What is SEO? A Simple Small Business Guide to SEO
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What is SEO? A Simple Small Business Guide to SEO


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You’ve heard of SEO, and know that it’s important for your businesses online presence – but that’s all. So, what is SEO, and what does it do for your business?

SEO is a practice, that provides enormous benefits to small businesses. It is at the core of effectively driving sales, retaining customers, and engaging new customers from your businesses website. At the end of the day, SEO works to make your website content show up for search engine users. 

What is SEO? A Simple Guide for Businesses

Each day, in the United States, over 3.5 billion Google search inquiries take place, and most are locally based. Search engines, like Google, have to decide which websites are a good fit for each search that takes place. Wouldn’t it be great if Google recommended your website on the first page?

Of course it would – which is why you invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The easiest way to explain how SEO relates to your website is through a metaphor:

How to Understand SEO 

Imagine that your website is a business building or store that you constructed from the ground, up. And now, imagine that your business or store is on wheels.    

A brand-new website is like a store that is in the middle of a remote field. Even if people see it out there, nobody has much interest in trudging all the way into nowhere-land to find out if your store is worth it. It might be great, on the inside, but no one knows it’s there.

SEO is how you move your store closer to the busy street in the town square. Eventually, as you move closer to town, passerby’s begin knocking on the door. SEO works to increase your website’s rate of organic search traffic.   

What is ‘Organic’ Search Traffic?

Organic search traffic is synonymous with free search traffic. The first few listings that Google promotes are paid Google Ads. All the listing below these, are organic results. 

Organic results are listed in order of content that Google deems most relevant to the user’s keyword inquiry, or search. Paid ads and organic results look almost the same. But, whereas, paid ads charge for every user who clicks your advertisement, organic results produce traffic for free.

So, what is SEO? It is the practice of generating new business from search engines – without paying for ads. The practice of SEO can get pretty technical, but the concept is simple.   

What Do Search Engines Look For?

Google Ads doesn’t care if you are a good fit or not for the user. You bought it, so users will see it in search. But, if you want Google to send users your way, without paying for it, you have to be a good fit.

Search engines, like Google, are looking for websites that are built well and feature content that is relevant to a users search inquiry. SEO involves the optimization of your web content for exactly that purpose. Search engines are looking for websites with… 

Optimized Website Code

Google wants to bring users to content that is, first of all, functional and safe. No one wants to walk around in a store that has broken glass on the floor and burglars roaming around. And, no one wants to go to a store that has a long waiting line.

In that spirit – when your website is slow to load, that looks bad to Google. It also looks bad if your content includes broken links. If your URL’s are made up of a bunch of numbers and letters, that looks bad too.

The first step to good SEO is on the backend of your website. Think of it like a store in the mall, and Google is the owner of the mall. If your store makes the mall look bad, why would the mall feature your business?

Your website must, first and foremost, meet industry best practice in development. From here, Google wants to see that your website features relevant and reputable content to users’ search inquiries.  

Optimized Keywords

Keywords are how Google knows what to show a user. So, feature keywords on your website for which your customers are searching. Keywords in your website pages and posts match up to the keywords in a user’s search, which is how Google knows that your site has relevant content. 

Useful Content

Your vehicle for establishing keyword authority is content. For example, if you are the only chocolate shop in town, Google will suggest your website for search inquiries regarding chocolate. But, if you sell chocolate in the chocolate capital of the world, you might have competition for the keyword, “chocolate”. 

When Google has to decide which chocolate shop to suggest first, it looks for content authority. The chocolate shops website that provides the most value is the one with the most relevant content. Search engines want to see that your site publishes relevant content on a regular basis, and that others on the internet find it valuable.

Wrapping Up SEO

When it all comes together, SEO is the best way for small businesses to get new customers and increase cash flow. SEO practice produces longterm results, and costs a fraction of what it would for paid Google ads.

If you’re interested in learning more about how SEO can grow your online traffic, contact DOJO Creative for a free consultation. And learn more, about increasing your organic traffic and online revenue, from our blog.