SEO stands for search engine optimization, a term that is almost self explanatory. It is a set of processes that ensure your website is going to be picked up by search engines, ranked within the top results, and seen by millions of people around the world. With these processes, you are better able to reach out to markets that would otherwise be hard to penetrate, allowing you to compete on a global level, even as a small company.

However, SEO isn’t as simple as it sounds, and for the this reason, there are a number of companies that have specialized into fixing your website for you. SEO involves a number of different steps that come together to create a perfect promotional plan for your company. Each of these steps plays a different role in reaching different audiences and helps cut down on the amount of advertising you need to do. Every little tweak or change drives more traffic, allowing you to get a higher conversion rate.

The first category, and usually the most important, is that of content. Search engines purposefully avoid content that is copied, that contains a high amount of similar content to other companies in your niche, or that is not well written. Google in particular is ruthless in ensuring that people searching get the best possible results. For this reason, many SEO companies will focus heavily on quality content for your website.

Content is also important, because the amount of time people spend on your page once it has been ranked helps determine your rank as well. If you have engaging content that makes people want to stay, you will find yourself climbing higher and higher up the search engine ladder. On the other side, if your content it dry and boring, people will click away, lowing your ranking in a matter of days.

After you have good content, the next focus is on keywords and related phrases. Keywords are simply words or phrases that people search for when they are looking for products or services in your niche market. In a business that focuses on fish, the words “fresh fish” might be the keyword. Articles and behind the scenes data will be optimized to include the most likely keywords, allowing people to find you faster.

For markets that are highly saturated, meaning they have a large amount of competition, keywords will make or break your business. Ensuring that you have creative phrasing and that it is targeted towards the right market will pay off more than any advertising campaign would ever be able to. Keywords are also where you would normally place affiliate links or other connections, ensuring that you are building a beneficial network for yourself and your business partners.

To sum it all up, SEO focuses on your content, the user experience when interacting with your content, and the means in which people find your website. Each of these elements feeds off of each other to drive sales and traffic to your website and increase your brand recognition. If any of these is not properly looked after, you will lag behind your competition.