What Is SEO And Why Is It Important To Me? [Layman Edition]

By azfar on August 27, 2015

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If you are on the internet for whatever reason, SEO is going to benefit you in one way or another, even if you aren’t doing it yourself. This isn’t just limited to big companies. It applies to everyone – whether you’re a marketer, a personal blogger, or even the average internet user.

I used to be skeptical of SEO. I know everybody is saying how important SEO is but when I look it up, the initial findings scares me. Why?

  1. SEO seems like a lot of work .
  2. SEO is very confusing with all the abbreviations, technobabble and jargons thrown around.
  3. For something with a lot of work SEO seems to have arbitrary, unimportant goals with questionable results.
Frankly, SEO terms are more intimidating than it is cool or helpful.

Frankly, SEO terms are more intimidating than it is cool or helpful.

For the same reasons, I too can understand if you’re hesitant to rush to invest in SEO. However, if you’re even asking “Is SEO that important for my success?”, then you’ve probably already figured out that it might have value for you – and the short answer is yes, it is that important.

Basically the whole point of having a website is to get discovered. If you need to spell out your website address everytime you’re approaching a customer you’re just wasting everybody’s time.

What way is better to reach people on the internet other than getting yourself featured every time anyone Googles anything? You might be thinking “Oh but I’m already doing fine even without any SEO.”. Good for you, but “fine” can always be upgraded into “even better”.

SEO Top 40 Jargons:
Explained In Plain English

  • 40 of only the most useful SEO terminologies.
  • Your first guide to the SEO world.
  • Aimed at complete beginners.
  • Compact and super easy to read!

SEO = Google?

Although other search engines are still a thing, Google still hold the biggest slice of the pie of the search business. Most of the time when we talk SEO, it means pleasing Google – we do anything it takes to make Google love us and put us on the first page of its search results. We obsessively stalk Google to learn what makes Google happy because what makes Google happy is what makes customers happy. Confused? Allow me to explain:

Google is best in the search business for one reason: They know best what users want. Google collect tons of information about user behaviour over the years enough to fill acres and acres of server farms. The end result? Google arguably is the organization on the face of this planet that understands human behaviour the most – from our deepest desires, fears, down to our typing errors!

why is seo important

Google studies the how and why of every user action.

Google knows, and Google delivers. If a website is ranked by Google, you know it have great content that is useful to a massive amount of users. So by learning how to please Google (that’s what SEO is all about by the way) and get ranked, you also learn what internet users want, deliver it to them and convert them into your customers/followers/fans. You are learning from the best!

SEO vs Traditional Marketing

Many people still believe that SEO is nothing but a collection of tedious activities that exist solely for the point of getting your site to the very first rank in Google’s search results. This point of view is especially common among businesses that have other advertising venues, since they believe that there are many other ways of advertising to consumers. In short, they see no reason to bother with SEO when other proven traditional promotions will work.

This view is incorrect.

While this attitude might have been true in the earliest days of SEO – before any of us understood how to use it properly – the fact is that Search Engine Optimization has advanced far beyond merely getting a high rank in search results.

why is seo important

Ranking in search results is merely one of the many aspects of SEO.

Saying that SEO is about getting first in the results page is like saying dinner is about eating. It’s true, but there are so many additional factors involved in a meal – from nutrition to socialization – that it’s really not an adequate description of the subject.

So, why is SEO important? Let’s find out.

What Does SEO Involve?

SEO involves a great deal more than “high-ranking” pages. In fact, how you get to the top is often more important than being there in the first place. In most cases, someone who’s doing SEO can expect to work on:

  • Link Earning: This process is all about getting links from other people and encouraging them to share your content. After all, a single share could spread your content to dozens or even hundreds of other people. Why is SEO important, you asked? That alone offers outstanding value, because recommendations from friends are an extremely powerful way of convincing someone to buy your product (or read your blog, or whatever it is that you’re trying to encourage them to do).

    benefits of seo

    The number of links pointing to your site is the number of people giving you recommendations.

