SEO Explained Simply | What is SEO? How Does it Work?
Your IDEAL customers & clients are ALREADY SEARCHING for the solutions you offer.
How do I know that?
Because Google gets 3.5 BILLION searches a day.
And the whole point of Google (and search engines in general) is to give the person searching, the solution they’re looking for.
In a nutshell, search engines wants to connect YOUR CONTENT with YOUR AUDIENCE. Because your content, your website, your services, your products, they all help your target customer or clients solve a problem.
And SEO is what helps search engines connect the dots between your audience and your website.
SEO helps bridge the gap.
But let’s break it down a little more, shall we?
What is SEO?
Understanding what SEO & why it’s important is one of the foundational building blocks. If you don’t get how it works, the whole thing is going to continue to be a mystery.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Search Engines = Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.
Optimization = maximize efficiency.
Search Engine Optimization refers to the strategies & techniques that are used to improve your website’s ranking on Google.
So when you start implementing SEO on your website, it means you’re getting strategic on how your website is showing up in search results, on search engines, like Google.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When we talk about SEO, a lot of the time we’re referring to Google because it’s the most popular search engine, but SEO best practices will help improve your rankings in other search engines as well (Yahoo, Bing, etc)
Why is SEO important?
SEO helps you get free and organic traffic from search results on search engines.
Compared to Paid Ads that are typically shown at the top of Google search results. (Paid Ads are done through Google AdWords — this is NOT the same as SEO)
Those paid ads you see at the top are only clicked less than 15% of the time on average (depending on the industry). 85% of clicks in search engines are on organic search results.
Besides getting more clicks, SEO is also important as a long-term website traffic building strategy.
While paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms can generate traffic to websites, the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines.
At the end of the day, your audience is already looking for the solutions you offer, and they’re not going to Facebook or Instagram to search for them.
Social media platforms are for people to stay connected, and….social.
People go to search engines to search for solutions to their problems.
And SEO is how we get Google to recommend you & your website as the right solution.
In terms of marketing, it’s one of the only website traffic strategies that give you long-term results. With both social media & paid ads, when you stop paying or engaging, you lose traffic.
SEO continues to build on itself IF you do it correctly (which this roadmap can help you get started with!)
I wrote a blog post 4 years ago that is STILL on the first page of Google for 10+ keywords because I become the best solution for the searcher’s problem.
How does search work?
Google has little robots that go through and crawl the web.
These robots are also referred to as “spiders”.
What do they do? They take note of websites and the content that’s on them.
They’re always out there, finding new content, checking in on old content, so that they can help keep Google results as “fresh” as possible.
So when they get to a page on your site, they scan the content to try to get an idea of what the main idea is so they can put it into Google’s Index.
I like to refer to the Index as a BIG FILING CABINET — helps understand it a bit better when you can visualize it that way, right? 🙂
So when you want to SEARCH for something on Google, you input your query (the keyword or keyphrase), and Google basically goes into the filing cabinet and tries to pull out (and show you) the results that it thinks BEST match what you searched.
If I was looking to find out how to hard boil eggs, I would type in: “How to hard boil eggs”
Google reads that “query” (aka keyword aka whatever you typed into Google) and tries to find you the answer to your search.
So then it goes back into the index (big filing cabinet) and is like hmmm, I think that these web pages BEST match “How to hard boil eggs”.
And here’s the thing, search engines want you to find what you’re looking for.
They only want to show you relevant results to your search.
Their goal is to be accurate & efficient.
They don’t want you to have to go to the 5th page to find what you’re looking for.
That being said, they try to place the most “relevant” answers to your search, at the top of the page.
(Want a more in-depth, interactive explanation of how a Google Search Works? Look at this)
How do search engines know what to put at the top of the page?
Google has an algorithm that they use to help them try to pull up accurate, relevant information.
Basically, Google “ranks” websites and pages, using over 200 factors.
Some of these factors are:
- What’s the date that the page was published?
- How many visitors have been on the page?
- How long do people stay on the page?
- How long does it take the page to load?
- Any grammar or spelling mistakes?
- Is the website mobile responsive?
…and literally a ton more of other factors.
So, Google takes all of that information into account and that’s how they “rank” the search results to help you find good, reliable, accurate answers first, so that you don’t have to go to page #7 to find what you’re looking for.
How to Get Started with SEO
Since Google ranks your website based on 200+ factors, there are quite a few things to keep in mind when getting started with SEO.
I’ve broken Successful SEO down into a 6 step system:
- Topic & Keyword Research
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Check-In & Maintain
As you can see, there are a few pieces to the puzzle.
And if you miss a step, you could be leaving a whole lot of opportunity on the table.
But I don’t want you to start getting overwhelmed with SEO.
It doesn’t HAVE to be hard or overwhelming.
I make the whole “getting started” thing a lot easier.
All you need is a Roadmap.
Sign up for the Roadmap to Successful SEO to learn:
- WTF SEO actually is, why it’s important, and how search engines work.
- My 6-step process to improving your SEO, getting your content on Google, and increasing your website traffic to skyrocket your sales.
- Discover why you’re not getting the results you want (HINT: You’re skipping over or ignoring steps of the system!)
- 5 tasks you can start doing TODAY to help you improve your SEO & get on Google’s good side (+ links to resources, tools, & step-by-step guides)