What Is Search Engine Optimization?
When I’m asked what my job entails, the answer is usually that I make your site appear at the top of the search results when someone searches for your products. It is, of course, the short version, because search engine optimization is so much more.
Search engine optimization is about getting visitors, sales or other forms of conversions from search engines by maintaining good positions on the words that people are searching for. It can be about targeting single, high-volume keywords, or about targeting many keywords with fewer searches. It can be about maintaining the top position, or being satisfied with the top 3, 5 or 10. It depends on the circumstances and business model.
To maintain a third place on the keyword ‘Casino’ can be one goal. This keyword is very profitable, and aiming for the first place is not necessarily a wise move for a smaller player, because the top results are usually big-budget operations. Third place will still generate plenty of income if you’re offering casino. For a site that sells nails and screws it is of course more or less pointless to strive to rank on that keyword, even if some people claim that all volume is good volume.
What all search engine optimization has in common is that the goals are achieved by maintaining good positions in the organic search results. By organic, we mean results that are not ads, but the search engine’s actual core business. There are those who believe that your ranking in the search results doesn’t matter; what’s important is how many new customers, newsletter registrations or page views you get. Revenue is always good, but if it doesn’t come from positions in the search results, it’s not search engine optimization. There is nothing wrong with making money from print ads, or getting customers from TV commercials or readers from social media, but that’s not search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization has many names. The acronym ‘SEO’ is perhaps the most common and it’s also used in other languages, even when they have their own translations of the actual term. In addition to SEO and search engine optimization, which are widely accepted terms in the industry, it has also been called keyword optimization, search optimization and so on. There are some explanations for this, perhaps because ‘search engine optimization’ doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but a more interesting theory is the failure theory.
A lot of people who work with search engine optimization fail to appear in the top 10 on the keywords search engine optimization or SEO (which are the two most common terms in the industry), and don’t like to give the competitors unnecessary advantage. By calling SEO something else when they talk to other people, they can lead the searches to a different keyword, on which they are visible. Do a search for keyword optimization, search optimization or any other similar words and you will see that different players appear in the results compared to when you use the main terms. The accuracy of this can certainly be tested.