  • Content Marketing: Content Marketing is all about advertising through material that people actually want to read. This puts it squarely against traditional advertising, though – most older forms of advertising relied on pushing things onto people, hoping to convince them to buy, rather than appealing to their interests.

  • Social Media Marketing: Over the last few years, social media marketing has quickly become one of the favored tools of businesses. Most forms of advertising are impersonal – you tell people what you want them to hear and hope they respond politely.

    Social media, on the other hand, allows you to actually communicate with customers, interact with them on a personal level, and generally raise their opinion of you. It’s also more fun than many people expect when they first start out – for maximum effectiveness, social media marketing needs to include a lot of entertaining content.

These three things are the basics of what SEO is trying to do – but on their own, they’re not enough to justify your time and effort. Why is SEO important for your business, you ask? Here are the goals it can actually help you achieve:

  • High Ranking Pages: This isn’t the only goal, but it is important. Statistically, the huge majority of visitors will go to the top three organic results on a search page. Being up top can and does make a real difference – so it’s an important goal to have.

    benefits of seo

    More than the position itself, the most important part of ranking high is the traffic it gains.

    And for those who are wondering, no, ranking first on your own company name doesn’t count. That doesn’t do anything. The idea here is when someone Googles keyword like the best [your type of product/service] in the world, your website comes as the first thing on top.

  • Increased Digital Presence: The bigger your presence, the easier it is for other people to find you and your content. The internet is mind-bogglingly huge, and its growth is only continuing to accelerate.

    If you want to actually get noticed by people who will respond favorably, SEO can help you stand out from the crowd. Social activities, mentions and recommendations are all examples of things that contributes to your digital presence.

  • Improved Returns: SEO is excellent for creating a long-term return on your investment. In fact, many good webpages can create a solid return for years after their creation, and that adds up – especially when it simultaneously helps to build up a loyal customer base.

    Good SEO leads to more traffic to your website and that leads to more sales and they costs way less than advertising on the mainstream media while giving better results.

    benefits of seo

Ranking first in search results is only one of many ways you can benefit from SEO. Honestly, getting a great ROI is more important than being ranked highly – though the two often occur at the same time.

SEO in Different Fields

I’d be lying if I told you that SEO is always the same for everyone, regardless of what they’re trying to accomplish. It’s the opposite, really – depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ll have drastically different things to focus on.

Knowing which area to focus on makes SEO less confusing as you know there are some aspects that you might not need to explore at the moment. In SEO you don’t have to do everything at once.Here are some of the most common reasons to use SEO – if you’re still asking “why is SEO important for me?”.

Bloggers

Blogging is one of the field that benefits most from doing SEO activities, since it tends to deal a lot with content marketing. Throughout this process, you can expect to:

  • Use keyword research to get ideas on what to write next. When you know what topic people want to read about, it’s much easier to create and cater content to them. Writing anything random that comes to your mind might seem ideal at first, but if nobody is interested in them, nobody will drop your blog any visit. And sadly – yes, even if the post is very well written.

    seo in different fields

    You can get ideas on what to write about by doing keyword research.

    In a hindsight, you can also reverse track which keyword your blog is already ranking at and write more posts around the same keyword. That way you can capitalize the strength your blog already posses that you might not even realize exists!

  • Earn links back to your blog from other people who are interested in the subject. This helps improve your reach across the web and ensure that more people are able to read your content. Best of all, well-written and helpful pages are likely to earn links for you on a regular basis, constantly exposing your content to a fresh group of people. This is as close to free advertising as you can get.

  • Keyword optimizing is the process of writing webpages better – when we’re asking “why is SEO important for you?“, we’re actually optimizing the page around that subject. The very fact that you’re reading this sentence demonstrates the effectiveness of this strategy – and improved ranks are basically just a bonus for writing content well.

Business Owners

This is the part that probably matters most to you. SEO offers you the following:

  • A way to increase traffic, sales, and exposure – fundamentally, this is the core of what you’re trying to do. Now, the middle one is the most important – if you’re getting a lot more traffic but you aren’t seeing more sales, then you’re doing something badly wrong.

    benefits of seo

    High traffic + High conversion rate = Loads of business.

