What is SEO and How Does it Help Your Site?

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If you have a site online, you are probably familiar with the term SEO. If not, you will definitely want to be. If your site is not performing the way you would like it to, then you need to look at SEO as on of the reasons why. Sites with poor SEO will always under perform compared to those that have mastered it. But what is SEO and how does it help your site?

The Key to Driving TrafficSearching Online

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. So far so good, but what exactly does that mean? Well, every time you go online to look for something, whether it be information on something you plan to purchase, or the name of your favourite author’s new book, you are using a search engine.

Google is one search engine that you likely use every single day. Bing is another. For simplicity, we’ll continue to refer to Google, given its position as the most-used search engine, but it should be understood that this applies to all of them.

Google takes the words that you type in (keywords) and finds relevant information. So if you type “what is the best shampoo for men?” Google will provide you with a list of articles on various sites, all discussing which shampoo you should be using.

But how does Google do this?

There are more than 1.8 billion websites online as of 2017. Obviously, you can’t look through them all to find what you want. That’s where Google comes in, finding what it thinks to be the best matches and providing you links to them. But even Google can have difficulty matching you with the right site and that’s why SEO is so important.

Optimization is defined as “the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource.”. In this case, what SEO does is help Google find your site. It’s the big flag that your website waves in the air to say “I’m over here!”

If you want Google to suggest your site to potential visitors, then your site needs to be visible. A visible site is one that will get more traffic, or visitors.

How Does it Work?

There are several factors to take into consideration when looking at the SEO of your site, some of which will be on-site, some of which will be off site. For the sake of this article, let’s consider what you can do on your site to appeal to search engines. We’ll use the 3 C’s: Content, Clarity, Consistency.


Content is king. Whatever you choose to write about will determine whom you are trying to attract to your site. Your content should be well-written and readable. That isn’t to say you need to be the next Shakespeare. In fact, Shakespeare is not that readable for modern audiences. Most high school students struggle with the language and thus it becomes a bit of a chore.

You don’t want the same fate to befall the website that you are working so hard to create. The best approach is to write the way you speak. Imagine that you are writing down a conversation with a friend. You want your readers to understand what you are trying to communicate, not be impressed with your tremendous language skill.

Your content should also be focused and relevant. If you are writing an article on a new product that you have tried out that you think everyone should know about, keep your focus on that. Don’t give in to the temptation to toss in 20 other ideas.

You should be informative without running off into several other barely-related topics. This goes again to readability. Google likes content that provides a good user experience.

What is SEO and how does it help your site?

Do your best to engage your reader. If they don’t connect with your content they are unlikely to stay on your page or take any action that you are hoping for, such as making a purchase.

Make your site interesting. Add images, ask questions, or do anything you can to make visitors stay and become involved in what you are showing them. A visitor who comes to your page and them promptly leaves has bounced and your bounce rate can affect your SEO.

This is somewhat related to content, as mentioned above. You want your content to be clear for the reader. Beyond that, you want it to be clear to the search engines so that they will know what your content and your site are about. If Google doesn’t know what you’re talking about, they aren’t going to recommend you to anyone. To help make your site clear, put some thought into the following:

      • Title Tags. These are used by Google to understand what your main topic is. These should be clear and concise, without any unnatural language. Keyword stuffing– trying to force a given word or phrase into your text when it doesn’t fit naturally– is not going to help you here.
      • Meta description. Somewhat similar to a title tag, your meta description expands upon what your page is about, giving more detail.
      • Internal links. These are links that connect the pages on your site. If you write a review on shampoo, you might have a link to another review on conditioner. These links help Google understand how the various pages on your site relate to one another, and their relevance for searches.
      • Ease of navigation. You want your site to be easy to navigate. If a visitor can’t find what they need, they aren’t likely to stay long. Aim for simple menus with clear categories and sub-categories.

Having a clear, easy-to-navigate site makes for a more enjoyable user experience, which will translate to a better ranking in the eyes of Google. Clean and simple is the way to go.

ConsistencyGive Your Visitors a Good Online Experience
Visitors to your site like to know what to expect. It can be hard to engage with a site that posts sporadically at best. Continue to produce quality content on an ongoing basis. This lets your readers know to check back often and lets Google know that your site is an active one that continues to be relevant, and not one that has fallen by the wayside.

