SEO: what it is and how to optimize it
With over 63,000 searches per second, 5.6 billion searches per day, and approximately 2 trillion global searches per year, Google is one acquisition leverage, a business tool, a milestone too important for companies to ignore.
Compared to 30 years ago, people are now looking for any information they need online and can get information in a matter of seconds. A few decades ago, the same people would have made a trip to the library to retrieve the same information searching the shelves for the right book to draw from; process that could easily have taken two hours or more.
Through Google, people make most of their purchases online, discover new services and companies, read reviews and potentially inform themselves on every aspect of knowledge: it is evident that this immediate access to the doors of knowledge has radically changed habits and behaviors, which companies cannot afford to ignore, especially today.
This radical shift in behavior within the consumer economy represents what investors like to label a “disruptive event”: an event that destroyed patterns of behavior forever and replaced them with new models (purchase, information retrieval, and so on).
As in every area of our life, it is inevitable that a disruptive event brings crises, but also very great opportunities. In this sense, nowadays search engines are at the center of this disruptive event.
Therefore, having a corporate website that ranks well in search engines when people are looking for the services, products or resources that your company offers is equivalent to having an absolute competitive advantage over your competition.
The art of SEO consists in the daily optimization of your website with the ultimate goal of appearing in the first positions of Google or other search engines, just when the user is looking for products or services offered by your company.
It is necessary to reflect intensely and deeply on the extraordinary nature of SEO as a business and acquisition lever: the ability to globally and continuously intercept the demand for an asset at the very moment in which it is expressed is an economic event that unprecedented in the field of the relationship between supply and demand.
SEO: How search engines work
As mentioned earlier, SEO optimization is essentially the art of ranking your website pages as high as possible in search engines like Google. Since search is one of the main ways people discover content online, ranking higher in search engines helps increase traffic to a website.
In Google and other search engines, the results page often features paid ads at the top of the page, followed by regular results or what search marketers call “organic search results“.
Traffic from SEO is often referred to as “organic search traffic” to differentiate it from traffic from paid search. Paid search is often referred to as “Search Engine Marketing” (SEM) or Pay-Per-Click (PPC).
So it is clear that organic traffic is one of the largest and most genuine sources of website visitors. Over 5 billion searches are made on Google every day. Positioning at the top of search results is therefore a great way to capture hundreds, thousands or even millions of people looking for information, products or services.
Therefore, search engines like Google generate revenue primarily through paid advertising. The vast majority of this revenue comes from a pay-per-click (or cost-per-click) model, where they pay advertisers only for users who click on their ads.
But how do search engines work?
Since each person is free to use any of the many search engines available on the web to find the information they want, the burden of developing a relevant, fast and satisfying User eXperience falls in the hands of companies like Google , Microsoft, DuckDuckGo, etc.
Therefore, the primary interest of search engines is to deliver to the user, in the shortest possible time, the most relevant and exhaustive information with respect to what is sought.
As a result, Google and other like-minded companies invest an enormous amount of time, energy and capital in improving the relevance of search results, given a given set of keywords typed in.
Since the success of search engines depends heavily on the relevance of their search results, manipulations of search engine rankings that result in irrelevant results (generally referred to as spam) are treated very seriously.
Every major search engine employs a team of people who are solely focused on finding and eliminating spam from search results. This is an important aspect to consider, because anyone dealing with SEO must be very careful in considering that the strategies employed to improve SEO positioning are not seen as spam by search engines, a consequence which could lead to serious penalties.
The main aspects of SEO
Generally, the SEO community agrees in recognizing three levels on which it is possible to implement activities aimed at optimizing positioning on search engines:
- On-page SEO: this aspect of SEO is the easiest to work on, as it tends to consist of the production of new content and the optimization of existing ones, an activity that increases the number of keywords for which the site can be ranked;
- Off-page SEO: this is the SEO aspect that is most difficult to work on, but also the one that determines a long-term competitive advantage;
- Technical SEO: represents the basis of a good project, because a small error in this aspect can affect the effectiveness of the entire SEO project.
SEO optimization times
Each SEO aspect has different levers and timing:
- On-page SEO: the on-page SEO strategy understood as the production of content for positioning on new keywords not previously considered, brings slow but constant growth. Acting in the context of on-page SEO has the great advantage of being a relatively cheap activity compared to the benefits it can bring. And first of all, it’s a business that you have control over and that