Have you ever been Googling something and wondered why certain websites were at the top of the Google results page and why some sites are near the bottom? Well, the answer is at least partially related to SEO. A site’s SEO determines just how well it will rank on Google – i.e. how high up the link will show on the results page for a specific search term.
SEO is a broad term that encompasses all the various techniques that a site can use to increase its ranking on Google (or any other search engine, like Bing or Yahoo). For example, SEO can refer to the process of putting keywords on your site, it can also refer to the process of getting things called “backlinks” for your site. It can also encompass things like making your site mobile friendly (more and more people are browsing the web through their mobile phones, so search engines give extra weight to sites that are mobile friendly).
So, to summarize, SEO is essentially a very broad and important term that encompasses all the actions you can take to make your site rank better on search engines like Google. You can implement many of these tactics yourself, or you can hire SEO experts to work on it for you.
Why does it matter for your website?
The reason why SEO is so important for websites is that better SEO translates into more traffic, which can translate into more sales, more email list subscribers, more ads clicked, etc. SEO has a greater importance for smaller sites, such as those run by small businesses. The reason for this is that they probably don’t have as much of a budget as bigger sites, and traffic from search engines is completely free.
This is not to say that bigger sites do not need SEO, but it is less important for them. No matter what Amazon does, it will always be near the top of Google due to its sheer size and the number of people that visit it daily. Small sites cannot rely on their size to get them ranked, they need to use SEO to make sure that people can actually find their site on Google.