What is SEO?

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Take a moment and remember the last time you wanted to learn or purchase something. If your instinct told you to head to Google, you’re part of the 80% of searchers who prefer going online to look for what they need. The first page of search engine results earns over 95% of clicks, so it’s wise to ensure your site appears in those results when your customers look. 

Search Engine Optimisation, or usually just SEO, is a set of practices created to improve the appearance and ranking of web pages in organic search results. Organic search is the most common way people discover and access online content. A good SEO strategy is critical for increasing your website’s quality and quantity of traffic. 

The three things we need to know to understand the actual value of SEO: 
  1. Organic search results

These are the unpaid results on a search engine results page (SERP) that the search engines have determined to be the most relevant to what the user is looking for. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads also make up a significant part of what SERPs show users. Organic search results differ from these ads because organic results are displayed based on the search engines’ organic ranking algorithms instead of advertiser bids. One can’t pay for their page to rank higher in organic search results. Data shows that results that organic results earn twenty times as much traffic as paid ads, and only 2.8% of searches click on them. 

  1. Quality of organic traffic

Quality has everything to do with how relevant the user and their searches are to the contents of your website. You can have all the visitors worldwide, but if they’re clicking your site because Google, Bing or Yahoo tell them that you’re an Apple device resource when you’re an apple farmer, those visitors will likely leave your site without getting what they need. High-quality traffic means getting visitors genuinely interested in your website’s information, products or other resources. High-quality SEO takes advantage of search engines’ efforts to match a user’s query to the web pages listed in the SERP. It is dedicated to guiding web searches to your site naturally. 

  1. Quantity of organic traffic

Quantity is the number of users who reach your website via organic search results. Users are inclined to click on the items that appear at the top of the SERP. It is essential to use SEO strategies to rank your pages as high as possible. The more high-quality visitors you attract, the more likely you will see an increase in quality traffic. 

How does SEO work? 

You want to spend your time and money attracting people who are most likely to become customers. It’s efficient, intelligent and just good for business. A good SEO strategy is tailored to your business goals, builds trust in your brand, and supports almost every other aspect of marketing. You could plaster advertisements on every billboard in your city, but if your website doesn’t show up when people open their phones and search for you, that ad spend is wasted. For SEO to work well, you need to guide the right searchers to your site and ensure you offer the answer they were searching for. 

Traditional marketing focuses on outbound messaging. You create a message, distribute it to potential customers, and hope the people coming across your advertisements are in the right mood to make a purchase. Digital ads do the same thing just online. 

SEO is unique because it invites potential customers into your world – it doesn’t interrupt theirs. Optimising your site to be the answer that appears on Google when they’re on the hunt for information, you’re focusing on a form of marketing that speaks to a highly relevant audience. This audience looks at your brand with intent rather than boredom or irritation. 

SEO works to increase your website’s traffic and brand authority by inviting highly interested visitors to explore your pages. Generally speaking, depending on the business goals you’re chasing and the customer intent you’re targeting, those interested visitors are more likely to convert by making a purchase or becoming a lead. 

Beyond reaching people ready to purchase, practising good SEO will help searchers unaware of your brand prepare to become customers in the future. It’s a potent tool targeting people at any marketing funnel stage. 

SEO also plays nicely with practically every other marketing effort you invest in. Searchers who see your brand in the organic results are more likely to click on your ads; searchers who see your outbound efforts like direct mail or your radio spots can find you easily online. 

What’s next?

Now that you’ve got a good handle on what SEO is and how it can work to support your business, you’ll want to make a decision. Is it something you can handle yourself? There are no shortcuts to success in SEO, so make sure you can commit resources and time to do it right. 

Good SEO spans several disciplines and requires a wide variety of skills. It requires technical resources to ensure your site can be found online, a deep understanding of your target customer, a talent for content creation and development, strategic planning and execution, and more. The search engines determining where your site ranks in the results run on incredibly complex algorithms; the secret to unlocking your site’s potential lies in matching those algorithms with equally tricky problem-solving. 

It isn’t impossible to learn SEO and DIY. Still, it is a full-time job and requires a considerable amount of self-education to implement it, keep up with industry trends and changes, and measure the success of your efforts.


Running your business is a full-time job, and you may not have the availability to wear another hat. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to consider hiring an SEO agency to develop and maintain a search strategy for your site. We can help – let’s talk about what you need and how we can get you there. 

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