What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
My name is Valerie Jimenez, CEO of Bold Entity, a Dallas-based branding and digital marketing agency and today I will explain it like I’m 5: What is SEO? Next time your agency or your marketing person brings up this term, you will know exactly what this is and why it’s valuable.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of getting traffic to your website for “free”.
What we mean for free is that the traffic is organic. You are not paying any ads to drive traffic to your site, but instead, your visitors search for something online, and then you magically appear on the search engine results (in this case Google or Bing).
In other terms, I am looking for a commercial mechanical contractor in my area. So I go to Google and I type in “commercial mechanical contractors”. It happens to be that our client NTD Mechanical is the number one company that came up on the list. That is exactly what we mean by organic or free traffic.
Now, the process to be able to do this is called SEO.
Let’s think in metaphors for a minute. Think about the “internet” as a huge filing cabinet that contains information about every subject imaginable. All of the information that ever existed in one place. So if this is the case, can you imagine just how this cabinet would look like if all of this information was just thrown into the file cabinet without any form of organization? No one could find anything and it would make the internet the most frustrating experience.
Instead, all of this information is categorized – instead of tabs, it’s categorized by keywords. So every time a user looks for a certain keyword, Google goes into the “virtual cabinet” and finds what they think is the most relevant information and then shows it to us, the user.
In essence, the process of getting Google to recognize your content or your website as the most relevant is what we call SEO. It sounds very easy, however, SEO is a very time-consuming task that takes years to master well. This means that your agency or yourself has to convince Google that your content is more relevant than your competitor’s.
How do you achieve good SEO?
Understanding how your customers search for your services or products. The main problem? Most people want to categorize their content with their own naming conventions, instead of looking at how most potential customers are searching for it.
So next time you are thinking of SEO, ask yourself: Am I listing my services or products with naming conventions that the rest of the world would use? Or this is just how I, the expert, would categorize it? Obviously, this is just the start- but essentially I just explained it like I am 5.
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