What is SEO? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 Problems with Customer Traffic
  • 0:51 Search Engine Optimization
  • 2:05 The Importance of Keywords
  • 3:18 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Toni Bonton

Toni has taught personal finance and has an MBA.

Customers use search engines every day. Being visible to those customers is a key part of being successful online. This lesson defines search engine optimization (SEO) and how it can be applied.

Problems with Customer Traffic

Kelly owns an online boutique that sells clothes, shoes, and accessories. Kelly is very pleased with the website she created; however, it was not drawing as much traffic from customers as she had hoped. She decided to rethink the content of her website by making sure all of her links worked properly and that her website was user-friendly, meaning that visitors can easily navigate from page to page without confusion. It was not until Kelly searched a few popular search engines for her website that she discovered the problem.

Several pages of search results had to be weeded through before visitors would see a link to Kelly's website. Since this wasn't her area of expertise, Kelly hired Sheila, an online marketing consultant, who agreed to optimize the search engine results to make Kelly's website visible to potential customers.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO), is the process of increasing Internet visibility or how high websites or web pages rank in the unpaid search results of a search engine. Search engines use frequently changing algorithms that decide in what order results will be listed. This means that each search engine automatically searches the web for websites and web pages which fit its category of keywords. Keywords are specific words indicating what a customer wants to search. When the keyword is searched, the search engine returns a randomly ranked list of websites and web pages relating to that keyword.

The idea behind SEO is that when a customer searches for a specific keyword, related websites and web pages will be listed by rank in the search engine results below all the paid ads. The higher a website or web page is listed in the search results, the more likely it is for that link to be selected or clicked by visitors. This is the website's or web page's visibility. The optimization occurs when the content and coding of a website or web page is edited and organized to fit the category of keywords established by the search engines, bringing specific websites and web pages closer to potential visitors and customers.

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