    At the same time, if you can’t translate exposure into conversions, then your system needs to be rethought. At its core, though, this is your goal. Alongside that, you can also…

  • Answer queries about your Product or Service: The more expensive something is, the more likely people are to ask questions before they buy it. SEO isn’t just about ranking well – it’s also about understanding why something ranks highly and what someone is actually trying to find.

    A well-written help page can help convince customers of the value of your product and ensure they get the most use from it. The more they know about it, the more likely they are to recommend it to others – and you won’t have to spend anywhere nears as much time answering questions, either.

  • Displaying Expertise is also involved – why is SEO important for that, you ask? As humans, we inherently trust experts – that’s why people are so willing to listen to doctors when asking questions about their health. When people ask specific questions related to your niche, you can put your expertise on display by offering an insightful response.

    why is seo important

    Sometimes Google answer queries with contents of websites that are well-known as experts in that particular field.

  • Finally, your Keyword Research will help you get a better sense of what products and services are actually in high-demand at the moment. The more you know about what people want to buy, the easier it is to sell to them.

You see? As promised, SEO isn’t just about ranking highly in search results. However, there are two more groups that SEO can benefit, and we need to talk about them as well.

Consumers

When a consumer makes a search, they are interested in one thing, and one thing only – getting high-quality, accurate, and relevant results. They want to know how you can help them – and if you don’t communicate that, you’re going to lose them.

On the other hand, clearly articulating your value can ensure that the consumer pays attention to everything you say. The more you match what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to buy. SEO allows a win-win situation to take place – businesses get customers, customers get the best solutions, everybody happy!

Marketing Agencies

Why is SEO important for marketers, you ask? Well, maybe it’s because of SEO’s ability to produce data-driven results. In the past, marketing was largely guesswork – you never knew how much of a return on your investment you were likely to get, and what kind of business owner wants that?

SEO is supported by Analytics – software that tells you what visitors are doing and helps to create an image of visitors that can predict the behavior of future visitors. It also shows you exactly what is working and what isn’t – so you no longer have to guess about where you’re going to focus your advertising dollars.

benefits of seo

The advantage of being fully online is all the data can be collected and analyzed instantly.

Furthermore, SEO is not about using marketing tricks. In fact, marketing tricks could hurt you instead of helping you – the best way to truly succeed is to create engaging, well-written content that search engines and readers alike will enjoy seeing. There’s no way to quickly get ahead of the competition for a long period of time – and while SEO may take months to get up to speed, it will eventually become a marketing juggernaut that drives you to success.

Conclusion

Remember, Content is King, but SEO is how your content gets noticed. Neither can truly be successful without the other – and when you combine them, they become one of the most powerful forces in all of advertising. You might already be doing some parts of SEO without really knowing it. The next step is to gain deeper and deeper understanding on how the whole thing work and you can boost your already impressive results even higher!

We know SEO can be very tough at first and that’s why we aim to simplify it as much as possible. You can start learning more about SEO by looking at our tutorial and courses. Joanne, the latest addition to our team of copywriters also write an article about how

You can also read the 30 SEO Frequently Asked Questions we dedicate to SEO beginners in the hope to guide you better in this field. Hope you enjoy the read!

SEOPressor SEO Beginner Starter Kit:

  • A Beginner’s Perspective: Why I Started To Like SEO
  • How SEO Beginners Can Get Started With SEO
  • 30 Common SEO Questions That You Should Know
  • SEO Top 40 Jargons:
    Explained In Plain English

    • 40 of only the most useful SEO terminologies.
    • Your first guide to the SEO world.
    • Aimed at complete beginners.
    • Compact and super easy to read!

    Updated: 23 July 2017

    Azfar Hisham

    About Azfar Hisham

    A copywriter with previous experience developing computer simulations, managing websites and being the social media guy. Interested in Google Patents, Knowledge Graph and questioning everything.

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