What is SEO?

In Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by New Moon Strategy2 Comments

What does SEO stand for?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This practice has quickly become one of the most important aspects of running a business with a digital presence.

What is SEO?

SEO is the process by which one optimizes their website, social media, videos, images, and content to be displayed on search engines, such as Google and Bing. The goal or intent of SEO is to rank as high on the search engine results page (SERPs) as possible when your customer types in search terms related to your products or services. By ranking at the top of search results for keywords relevant to your business, your brand can get what’s called “organic” exposure.

What is “organic” exposure?

Organic is the term used to describe naturally-occurring website traffic that happens as a result of link-building, search engine rankings, or other SEO practices. The two primary forms of traffic are organic and paid.

What’s a keyword?

A keyword is a phrase that is being targeted for the purpose of optimization. Search engines and their algorithms use all kinds of data to determine if a page is high-quality or not and whether or not it is relevant to the search term being entered. Keywords allow you to set a primary focus for a page. For example, if I wanted a car dealership to show up when people search for “car dealership Austin, TX,” I would optimize the web page I want people to go to for the keyword “car dealership Austin, TX.”

How does a search engine know I have optimized a web page?

Search engines use robots called “crawlers” or “spiders.” These robots essentially scan web pages for tons of different components to assess the quality of a page. If the search engine is receiving the necessary data that it needs (keyword, page description, page title, proper URL structure, etc.) and determines that a page is high-quality, then the web page will rank higher on the SERPs.

So SEO is about using keywords on a web page? Do I really need a professional to do that for me?

Keywords are just one cog in the machine. SEO is truly comprised of quite a few moving parts. You’ll need keyword research to be conducted so as to analyze search volume and competition for different keywords. You’ll need to know how to ping search engine crawlers to tell them to rescan your website because it can take many months for them to get to your site if you don’t notify them that changes were made. You’ll need to understand how to write content for a page on your website in the specific manner that search engines would consider high-quality. You’ll need to know where to place the keywords and what locations are more important to have that keyword in. You’ll need to understand keyword “density,” which is essentially how often that keyword shows up on the web page you’re trying to optimize for. You’ll need to understand how to name a web page with these keywords, how to structure website links, and how to embed a page description with that keyword for the search engine crawlers to receive. Many of these components of SEO are delicate and have character limits as well as percentage thresholds that shouldn’t be exceeded. If any one of these components of SEO are off, the web page will either be considered low-quality, or deemed as spam content by the search engine. This is why it’s important to hire a professional, such as a certified Google advertiser, to conduct your SEO – because they understand these character limits & percentages. Furthermore, many people fail before they even start by choosing the wrong keywords. A professional search engine marketing specialist uses a strategy to determine which keywords will be most effective for the business. 

So if I optimize my website, I’ll show up at the top of search engines?

No. SEO will allow your business to rank for relevant search terms / keywords. However, marketers are not supposed to promise any specific results of SEO (i.e., “I’ll get you to the first page of google”). Where your business ranks on search engines depends entirely on the search engine algorithm and how relevant or high-quality it determines your web page to be. SEO is a complex machine and once you’re optimized, then you’re competing with the other businesses that have optimized for that keyword. What will rank you at the top of the search results, is a thorough, well-implemented optimization strategy. Today, search engine crawlers even scan for usability components of a website to determine how easily visitors can navigate that website. There are a plethora of factors that are considered in SEO, and the quality of the website is a big one.

Are professionals certified in SEO?

There are several certifications that one can get for the tools involved in SEO, but there is not a dedicated across-the-board standard for SEO certifications. A reputable specialist will hold a Google Academy for Ads certification in Google Analytics at the very least. Several of the tools required for SEO are available for free from Google. However, fluency in these tools can be tested for and one can receive certifications for the different aspects of running a digital business, optimizing a website, and running paid campaigns. The two primary certifications involved in SEO are analytics and paid advertising certifications. Analytics certifications confirm that the professional understands website usability practices as well as performance and engagement metrics from website visitors and they are able to use those numbers to improve the quality of a website and improve SEO scores. Paid advertising certifications deal with keywords and marketing a business by utilizing the conducted keyword research. These certifications come from Google’s Academy for Ads, and when you hold these certifications you are what’s known as a certified Google advertiser. Google advertiser’s are fluent in SEO and digital advertising practices and are committed to maintaining the quality of the search engine experience.

Why do businesses need SEO?

Many business owners don’t want to purchase SEO – often because they don’t completely understand what it is and it’s hard to justify an expensive cost to your business when you’re not totally sure what you’re purchasing. But today, every single business with a website and a physical location needs SEO. SEO is what keeps the search engine experience high-quality – it’s also one of the few ways businesses have great success with the internet. Many have heard the expression “if you build it, they will come.” It’s very common for people to think that because the whole world is on the internet, they just have to put a website up and they’ll be successful. But without Search Engine Optimization, or a program to get your site out there and in front of people, you will only see the analytics stay at 0 month after month. The truth is that while the internet has billions of active users, that only matters if you know how to get in front of those users. Without a dedicated SEO program, your digital presence is just floating alone in the cloud.

The entire New Moon Strategy team is made up of certified Google advertisers. Our optimization strategy uses best practices and the latest industry trends to get you ranking organically on search engines. Contact Us for more information about an SEO package.


    1. New Moon Strategy

      Hi Gail,
      Thanks for visiting the Launchpad Blog! To answer your question, yes, absolutely. SEO will help whether the business is online or offline. Businesses that are online only just have to optimize a little differently in the keywords and the SEO strategy that they use. Redgardless of the business’s primarily sales channel, SEO is a key component of getting that business found on search engines and across the internet. You can think of SEO like an added step that provides a lot of value – it allows all of your content to be searched for on search engines (which brings naturally occurring traffic). Without it, it’s difficult for the search engines crawlers to actually know what your website is about and serve it as a search result for users, meaning you won’t have that relevant traffic coming in.

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