SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of creating or “optimizing” a website so that it communicates with search engines such as Google, Yahoo, BING, etc. This process helps that website get on the top pages of the search engines.
SEO is the latest industry term for getting a web site onto the top page of a search engine. You “optimize” a web site to make it more search engine friendly and that means the search engines find the site and like what it has to say. It then compares that web site to millions of other sites and places it somewhere in the order of “expertness.” The more expert the site the better the ranking and thus better placement on the search engine results page.
Keep in mind there are on average only 10 results per page so to be one of the ten on the top page out of the thousands, sometimes millions of results is a big deal. In fact, some companies spend millions of dollars a year to be there, which is only a fraction of what they make by being there!
Most people think that if they have a website then it will get to the top page of a search engine. They could be on the top page if they have a properly built and maintained website but most companies don’t. The false hope is that eventually it will somehow magically get there. The sad fact is that most companies rarely get found in the search engines unless you search for them by name, location or phone number (and other false positive methods). This is because the process keeps changing and many companies don’t keep up with the new technology or maintenance of their site. The result is that they get farther behind in the search results.
As Good As It Gets
Optimization is nothing more than making sure your web site is as good as it can be. Having said that, it’s easier said than done. Every piece of your site has meaning including the pictures, codes, videos, tags, url structures, dots, dashes, and the list goes on and on. An SEO expert looks at you site like a detective viewing a crime scene. Every piece of evidence adds up to create a clearer picture. To optimize you have to look at the competition’s website and their competition’s web site and who’s looking for you and the phrases they use to look for you and a dizzying amount of data that helps determine what needs to be done to your site.
There are billions of web sites out there and fortunately most of them will never get onto a search result. Fortunately because if they all did it would be harder to get your site onto the top page of the search results! Most of the sites out there are done by non SEO web developers. Usually it’s built and maintained by someone in the office using one of those web site super stores where they boast about the millions of web sites they host. These are made for the masses and not for the successful. Basically they lack many important architectural features that work with the search engines and end up never being found.
See The Big Picture
True SEO is a lot of work if you want it to be done correctly and there is great value in having it done correctly. In fact, in the end many companies loose more money by not being found on the top pages of a Google search because they don’t look at the big picture. It costs less to have the SEO done correctly then not doing it at all. The smart companies take part of their marketing budget and put it into SEO. This is because SEO will out perform most marketing programs every time!