There are other factors to consider as well; SEO is not a simple subject that can be learned by reading one article. Some companies hire SEO professionals to manage their website content to ensure that they rank well with Google and are visible to their potential customers and given the amount of business being done online, this can easily be a deciding factor in their overall success.

Learning how to implement proper SEO on your site will bring you the traffic that you need to be successful. If you would like to learn more (much more) about SEO and how to be successful online, learn from the best. Sign up at Wealthy Affiliate to learn the answers to all your SEO questions, and learn the strategies you need to succeed online. The entire first course is free and doesn’t even require a credit card for verification. Simply sign up and start learning from the leading educators in building an online business.

Learn SEO Here

Once you sign up and create your profile (again, its free), I will find you and I will personally be available to you at any time to help you out.


Craig Williams

Working online was a dream of mine for several years, and now I am doing it. You can too! I am here to help in any way I can!

  • ariel says:

    Wow, Craig how informative is this? So helpful. And each time I read more about SEO it helps me to understand that process. I am so grateful we are learning all of this! In peace and gratitude, ariel

    • Thanks for commenting Ariel!

      SEO is something that really confused me when I first started, but once I realized that it is an ongoing learning experience, it made it much easier to handle. There’s a lot to learn, and it continues to evolve, so I don’t know if we’ll ever truly master it, but having at least a basic grasp of it is important for all we do.

  • Sue Dixon says:

    An excellent and well-written article, Craig. Thank you for shedding complete light on SEO. Some parts were still unclear to me and this post cleared things up for me and what I need to do to help my business.

    • Thank you!
      Any time I can do something to help out, I am happy to do so. I had some trouble with SEO at the beginning (and it’s an ongoing learning process, really), so if I can help other people get a better grasp of things, then that is great!

  • Thank you for such a clear explanation of search engine optimization, Craig. I am just starting to learn more and more about SEO as I build my website, and articles like yours break down the mumbo-jumbo into doable segments of information. I appreciate your taking the time to share what you know.

  • Paul says:

    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for the information on SEO… Learnt some useful insights. “There are more than 1.8 billion websites online as of 2017” and Search Engine Optimization helps in matching our site that’s a great information.

    You explained it well on SEO…. Keep Up The Great Work!

    Your Friend,

  • Jim Ferrizzi says:

    Great breakdown of SEO, we all need the reminders about optimization. Content is definitely King not only for the reader but for SEO also. Thank you for such a well written and concise article.
    Wish you the best success,
    Jim (wolf)

    • Craig says:

      The great thing about SEO is that there is always more to learn and new ways to optimize your site.

      If you are serious about working online, you can definitely do it if you take the time to learn what is necessary. It can also be fun, trying to find ways to continually improve.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • Michelle says:

    Hello Craig,
    This is a very concise article about SEO. It is a must-read for any website owner – a refresher for the veterans, and an eye-opener for the newbie. Yes, with so many websites on the world-wide-web to choose from, it is extremely important to find your voice and this is indeed where SEO comes into play.
    It is the simple things that sometimes make the difference and yes, it is choosing the right keywords to make you ‘findable’ on Google. Thanks for the great information.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks for the comment!

      I am starting to like SEO quite a bit (though I admit that I still have an awful lot to learn) and find that even some small changes can have a fairly significant impact on the performance of your site. Who wouldn’t want that? I hope that as I continue to learn more, my site will continue to improve.

  • Lisa says:

    Until recently I would not have known what SEO was all about. Now it is something I think about with every post I make. I think you nailed it with all great points, content, consistency and clarity. Your post was very helpful.

    • Craig says:

      I have moments when I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on SEO, followed by moments when I feel much less secure about it. Overall, I like it though, and hope to continue to learn how to improve my site. It’s an ongoing process!

  • Zola says:

    Hi Craig. Thanks for clarifying SEO in such a simple manner that even I could understand. I always thought SEO should be done by professionals who have extensive experience in building websites but after reading your post I realize that its something even I can do.

    • Craig says:

      I was pretty intimidated when I first started learning SEO. Someone would give me an explanation and I would pay attention, but still go “yes, but what IS it?” at the end. I always felt that I wasn’t really understanding, or at least not seeing the full picture. And in a sense, I think that remains true, because there is always more to learn.

      I find it quite interesting now, though, and when I see companies hiring people exclusively to handle SEO, I realize not only how important it is, but how many opportunities are available to anyone who learns about it.

      Thanks for commenting!