If you’re interested in creating or optimizing websites, there’s one term you can’t afford to miss: “SEO”, for “Search Engine Optimization”. Although this activity has been around for over 20 years now, it seems to be becoming increasingly fundamental to companies’ traffic acquisition strategies. In this article, we’ll look not only at what SEO is, but also, and above all, why it’s a crucial element of a successful digital strategy.
In Switzerland, Google accounts for over 90% of all online searches – so we’ll be focusing on this search engine in this article. A forthcoming article will compare the different search engines.
What is SEO?
So let’s start with a definition of SEO. And for that, let’s go to Wikipedia, which states:
Search engine optimizationalso known as SEO: search engine optimization), includes all techniques aimed at improving the organic positioning of a page, site or web application in a search engine results page (SERP for search engine results page).Wikipedia
In other words, it’s a process of optimizing content with the aim of getting your site discovered through a search engine’s organic search results. If you’re not an expert in the field, this definition contains several new concepts that are important to understand, so let’s quickly review them.
What is a search engine?
A search engine should be conceived as a huge library with two main missions: to accumulate as many sources as possible and to be able to present the most relevant sources to visitors requesting access to specific information.
When you submit a query to a search engine, it looks for the most relevant answers and displays them to you. These answers can also be presented in a variety of formats, depending on your requirements: web pages, images, videos, social network posts, files, etc.
What are organic search results?
When you display a search results page, you have access to two main categories of results: those for which the site has paid the search engine to be displayed (these are paid advertisements), and those for which it is impossible to pay directly, and for which the search engine alone decides the display order. These are called “natural” or “organic” results.
Why is SEO a content optimization process?
At the end of the day, everything you see on the Internet is content. Optimizing content doesn’t necessarily mean rewriting everything: the way content is presented, the tools and techniques used, and the media used are just as important. Working on SEO is ultimately about making content more easily accessible to those interested in it, by any means necessary. It’s a long-term process, and above all, it needs to be updated regularly (Google updates its search algorithm almost 500 times a year).
So what is SEO? This is the set of activities carried out to improve your site’s ranking in Google’s (or any other search engine’s) organic search results. These activities can be broken down into four broad categories, which we’ll cover in more detail in a later article: Keyword Research, On-Page SEO, Link Building and Technical SEO. All these activities will help your site stand out and gain visibility in search results.
Why is SEO important?
To understand the importance of SEO, we need to start by understanding the importance of search engines in our daily lives. Here is a selection of public statistics:
- It is estimated that Google now responds to more than 67,000 queries per second, or nearly 5.8 billion searches per day.
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search on a search engine
- Nearly 80% of users ignore ads at the top of the search results page and focus on organic results
- 89% of buyers (online and in-store) start their purchasing process with an online search
Once you’ve understood the role that a search engine like Google can play in today’s consumer habits, you’ll better understand why being visible and correctly referenced is crucial to your development. SEO is also often considered to be the acquisition channel with the best return on investment, since the actions taken have a long-term impact and enable us to reach users who are genuinely interested in your services, since they are looking for them at the very moment they see your content.
We often hear that ” In the retail world, the three most important decisions are location, location and location “. If this rule is well understood in the physical world, it applies just as well to the visibility of your website and online services. Google is by far the most visited website in the world: being visible on Google is therefore a key factor in gaining visibility with your key audiences, and thus developing your business. Whether you sell online services or not, the digital world (and the web in particular) has become part of your customers’ daily lives. So it’s crucial that they can find you easily. And that’s precisely what SEO is for, and why it’s so important.
Want to know more? We’ll be with you every step of the way, from A to Z, to implement your SEO strategy. Find out more about our SEO services, or contact us directly to discuss your needs and receive a customized proposal.