What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a continuous improvement process that focuses on improving a website’s visibility and findability in organic search results from search engines such as Google. The goal is to increase traffic to your website by ranking higher for relevant search terms that match what your target audience is searching for.

The search results page (SERP) consists of different types of results, divisible into two types:

  1. Paid search results.
  2. Organic search results.

Paid search results include Google Shopping ads. Organic search results also include featured snippets and People Also Ask questions.

The goal of SEO

Improving your website for relevant search terms is essential for attracting new visitors daily, without having to pay for ads. As your website ranks higher in search results, you increase your chances of attracting visitors and driving conversions. SEO emphasizes the four main pillars of search engine optimization:

  • Technique
  • Content
  • UX
  • Authority (link building).

The goal of SEO is to make your website more relevant and valuable to your target audience. SEO is not about manipulating search engines, something unfortunately still thought by many marketers. Search engines, such as Google, are becoming more sophisticated and better understand what your target audience is looking for and valuing. Therefore, it is important to put your target audience at the center of every optimization you perform.

The four pillars of SEO

The four pillars of SEO

Technical optimization

This includes improving the technical aspects of your website such as loading speed, mobile responsiveness, URL structure, and proper use of structured data. A technically optimized website is more easily crawled and indexed by search engines, leading to better visibility. Moreover, it contributes to a better user experience.

Content optimization

Creating high-quality, relevant and unique content that matches users’ search intent is important. This includes using it to provide valuable information and making your content attractive and easy to read. Good content not only attracts more visitors, but also drives engagement, creates conversions and exudes your knowledge and authority.

User Experience (UX)

With Google’s increasing focus on E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), UX is playing an increasingly important role in SEO. This is about providing user-friendly and intuitive navigation, ensuring good load times, projecting your knowledge and experience, and showing that your business is trustworthy.

Authority (link building)

Authority is often called link building in the SEO world. One way to increase your website’s authority is by building quality backlinks. This involves relevance and the reliability of the backlinks, not quality.

Building quality backlinks is an old SEO concept and still, to some extent, relevant. Think of it as voting: the more relevant votes you get, the more important your website becomes.

Today, the concept of “Authority” within SEO is broader than just link building. In the complete context of SEO, authority refers to the extent to which a website is seen as a reliable and relevant source of information in your field.

The importance of SEO

The importance of SEO cannot be stressed enough, especially in today’s still growing digital world. Every day, millions of users search for a solution or answer to their questions and needs.

As a marketing manager or business owner, it is important to understand that SEO is not only about attracting traffic to your website, but also about attracting the right kind of traffic. By that, we mean visitors who are actually looking for what you and your business offer.

The difference between SEO and SEA

To better explain the importance of search engine optimization, it is good to know that there are different ways to get traffic from search engines to your website. Search engines contain “normal” (organic) search results and paid search results. For traffic from paid search results, you pay per click to the search engine through programs such as Google Ads and Bing Ads.

From organic search results, you don’t pay per click, but search engines want to show the most relevant search results in return. Organic search results consist not only of search results with a meta title and meta description, but also results such as featured snippets, “People also ask” results and local search results.

Less reliance on ads

As a business, you would rather not be completely dependent on visitors coming to your website through paid ads. Because, do you stop paying? Then the search engine no longer shows you in the search results. You are then no longer findable for your target audience. Visitors who come to your website from organic search results – besides investing in an agency or SEO specialists – don’t cost any money. To get off the drip-feed of paid advertising and visitors, your website must be findable on relevant search terms. If you rank well on these, you’ll get more relevant visitors. And more relevant visitors means potential sales.

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