Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of getting pages to rank higher in search engines such as Google. Because search is one of the main ways in which people discover content online, ranking higher in search engines can lead to an increase in traffic to a website.
SEO is Google’s way of determining which sites deserve to rank highly for each query entered into its search engine. Without modern SEO, it would be extremely simple to manipulate the search results so that the site with the most links or the most pages—all easily generated by software—consistently ranked #1.
SEO is important because it keeps the search results fair. It reduces the ability to manipulate these results as much as possible, so that the sites appearing for each search are there because they deserve to be there. Hard work and a website that appeals to visitors correlate with high search engine rankings, so if your site meets these criteria, you’ll have a better chance at showing up in the results.
Users trust search engines, and achieving a top spot in search engine rankings signals to searchers that your site is a credible source. The higher you rank in results pages, the more clicks and traffic your site will generate. SEO also improves user experience, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers.
And SEO is cost-effective. Competitive industries can spend large amounts of money on paid website traffic. Of course, you can still purchase ad space, but if you’re working with a tight budget, SEO is a great way to drive qualified traffic to your site without directly paying for it.