The Big Question surrounding…What Does SEO stand for

Launched a new business website? Have questions on what does SEO stand for?

Congratulations, but this is only the beginning. You won’t get anywhere without a solid SEO plan in place. It’s all the rage nowadays; it doesn’t take more than a few moments online to find guides listing how every online business needs SEO. Keep reading to find out the details on what does SEO stand for.
 

But what does SEO stand for and why is it so important?

Wonder no further because we’re going to break it down for you. Read on below to discover everything there is to learn about SEO and why it matters:

The Basics of SEO

For as long as the Internet existed, there has been a need to sort information to make data easy to organize and find. Otherwise, it would take people hours to find a single page amid the thousands and millions of pages online. 

This is why search engines like Google exist. Google, today’s biggest search engine, is over 20 years old.

Search engines send out crawlers to check every web page and annotate the content, particularly the text. These search engines can then relay information back to a user.

What Does SEO Stand For?

What does SEO stand for? SEO is an acronym meaning Search Engine Optimization. 

SEO is all about optimizing your website to make it easier for Google to identify the content of your pages. This makes it easier for users all over the globe to find your content exactly when they need it.

For example, say your website sells running shoes in Chicago, Illinois. To make sure people in Chicago can find it and shop from your business, you’ll need to conduct a bit of SEO. Doing so can inform you it’s important to create content around keyword phrases like “running shoes in Chicago” and “Chicago shoes for cheap.”

When Google’s crawlers check your site and its content, they’ll associate it with these keywords. When someone uses these keywords on a Google inquiry, your pages will pop up. The more people come in, your pages will seem more relevant to Google’s algorithm and will rank your pages higher than the competition.

It’ll become the first result people see when they search on Google. It’s like being the first, most relevant responder when people need something. 

That’s the basic gist of SEO. But, how do you do it? Let’s tackle that bit next.

How to Conduct SEO

Unfortunately, SEO isn’t a simple process. There isn’t one master procedure to accomplish all the results you want. 

At its core, doing SEO is about understanding what Google’s algorithm looks for.

It constantly changes and updates but the goals remain the same. You want your site to be the authority in a topic or niche. When someone mentions “running shoes in Chicago,” it should be at a point where your business almost immediately gets associated with the phrase.

How do you build authority? How can you prove to the algorithm that your site contains factual and entertaining information relevant to people’s searches? Here are four of the big steps to invest in:

Keyword Research

It all starts with keyword research. If you sell shoes, you need to look for the best keyword phrases associated with shoes and your local area. Once you have a good list of viable keywords, it’s time to build content around those keywords.

The most common tactic is to upload blog posts optimized with those keywords. This ensures the title page, the title, the meta descriptions, image alt tags, and the blog post itself contains those keywords. When Google’s algorithm takes a peek, they’ll identify your post strongly with those keywords. 

How do you conduct keyword research? You can start with Google Keyword Planner. It lists down keyword phrases based on your preferences and then highlights how competitive each one is. You can then choose to focus on low-traffic keywords with no competition or high-volume keywords that every competitor uses. 

You can also rely on tools like SpyFu. It lets you do a little bit of espionage.

Check which keywords your competitors rank for and build an SEO strategy around that. You can opt to use keywords they ignore or you can use the same keywords they do and hope your efforts perform better than theirs.

Content is King

Ever heard the phrase “content is king?”

Bill Gates — yes, the man behind Microsoft and Windows and of the richest men on Earth — coined the term back in the 1990s. Three decades later and the phrase still rings true. 

When people land on a web page, they don’t simply want to see a bunch of keywords. SEO is about providing relevant information to users, after all. When people get to your pages, they should feel right at home and should be able to get the information they got online. 

This means your content is always going to be their priority. People will continue to revisit, share, and link back to your pages because they believe in your content. Each of these actions builds authority, granting you more points in the search algorithm’s view. 

The good news is today’s Internet is a diverse landscape. Content doesn’t only refer to blog posts. Your content can contain images, expansive videos, infographics, music, interviews, and even eBooks. 

Link Building

Having the best content based on relevant keywords is only the beginning. You also need to build your backlink profile since this too proves to the algorithm you’re an authority. Think about it this way: if more recognized websites and blogs feature links to your pages, doesn’t that mean you have content worth checking out? 

However, you can’t simply get on Twitter or Facebook and start sharing links to your products or blog posts a hundred times a day. That looks like spamming and that can get annoying. You might even get penalized for excessive link spamming. 

It all boils back down to creating good content. The better your content, the more likely it is other websites will feature a link back to your pages. 

There are other ways to build up your backlink profile. Uploading relevant videos on YouTube and featuring links in the description is one method.

