Why do you need SEO optimization? The question is a good one. Not everybody really understands why this is such an important part of online marketing or what actually happens to a website that gets it to the top of any given search ranking. However, once those issues become clear, it’s pretty obvious why properly done SEO is so very important. Let’s take a quick look at what is actually happening when somebody searches for a website.

SEO optimization starts with the creation of your website. In many cases, websites are just not designed with SEO in mind. A good way to look at it is that a pile of sticks may be a sufficient structure to keep one safe from the elements, but that same pile of sticks arranged into a house with a sign outside is not only a better structure, it’s easier to find. Search engines rely on programs called web crawler bots (or sometimes “spiders”) to go out on the internet and read webpages. The problem is that they can only do so much (the internet is a big place), so they have to follow links from place to place and bring what they find back to their search engines to be “indexed”. A poorly designed website doesn’t make it easy for these spiders to see every page and understand what you’re about.

What web crawler bots are looking for, these days, is mostly content and other people’s links to you. That’s why content is such an important part of SEO optimization. By putting fresh, relevant content on your website, people are more likely to link to you from their websites, and search engines consider that a “vote” in your favor, the signal that somebody thought what you had to say mattered. The content has to also be formatted so that spiders can understand that what you have to say matters, too.

Finally, you are given a ranking based on how “relevant” your website is. SEO optimization is the process of making sure that your website says important things about whatever your business is so search engines will consider you a good place to send people looking for information. Search engines thrive on people thinking they can get whatever information they want quickly and easily, so if your website can do that, it’s going to rank high. It may take several months to prove that that’s the case, but ultimately it can bring you new clients and customers.

There are several places where a website might do one or two of those things, but it’s rare that it hits everything that is required to be listed on the first page of search engines naturally. Instead, you have to work at it, but the flood of new people to your website will eventually make you happy you put the effort into SEO optimization.