I had appeared for an interview some time back. The interview was going pretty well till a point when the interviewer bluntly told me “If you answer the following questions, I will take you”. I anxiously waited for him to speak out the questions. Finally, after a couple of deep breaths, he uttered the questions – “What is SEO ? How does SEO work? Where does SEO work ? Why is SEO the need of the hour ?” I became ecstatic after listening to the questions as this was my forte. And I went on answering the aforementioned questions in the following manner –
What – SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a technique of increasing the traffic to websites by ranking the websites in various search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bingo etc. The ranking is done in accordance with the relevancy of the website to the search made by the internet user. Even the smallest of the businesses have relied heavily on SEO for customers.
How – Different search engines have different algorithms of selecting hierarchy of websites for searches made by users. In general, it works on the principle of “Important websites first”. Some of the factors that decide the listing of the websites are:
- Matching of the search words/phrases with the names of the websites
- Matching of the search words/phrases with the titles of the articles
- Occurrence and repetition of the words/phrases in the contents of the websites
- No. of visits and clicks in the websites
- Popularity of the websites
These are few of the many other factors that are considered while selecting the hierarchy of the websites by the search engines. So, one can design a website keeping in mind the above factors, which will give them a higher position in the listings. Frequent occurrence of important words and appropriate headings of articles is sure to give a good start to the websites and hence the traffic.
Where – SEO doesn’t have any boundaries and can have any industry or sector under its umbrella. From B2C firms like Flipkart and Amazon to B2B firms like Indiamart and TradeIndia; from the marketing of products to the marketing and social campaigns of people and parties; SEO can be critical anywhere.
Why – This is the most important question amongst What, how, where and why! A person should understand the importance of SEO before he goes for SEO. The importance of SEO lies in the fact that it brings huge amount of traffic to the websites. Internet is everywhere and people take the help of internet for anything and everything. Be it buying new things or be it acquiring information about a person, “Google” would be their first step. From marketing point of view, it is very important to be visible online so that the companies don’t lose out on their customers. According to Forbes, 80 to 90% of the customers in US check for the products online before buying it. Online presence definitely gives an edge over the competitors who only deal in brick and mortar shops. In fact, even if both competitors have online presence, the one listed above will have an extra advantage over the one who is listed below.
A top position in the listing also increases the credibility in the minds of the customers. There is a psychological effect in the minds of the users that websites which are at the top are the best. Let us understand this with the help of an example. I need to book a hotel at some place for a holiday trip. I go to Google and search for hotels. I get a million websites names in a hierarchy. Now, I will definitely have an inclination to book a hotel which comes in the top 20 websites rather than going any further. This psychological impression is developed unknowingly in the minds of the users. Hence it is very important for websites to get themselves placed in the top league so that they gain credibility in the minds of the users.
Another advantage of using SEO is that SEO is more cost effective in comparison to other conventional methods of marketing like TV advertisements hoardings, newspapers advertisements etc. By efficiently designing the websites, the cost of marketing for the companies come down drastically. People get to see the company websites only when they want, unlike advertisements in the middle of the movies or serials. Also if a website appears in many searches, users get familiar and acquainted with that website and next time they directly go to the website, thereby surpassing the competitors of that website. Wikipedia has created so much buzz in today’s world that a Wikipedia lover would search “India+wikipedia” on google to get Wikipedia as the first link when searching “India”.
The last and the most important reason why one should focus on SEO as an important marketing tool is that our competitors are also doing it. We definitely would not want our competitors to outperform us just because they have got a higher listed position in the search engine. It is a war of positioning and this war won’t end soon.
Hence, SEO is definitely need of the hour!
After listening to my answers, the interviewer was so happy that he gave me a spot offer !
My hobbies are travelling, playing pool and free lance content writing.
My areas of interest are politics, cricket and global finance.