Understanding Search Engine Optimization

For those who are thinking of starting their own online business, perhaps creating a blog or selling items as affiliate marketing, then generating traffic to your website is paramount for success. Perhaps the most effective method of drawing in potential customers is called search engine optimization or SEO.

SEO is the primary tool for many online business owners and entrepreneurs to draw in the type of traffic that is best suited for selling their products or services. But what exactly is SEO and how does it work?

What is SEO?

Essentially, SEO is what is known as “passive” marketing. Placing ads or sending out press releases is a form of “active” marketing where you are reaching out to find potential customers for your business. Passive marketing is where you are trying to create conditions on your website that pulls in potential business.

The passive marketing aspect of SEO is built around using popular search engine sites such as Google where most people find businesses selling the types of products and services that they want.

How does SEO Work?

Basically, the content that is carried on your website needs to have keywords or key phrases that people who search on Google use to find what they need. For example, if a person is looking to buy “widgets”, they might type in a query to Google which states, “low cost widgets for sale”. If you have content on your website that duplicates that query, then a link will appear on the search results page.

The link will be ranked on the search results page in terms of how close the keyword resembles the query, the overall quality and freshness of the content and any other factors that match what you have to what potential customers are searching. The higher your link in ranked, the more likely the person doing the search will select your website to see if you have what they are looking for.

Why is SEO So Effective?

There are a number of reasons why SEO is so effective at bringing in potentially new customers.

  • Search Engines are the #1 Method of Finding Products & Services on the Web
  • Good Content that is Updated Periodically will Stay Near the Top of Search Results Pages
  • Those who Visit your Website are the Most Likely to make a Purchase

In essence, you are generating traffic with the keywords in your content to pull in those who are likely customers. However, it must be noted that simply putting keywords into content is not enough.

Why Having Good SEO is not Enough

SEO is the means by which potential customers find your website. However, it does not mean that they will purchase from you as that will depend on what they see. Your website must not only offer products, but offer interesting, informative content that provides value to the potential customer as well.

This is because people that find online businesses through search results pages are going to judge the quality of that business from the look of their website. A poorly designed website with little interesting or informative content will not sell many products or services. However, a well designed website with good, high quality content will do much better.

In the long run, having good, high quality content with the appropriate keywords is the secret to effective SEO.