SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of increasing your website’s visibility in search engine results pages, like Google. SEO will help get your website to appear organically on the first page, and ideally as the first listing, in the search results for specific search terms relevant to your business.

Although optimizing your website for search engines is crucial for SEO, the main priority should be optimizing your website for humans first and foremost. This requires a deep understanding of how people use search engines to find the answers they seek online, and what content they expect to see when their search is complete. By knowing the ‘search intent’ of internet users, you can make sure you connect to the right people at the right time to provide the right solution.

Billions of people use search engines, like Google and Bing, every day to conduct searches online. Whether looking for a recipe or the answer to a specific question, we all rely on these search engines to provide us with the answers we seek in a matter of seconds. We click the search box and are greeted with a long list of websites all offering an answer to our query.

This is not something that happens magically; this is a result of SEO.

In a nutshell, search engines have crawl bots that review everything on the internet, then by applying their ever evolving algorithms, these search engines prioritize (or index) the content. When a user enters a search query, only the content considered most relevant will be presented in the search results. There are hundreds of factors search engines consider when indexing websites, such as the authority of the brand/domain, links pointing to your site, site speed and usability, if it’s a mobile-first design, content quality and more.

How do you optimize your website for SEO? By ensuring that your content can be understood by search engines and people alike. This optimization can take many forms - from creating quality, useful content, to mobile-friendliness, page load speed, link building and overall site usability i.e. users having a good user experience on your website.

Organic, or "non paid" traffic accounts for over 53% of all traffic to websites , which means that it drives more people to your website than any other channel, including paid and social. This is because organic search results take up more digital real estate on search engines, and they are perceived as more credible than paid advertisements by online searchers, which is why people are more likely to click on one of the top 10 "blue links" than the paid ads at the very top.

Firstly, SEO generates free traffic to your website, so you don’t need to pay to advertise your website to people online.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving, because the higher you appear (or “rank”) in search engines, the more people will visit your website, and the more this traffic will snowball over time — unlike paid advertising, which needs continual funding to drive website traffic.

People trust search engines, so if your site is sitting at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), your website will be seen as an authority on specific subject matters.