What Is SEO? A Simple Explanation for SMBs

If you're developing or expanding your business' website, chances are you've run across the term search engine optimization, or SEO. Without an understanding of what SEO is, you can easily perceive it as a dense and confusing topic. But SEO is a must-have to drive leads and revenue for your business.

For a company like New York Web Design and Marketing, which has been in the SEO business for over 20 years, there may be plenty of complexities to explore. But for the purposes of anyone outside that industry, trust me when I say that SEO is a very simple concept.

Here's a straightforward explanation of what SEO is and how it works. We'll start by looking at what the goal of SEO is, and then at the processes behind how SEO functions and how you can implement it.

What is the goal of SEO?

Before getting into the specifics of how SEO works, the first question to answer is this: What is SEO marketing, and what does it do?

At its core, SEO allows you to optimize your website to rank higher in search engine results and provide a better user experience (UX).

So, let's say you run a business that sells board games. And, like all modern-day businesses, you've set up a website to promote and sell your products online. But just because your website exists doesn't mean anyone will visit it.

The way people typically find websites is on the first page of Google search results - in fact, 75% of users don't go past the first page. When someone looks up something related to board games, you want your company's website to appear in those first few results.

This is what SEO does. It's a process designed to ensure that your website repeatedly ranks at the top of Google search results so you can earn traffic, leads, and revenue. And when done correctly and honestly, it works.

What factors contribute to SEO?

A vast number of factors contribute to the way SEO works. Each factor impacts the SEO process in a different way, and it's a good idea for you to keep your eye on each of them.

Here are some of the main SEO factors you’ll want to consider:

  • Keywords: Relevant words and phrases that people search to find your business online
  • Quantity and quality of written web content on your site
  • Title tags and meta descriptions
  • Website design and loading speed
  • Backlinks: Other websites linking to pages on your site
  • Again, these aren’t the only factors involved, but they're some of the best ones to consider when you first start looking into SEO.

    How does SEO work?

    So, we've talked about the goal of SEO and why SEO is important. But how does SEO actually work?

    Let's return to our example of the board game company. If you want people to find your website when they search keywords related to board games, you need SEO to help search engines find and rank your site.

    SEO works by optimizing your website and creating custom content to answer searchers' queries and help them learn more about your business, products, and services.

    For example, SEO involves identifying and targeting valuable keywords on your website. You can start typing a phrase related to your business into the search bar and see what it suggests since this indicates that a lot of people search for that phrase.

    In this case, let's say one of the board games you sell is Risk, so you type "risk board game" into the search bar. One of the suggested keywords is a "risk board game strategies," so you know that a lot of board game players are looking up strategies for Risk.

    You can target this by writing an article on your website about good strategies in Risk, making sure to include the phrase "risk board game strategies" throughout the article, page title, and headings. Doing so will help your site rank at the top of search results for the target keyword.

    When you pair solid SEO content with an intuitive, user-friendly website, you increase your website's rankings. And when you rank higher in search results, more people can find and contact your business — and ultimately become customers.

    How can you implement SEO?

    The simplest way to start putting SEO into place for your business is to optimize each of the factors listed above. Write articles to target relevant keywords, speed up your website, and optimize your site’s design. You’ll soon see a world of difference in your site traffic.

    But what if those simple measures still don't give you the results you want? No sweat, that's why we're here.

    Get started with a custom SEO plan!

    With over 1000 clients and a nearly 100% client retention rate, we have the experience and expertise to give you SEO services that drive results for your business.

    Give us a call at 646-502-8446 or fill out our online contact form to get started with us today!