You can also guest post, meaning you’ll request permission to write a blog post on someone else’s website. Your post should be relevant to their site but you can also add a link back to your site. This also builds traffic for you since that website’s usual visitors will now have a reason to check out yours.

SEO-Friendly Site Architecture (1200)

Search Engine Optimization isn’t only about your content. It’s also about your website’s architecture as well. This means your web design, UI, and even page speed affect your SEO efforts. 

Here’s the best way to summarize it: evaluate the user experience (UX) on your website. Is it quick and easy to navigate the site, find information, and get what you want without wasting time?

If it takes more than a few clicks to find the homepage or contact page, there’s an issue with the UX. If it takes more than 3-5 seconds for a page to load, it’s wasting time and you need to optimize it again. If people can’t get back to the top of the page after reading a long blog post, you need to rework the page design. 

Yes, Google’s algorithm even factors in how fast or slow a web page loads. After all, if it takes a page too long to load then why shouldn’t the user bounce out and try a different site instead? You can read more about their PageSpeed Insights right here.

Does your website feature a responsive design? Does it adjust its layout for someone viewing on a tiny smartphone screen or for someone on a giant 4K screen? These all affect UX and are part of SEO too.

Is SEO Expensive?

Cutting down to the chase, SEO isn’t as expensive as one might assume. It’s not entirely free either. Here’s a proper breakdown to help you understand the expenses:

You’ll need to pay for someone to audit your website and its content. This normally isn’t too expensive but it’s an important investment. All your further actions depend on the results of the audit. 

The next list of costs involves the tools needed for proper SEO management. You’ll need to pay for keyword research tools, on-page SEO plugins, and content testing or A/B split testing. It could cost you thousands of dollars, especially if you don’t know which apps and plugins to pay for first.

Some apps are expensive but you may find a few with free versions that restrict some of the upper-tier features. 

Your next expense is for creating content and managing the website. Paying for an SEO team and writers to keep your blog section alive can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars!

The good news is you can find affordable SEO services. We’ve got a better offer you shouldn’t ignore.

Keep in mind that the money you spend on SEO is nowhere near as large as you’ll spend on a PPC campaign. Paid ads also help bring traffic and can generate leads to your site but it’s not as affordable as good old SEO. Other forms of marketing, like influencer marketing, are insanely expensive. 

For this reason, maybe small businesses start with SEO, organic marketing, before moving on to paid ads and influencer marketing.

Benefits of SEO

To a degree, SEO is affordable, but why pour so much money and attention towards it? What does SEO do for you?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the basic benefits:

  • Your site gains more traffic
  • More traffic leads to more subscriptions, purchases, and direct contact
  • You rank higher on Google SERP
  • Brand awareness and reach expands
  • Your brand becomes an authority over a niche topic
  • Your site always has new content
  • Your site architecture improves, leading to better navigation and use
  • The company brand builds trust and credibility with consumers

Don’t worry if SEO seems like too big a job. It’s better to hire SEO experts to handle your SEO needs, allowing you to focus on what you do best. Take advantage of SEO by bringing in professionals to help you out.

Black and White SEO

Let’s make one thing clear: not all SEO is equal. White hat SEO is a term referring to SEO techniques that abide by the Google Webmaster Guidelines. These techniques prioritize better user experience and the promotion of informative and entertaining content. 

In short, white hat SEO is all about doing things right to ensure people who find your site, since it ranked high, get the information they need and want. 

Black hat SEO then is a term that accomplishes the opposite. It’s about getting high page ranks but through devious methods. The goal isn’t to provide relevant information or a smooth website experience — instead, it’s all about ranking high and nothing else.

White hat SEO uses the techniques we’ve listed above. Black hat SEO uses techniques like link spamming, cloaking, and keyword stuffing. Over-optimization, bait-and-switching with content, link farming, and clickbait content are also black hat SEO methods.

While black hat SEO might see results quicker, don’t get tempted to resort to these methods. In time, Google’s bots or a user online will identify what you’re doing. If they do, they’ll penalize you and rank you further — you might even get blacklisted.

Take Advantage of SEO Today!

What does SEO stand for? It’s more than a single process to rank high on search engines like Google. It’s a whole system built to ensure your website provides relevant and up-to-date information.

Without SEO, people won’t trust your site. Without SEO, you won’t get traffic, spread your brand, and gain more sales.

So why wait? It’s time to conduct SEO and start building the right kind of content fit for your business.

Don’t panic if you’re still new to SEO and other marketing tactics. We’re here to help. If you want to take advantage of the best SEO services available, message us today!

More to explore

Want Some Pointers?

Get Our Top 6 PPC ad Recommendations