“Location, location, location!” is still important to your business, but today it’s as much about your location in Google search results as it is about your street location.

That’s where Search Engine Optimization – SEO in the digital marketing jargon – comes in.

If you’re new to SEO, you may be wondering how to get started and up to speed. Wonder no more. Your first steps on the path to SEO mastery are right here.

Whether you are new to digital marketing, or perhaps new to the online aspects of running a business altogether, you are bound to run into some frequently used terms that you may not be familiar with. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is likely to be chief among them. Nearly any advice on improving your business presence or brand online is sure to include at least a few items about this form of marketing strategy.

If you’re new to these concepts, it can seem overwhelming with acronyms thrown about and advice-within-advice strewn everywhere. We’ll slow down a bit and look at what SEO really is, and how it can help your business succeed.

What is SEO?

Boiled down to its most simplistic form, SEO amounts to a series of practices designed to get you, your brand, or your business the most attention possible from search engines such as Google or Bing.

Given over 90 percent of searches are through Google, most strategies will focus on this particular engine as paramount in importance compared to any others.

Say, for instance, you own an Italian restaurant. People new to your area might not know of your reputation or have any recommendations, so they turn to the internet. When someone searches “Italian

You don’t want your business to be behind seven or eight pages of similar or unrelated restaurants, and good SEO helps ensure that doesn’t happen.

This form of digital marketing is more complex than it sounds, as the algorithms used by search engines for placing websites are fairly complicated. Good SEO practices require a knowledge of keywords and topics that potential customers search for, as well as how to best ensure your website appears in those search results.

Many search engines provide guidelines and other informative materials to help business owners and marketing professionals improve their SEO for the best possible results.

Why Does SEO Matter for My Business?

Having an online presence has become absolutely essential for businesses in most industries. Changing demographics and a large shift to online shopping during the global pandemic have served to further accelerate the need for good SEO.

A few years ago, online shopping officially outpaced regular merchandise sales for the first time in history. In addition to online shopping, more and more consumers are finding service businesses through web searches and other means, rather than word-of-mouth or drive-by traffic.

SEO comes in with your online presence and brand. After all, a beautifully crafted website with a fantastic product or service array is worthless if no one visits it.

The old business mantra of “Location, location, location!” still rings true – it just refers to your location in the search results.

Having a great service, well-designed website, and poor SEO is the modern equivalent to operating an immaculate business down a desolate side-street: Your effort won’t matter if no one is there to see it. Good SEO drives potential customers to your website, and in turn, your business. It is at that point that the sales, service, and quality methods you’ve put in place take over.

Even ecommerce and SEO skeptics would be hesitant to miss out on an entire audience, which can happen without properly preparing your site to appear in search engine results.

New demographics, particularly the younger half of Millennials and all of Gen Z, have increasingly one-sided shopping habits.

The firms and businesses that focus on SEO are the ones capturing the majority of these young adult consumers.

Your Next Steps

Changing markets demand changing marketing strategies, and the adoption of SEO practices and other digital marketing techniques is increasingly important for businesses looking to expand and succeed.

While this article provides a basic definition of SEO and its importance, the actual practical application is far more complex. Many marketing firms provide SEO as part of their services to business owners, and for good reason.

Those looking to improve their brand recognition and sales would do well to further education themselves on SEO and other components of digital marketing as often as possible. As professional business coaches and advisors, we can help make sure your website is focused on telling your story the best way possible to attract your perfect clients.

Want to explore further? Questions? Get in touch and let’s set up a time to talk.