your terrific website will be non-existent , and your blog will be invisible to search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others. Therefore, effectively using search engine optimization will mean the difference between being in the top page results of a Google search or being the 300 millionth webpage listed in Google search results, and could be the difference between the success or failure of your online business!

Mastering Search Engine Optimization is a key tool to the success of your business, brand, or website. Here is a fun google tool to see what people all over the world are searching for, including topics in business, health, sports, entertainment and more. This information can be very useful for your business and business planning.

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