SEO 101: Knowing the Basics

Written by: Jason Bayless | February 19, 2016

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a term thrown around frequently regarding online business, but many people do not even know what the acronym SEO stands for. In layman’s terms, SEO is marketing that deals with the inclusion and arrangement of specific phrases to obtain favorable search results on search engines, mainly Google. Billions of people rely on search engines for the bulk of their information, so best utilizing one’s resources on the internet is necessary in pulling away from competitors.

The concept behind search engines are relatively easy to understand. Search engines vie to answer questions that users ask using complex methods that understand linguistics and word placement. For example, “stores near Devil’s Falls” would produce different search results than “Devil’s Falls near stores.” Placing words in certain phrases will yield more results than other wordings, so deciding upon the best way to format a group of words often decides whether a result ends up on the first, second, or tenth page — if not hidden deeper than that.

SEO specialists recommend going as far as using computer software to learn of the most frequently searched terms, so as not to employ words that are searched for less than synonyms. Every business or person who has a webpage or website of their own should understand the importance of using words and phrases to their fullest potential.

Every internet user utilizes a search engine nearly every time they visit the internet. Most people navigate the internet through search engines primarily. How else would someone be able to find the link to a given topic they know nothing about already? Even a system administrator might have a hard time remembering all of the different web addresses to various branches of their company’s website. Because of the popularity of search engines, it should go without saying SEO should be of utmost importance to all businesses or anyone in need of marketing their name, brand, or image.

Most small business owners do not know enough about SEO to properly implement any SEO techniques they may read about, but fortunately, there is plenty of cheap, quality assistance and guidance on the internet — not to mention a plethora of free information regarding SEO. Simply rewording a website’s content to include the internet’s most frequently searched for terms and phrases is enough to better its search results, but only the businesses and organizations with the most innovative and active online marketing teams succeed in today’s market.

SEO is not an all-encompassing discipline for everything to do with marketing for a business, but it is extremely important considering how frequently the internet is used today. It is important to note that there are some deficiencies that SEO is not well-versed in, such as not accounting for synonyms of phrases searched for, not including different spellings of the same word in the same search (i.e., “color” vs “colour”), among other things. SEO is not the answer to the success of a business, but businesses who employ proper SEO tactics are exponentially more likely to draw the attention of potential customers or users otherwise.

Anyone looking to start learning about SEO should perform a simple Google search to inform themselves of the basics. Business owners or empoyees of medium to large-sized companies would be best off contacting a marketing company for their SEO needs. It takes lots of detailed work to end up on the first or second page of a search engine like Google, so money spent well in online marketing and SEO is paid for in dividends even more well.