What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via natural or organic un-paid search results. Optimizing a web site will increase its ability to show up at the top of the search engine rankings page. Typically, the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine.
Why is SEO important for New Orleans businesses?
The Internet has more than a trillion entries, and has become a collection basket for all the world’s knowledge, concerns and personalities. Search Engine Optimization is important because there is an increasing amount of searches conducted daily. According to searchenginewatch.com there were an estimated 91 million searches conducted in March of 2006. That number in June of 2009 increased to an estimated 304 million searches conducted daily. These are staggering numbers that are going to continually increase. Think of a service you offer, type the name of the service into Google with the city you work in, and see what comes up. There’s a good chance your competition is reaping the rewards of a number 1, 2, and 3 spot.
This is particularly helpful if you are in a business field where stiff competition exists. To be competitive, you have to be able to get noticed, separate yourself from the competition, and get your message across. You will have to bridge the gap that exists between you and your client in order to convince him to patronize your particular product or service.
How does Search Engine Optimization work?
Search engines have to determine whether a web page is relevant to the keywords searched by a user. When a search is conducted, the Search Engine goes to its database (index) and looks for the best results based on the keyword searched by the user. It’s the job of the search engine to provide quality search results on the first try (this is why Google dominates the search market). Google has an algorithm, or a mathematical formula, that is used in ranking web pages by keyword relevancy. In addition to keyword relevancy, there are many other factors that search engines take into consideration when ranking results, including inbound and outbound links.
- Around 78 – 84% of all website traffic comes from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.
- 41% of online buyers use Search Engine Results for shopping.
- 68 – 72% search engine users blindly believe in search engine results.
- 72% of potential buyers who use search engines will purchase or request more information if they find your site in search results.
Some reasons why small businesses should optimize a website:
- Reaching your target audience – The most important reason for doing SEO for your website is to reach your target audience. Having a beautiful glossy website is of no use if nobody is visiting it. SEO increases the number of visitors to your website which, in turn, brings profit to your business.
- Converting visitors to buying customers – SEO is not only about increasing visitors to your website. It means converting your visitors to buying customers for your business with the implementation of various website optimizing techniques.
- Building online reputation – A properly optimized website increases customer loyalty towards your business. A customer feels confident to buy your products or purchase your services. A properly optimized website makes it easier for your visitors to quickly and effectively find out the exact information or product he/she is searching for.
- Reaching top 10 search results in SE’s – A recent survey have shown that more than 90% of people never go to the second page of search engine results while searching for there needs. SEO is done for that very reason, so your website comes in the first page of search engine results when people search with the keywords related to your product or services.
- Going global or getting global customers – The Internet is a global platform. People from all over the world search the Internet for their needs. Since SEO makes your website appear in the top pages of search engine results, there are chances of getting international orders for your business which makes your business go global.
- Low investment for high growth – The cost of making a website and maintenance have come down over the years. It has become relatively easier (both for individuals and organizations) to get a domain name for their website. You just have to optimize your website in a proper manner, and this will in turn bring you more customers and more profit to your business.
- Dominate your competition – Since a properly optimized website brings more customers to your website and increases profit for your business, you are able to increase the volume of your business or organization which means you can dominate your competitors and make your business reach new heights.
- Minimizes Risk – A properly optimized website reduces the risk factor for your business. That’s because even if, for some reason, the number of your buyers decreases in your own country or territory, you mat continue to get orders from international customers. This is one of the unique advantages of search engine optimization.
- You can have an attractive design, but what good does it do if it remains invisible? Do not get overcrowded. Be distinct by optimizing a website properly.