What Is SEO and Why Is It Important for Your Business?
Updated: Oct 15, 2021
If you're a business owner with reasonable exposure to the latest trends in marketing, you've probably heard of SEO by now.
That's because SEO or search engine optimisation is considered a pillar of digital marketing.
Without SEO, there's a good chance that a business's spiffy new website will never be found by most of its target customers.
And without SEO, a business's videos on YouTube may even struggle to get views.
So how does SEO influence such things and why do you need it for your own business?
Let's talk about that below!
Search Engines & Cute Kittens
Before we can explain what SEO is, let's talk about search engines first.
We use these every day to find things online. Examples of search engines include Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, and Yahoo!.
Now when you search for something on one of these--let's say Google--it gives you a list of results.
If I search for the term "cute kittens", for instance, I get a list of sites, images, and videos about cute kittens.
These are all collected in a list called the SERPs or search engine results pages.
Thus, all of the websites Google found for me about these meowing bundles of fluff are listed on what it shows me after I press the Search button: its SERPs for the search term/words "cute kittens".
Now, let's look at it from the other side. Let's say you're a person selling cute kittens.
You have a website showing them off. You're confident one look at the photos and descriptions on the website will persuade anyone interested in kittens to buy one.
But first, you need people to visit your website and see the photos & descriptions!
Specifically, you need people who are interested in kittens, because they're more likely to buy those kittens.
That means I, who actively went looking for "cute kittens" online, am part of your target market.
To get me to visit your website, you now have to do several things.
First, make sure your site is in the SERPs for the search term "cute kittens".
Second, try to get it into the first page of those SERPs.
Why? Because, as you and I both know, most people never even bother going to the second or later pages of the SERPs. Most of us click on the links on the first page alone.
And because we tend to focus on the topmost links on that page, getting your site higher up those SERPs (or nearer to being the top result) is better.
How can you do these things, then? Enter SEO.
What Is SEO?
SEO is the process of tweaking (or optimising) a website, webpage, or even a piece of content so that it's more likely to show up in the topmost results in the SERPs for a search term.
SEO describes everything you need to do with your website about cute kittens to put it in a place on the SERPs where it can get my attention.
Now, before you ask, there are a lot of techniques used in SEO.
We can discuss them in another article because they can get fairly complex.
For now, let's just say they work by giving the search engines signals that they're relevant to a search.
These signals may be things like keywords in the site's content: the words "cute kittens" being in it, for example.
They may also include meta data, which is read by search engines when trying to figure out what a webpage is about.
This and a host of other signals can inform a search engine like Google that, in our example, your site is relevant to my search for kittens.
And if you did your SEO right, another host of signals can tell the search engine that your site is also more relevant to my search than most others, besides it being of higher quality than others.
It's certainly more relevant to my search than a site that only uses the words "cute kittens" once and never mentions felines again after that, for instance.
That will lead to the search engine prioritising your site in the SERPs it gives me...which means your site may end up at the top of the results.
Why You Need SEO for Business?
Okay, so you get the gist of the SERPs, SEO, and how to look for cute kittens now.
What does it have to do with your business?
Well, for that, just refer to our article on the importance of digital marketing this year.
We pointed out there that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalisation everywhere.
Businesses have been compelled to go digital because the consumers went digital themselves.
Lockdowns and distancing forced people to do more things online,from researching to shopping.
And there's no reason to think they'll give that up completely after the pandemic is finally done.
In a world where consumers spend increasingly more time online, online visibility is key for brands that want to survive.
And while there are many strategies for boosting that visibility on the Web, SEO remains one of the most powerful.
With it, you can reach people who are actually searching for what you have to offer.
Without that, all you have is a great product or service no one actually knows about… and probably some sad-but-cute kittens.
Need Help with Your SEO?
So now you know that you need SEO for people to see your cute kittens… or whatever it is your business can offer.
The problem is, SEO can be a fairly complex endeavour. It's certainly not something most business owners can just master in a month.
That's all right, though: we can help. At ROMI, we've guided dozens of Singaporean businesses' SEO strategies and can do the same for you.
Just reach out to us and we'll be happy to talk about what we can do for you!