When I broke into the search industry, the first learning curve I faced was understanding how search engines work. The major breakthrough came when I began to understand what a search engine’s goal actually is. Just like any other business, a search engine is striving to provide relevant search results to the individual performing the search. If it doesn’t succeed in bringing up the best search results with the most useful content, searchers may head to another search engine to find what they are looking for. Once I made this realization, it was easy to see why SEO is crucial for a business to find success.

So, What Is SEO Really?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of organically (or naturally) generating traffic from major search engines through non-paid methods. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing evaluate websites based on a large number of factors to determine the best results to display. SEO is the process of proving to the search engines that your website is a relevant and useful result for certain keywords.

I mentioned “a large number of factors” that the search engine algorithms evaluate. Search Engine Land put together a fantastic resource called The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. This table defines the most important SEO factors and techniques.

Why Do I Need SEO?

The age of the Internet has arrived. In fact, it’s been here for a while. Back in 2012 at a Google Search Event, Google announced that they answer 100 billion searches per month. There are now more than 6.5 billion per day. Plus, since January 2012, there have been about 10 new Internet users per second. Search engines have become the epicenter of how individuals navigate the Internet. For instance, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine and 81% of Internet users browse or research products/services online.

In the past, it was sufficient to just have a website for your business. Now, with all the noise consumers face when making a buying decision, a website alone is not enough. Your website needs to be front and center when consumers begin their research. Otherwise, you run the risk of never even being on their radar. SEO, when done properly, can be a game-changer in a company’s marketing effort. Traditional marketing methods like television, radio, or print advertising position your business in front of many people who don’t need your product/services at the moment and only a few that do. SEO puts your business in front of people who are looking for exactly what you offer.

The Key Is to Do Something Today

You might be brand new to SEO, you may have dabbled in it a bit, or you may even be an SEO master. Regardless of your SEO ninja skills, choose one thing from the Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors and implement it into your online marketing. Good SEO is an accumulation of many small tasks that don’t do much on their own but add up for a huge impact. If you make a small SEO implementation today, tomorrow, and everyday onward, you’ll soon be on your way to better search engine rankings, which will lead to more traffic, more customers, and more success.

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This post was originally published August 2014 and has been updated to be current in the new year.



Colton is the Director of SEO Strategy at Boostability testing and defining the products and processes that make Boostability's customers successful. He has been a part of Boostability for over 7 years. Colton loves hanging out with his family and gaming. He runs a personal blog over at www.coltonjmiller.com where he discusses gaming, life, and SEO.