What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

There are two ways a website generates traffic through the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc) and social media:

  • You can pay for a keyword to appear in the search engines as an ad that links directly to your site. This is called Paid Search.
  • You can make your site search-engine friendly to search engine "robots" or "spiders”. This is known as Organic Search.

The Art of Organic Search

Organic search simply means a search that comes up naturally when a keyword is entered into a search engine. The result – a visit to your website - did not occur because you paid for it, rather because you made your website easy for search engine crawlers to read and catalog.

All search engines use little programs called "bots" or "spiders." These programs crawl the internet finding and cataloging any and all websites into their system. They search each page of a website, including looking at "meta-tags" not seen by users because they’re embedded in the coding. They look at groups of words for keywords and for consistency of subject matter on a website. They look at who is linking to your website, they search for broken links and for whether your site is filled with affiliate links containing no actual content.

These "spiders" continuously crawl the web to update their information and ensure the quality of the websites they are showing their customers.

The goal of this approach is to ensure that a website is relevant to search engine users who are the actual customers of the search engine itself. Therefore, it does a search engine no good if a customer types in "Band-aids" and the search result is a list of mattress stores. This lack of accuracy will lose that search engine valuable customers.

Because Organic Search is not paid search, it is extremely valuable to businesses who want to reduce the cost of marketing on their websites. Getting your website noticed and listed as high in the search engine rankings as possible is what SEO practitioners strive to do.

There are several methods used to get your website out there and noticed and due to the nature of search engine spiders, it may take several weeks to a few months for your website to show up in organic search. It all depends on when the search engines "recrawl" the web. Since search engines don't give us their search schedule, SEO practitioners cannot control when this will happen.

SEO is not as labor intensive as Paid Search. Many SEO strategies need only be implemented one time. As the business cycle changes, or search engines change how they search the web, or even your own goals for your website, SEO strategy may need to be adjusted.

Need help developing or implementing an effective SEO strategy? Green Owl Consulting can help you optimize your website and get results for you. Contact us today to discuss your goals.