SEO is the content marketing practice used to help optimize the position that your webpage shows up on search engines, and increase the crawlability (indexability) your webpage has within search engines. You might not realize it, but 67% of people click on the first 5 organic search results when looking for an answer, and some topics are only searched between 10 and 100 times a month, so most big companies don’t focus on targeting those searches with articles (content). If you can put out quality content around these searches, you can organically draw these people to your website and be the solution to their query!
To first begin understanding SEO, one must know what it stands for, right? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The practice of increasing the chances that search engines, such as Google or Bing, have of finding and positioning your site when a user is 'crawling the web' in search of the solution that your webpage or content is providing. Considering the fact that people are unlikely to even go past the 2nd page, it is crucial that your site is optimized for search engines so you can always rely on your content being seen.
If SEO is built and deployed correctly, you can expect a steady growth of organic traffic to your site. There’s really no “right way” when researching how to implement SEO, because every content niche’s audiences perform differently, but there are a lot of wrong ways, so always double check your sources. Furthermore, understanding the basics of search engines themselves can help you master this concept. Search engines function similar to an index in a book, or on a greater scale, a library full of information, and each different search engine being a different layout of the same library. All to say: Informative Content is the Cornerstone of SEO.
Using indexing algorithms unique to each search engine, they look through their data on the specific topic that you search for and find the best matching sites that will have the best probability of answering whatever inquiry you have posed. Although the inner mechanics of how search engines index and find your content are super complex, SEO as a marketing practice aims to break down its moving parts in order to understand how to better optimize webpages or content pieces for higher ranking within targeted search engine results pages (SERP's for short).
Most, if not all, SEO practices are geared towards every search engine. Though, as I'm sure you may have correctly presumed, Google wins out in popularity here. With a current estimated market share of 92% of all searches, it is generally the search engine for which sites are most optimized. You always want to make sure Google is crawling your sites, and you can do so with its free tool, Google Search Console. With that in mind, learning how to optimize webpages or content for higher placement on Google’s search results pages is the ideal way to start growing your organic traffic and building an engaged audience.
Lastly, SEO is all about the long game. Applying these SEO strategies as correctly as possible will guarantee increased numbers; however, the real fruits comes diligence and patience. The more content you generate, paired with correct SEO strategies, the more people will naturally land on your page in hopes to answer their inquiries over time. This passively increasing traffic should continue to rise and compound as you create more content, and edit to keep your old content up to date. The more content you create, the more answers will be provided to the many questions posed by your target audience browsing the web. The more answers to these questions you have, the more traffic will find and scroll through your pages, and in turn, the more search engines 'like' your page to be ranked higher on SERP's as a whole. The goal here is to create an almost self-sufficient cycle of passive organic traffic where your old content boosts your new content’s ranking and vice versa.