What is SEO?

By John David Ariansen

SEO is a specific type of marketing that focuses on improving your website’s relationship with search engines. Google is the largest search engine, but Bing and Yahoo still have a small market share. They are all your partners. If you are providing good content or useful services, they want as many people to find you as possible. It’s their job to connect their users to you.

The internet has evolved

Search engines have become the main way that most users navigate the internet. In fact, a recent study found that a full 92 percent of adult users use search engines. So if you want your target audience coming to your site on a regular basis, you should build a healthy relationship with them.

Google catches fakers way more easily now (we’re no longer in the wild west days of the internet when unscrupulous outlaw developers would pump massive amounts of keywords into the background of a page, and have the color of the text match the background so the user didn’t see, but Google was quick on the draw, and would pick it up).

SEO is a process

The main focus of SEO is growing your stream of organic traffic. There are many facets that you can focus on to help this stream grow. This improvement process has both a creative side and a technical side, and includes everything from fine tuning the nuts and bolts under your website’s hood to writing keyword heavy and engaging content, and a lot of different tasks in between.

So to summarize, SEO isn’t one solitary thing, but a process. SEO is about optimizing searchability of your content. In laymen’s terms, this means making relevant Google searches more likely to pick up your content and rank it higher, whereas social media exposure, for example, is simply the explicit external promotion of links and content.

What’s an SEO audit?

While no one can sell you “SEO” as anything but a service (remember, it’s a process, not a thing), some companies, like Human Creative Content, will provide an SEO audit for a website, group, or company. This includes insight into the state of your website’s Googlebot Access, mobile device compatibility, security, accessibility, page speed, and even the amount of findability and links. A quality SEO audit should give you all of that.

So even if your website is packed and regularly updated with engaging and well written content, you won’t get the same return on your investment if your website is not optimized to receive the highest amount of traffic possible. Good content drives traffic, but if your website doesn’t even allow Google to crawl your website, it’s like you’re trying to drive with the parking brake on.

Andrew Hendricks

Editor-in-Chief and founder of HumanCreativeContent.com, a website that serves as a hub for freelancers to get new material workshopped and published, as well as an on-demand content platform for websites and new businesses.