Home Marketing & Communications WHAT IS SEO? THE BEGINNERS GUIDE


SEO is a marketing discipline used to improve the visibility of your business for organic search results to make sure you are reaching your desired target audience and generate traffic to your website.  It combines creativity, proven metrics and technical strategies to help drive traffic, and increase your ranking among search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.  Increasing your ranking in the search engines expands your brand and makes your website more relevant, accessible, and visible to a wider audience and potential customers, or leads.  SEO increases traffic to your website.

SEO is a practice of utilizing the elements below to communicate to search engines like Google, Bing, and others. These search engines use computer programs called bots to crawl a website looking for these elements and “Indexing” the site for SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page). 

Here are the elements of a well-optimized page:

SEO TagsSSL (Secure Certificate)Speed
Text ratioImage filenames Alt-Text on images
BacklinksCrosslinksGoogle Integration
Keywords / LongtailKeyword SaturationMeta Description

There are two types of SEO: Black-hat and White-hat.  Black-hat is a short play that focuses on developing your content for search engines only.  It can result in spam and will not be sustained for a long life within search engines.  It’s a quick burn.  However, the white hat focuses on developing meaningful content that is relevant for a human audience but also intentionally takes into account search engine rules and algorithms.  It weaves a thread between the two by supplying great content but understands the metrics that lead to relevancy.  It’s a long and better play for your business.

Let’s say your business sells tools. If someone is looking for tools and searches “tools” on Google the first page has the highest-ranking sites related to tools.  The goal of SEO is to increase your site’s ranking and if you are on the first page Google will send you targeted leads of people wanting to buy your tools.  The free traffic from Google and other search engines increase your site traffic, brand awareness, and revenue.

Increasing your ranking takes time, experience and resources but it works.  As keywords, keyphrases, text, and title tags combine with more content and web pages traffic will increase and your business will grow.  SEO is one of the best plays your company can make in digital marketing.  It’s proven with tangible data and a strong ROI.

Steven McGrath writes,  “A website with high rankings for targeted keywords in search engines, like Google, will receive organic traffic that is directly interested in whatever it is the website is offering. This may include useful information about a particular topic, details about a specific company, or a range of products and services. When search engine optimization is not done in the correct way, however, a website may be penalized and its rankings may not be good enough to receive traffic from Google and other major search engines.”

Good, valuable content that informs, provides value and is end-user relevant will increase your ranking.  More pages, more words, more keywords, more tags, and titles, more chances for the Google algorithm to increase your relevance as more users land on your site.  Think of a craft beer aisle in a store.  There are the tried and true brews, but packaging has been proven to make a difference in consumer purchases.  Artwork, color, package/label design and label, or carton holder content all work together to attract or detract from each product.  SEO is similar.  You can’t just build a site and they will come.  Thinking strategically about your content, look and feel, and offering value is an important part of the mix, but you are applying good SEO practices through a digital marketing SEO specialist to also play to Google and other search engines.  Relevancy is the key.

At WebSpeak Media we provide value and solutions for our clients through a variety of digital marketing disciplines.  SEO is an important part of our work.

Charles Carter, Partner

WebSpeak Media



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