If you’re reading this article, there’s a strong chance you found it on Google. Research has shown that organic search accounts for over half of all web traffic, and Google holds a significant lead in the search engine race.

Still, you may be wondering why SEO is important for your business. There’s no shortage of content streams in 2022, but search engines remain a vital part of the web experience. This article will explain why SEO remains so relevant today and how you can stay up to date with the best practices for your business.

What is SEO?

SEO basics Scrabble letters

If you’re just getting started in digital marketing, you might already be feeling lost. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It refers to the set of practices used to make sure your content is high up in the results on search engines like Google. One of the reasons why SEO is important is because Google is the first place many people look for information online.

It’s a changing and imprecise field, but companies generally rely on Google’s algorithm to ensure SEO success. The reason for this is a story as old as the internet itself.

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History of SEO

Old Macintosh computer

The first search engines—such as Excite, Alta Vista, and Yahoo—came about in the mid-’90s. They were vital for the web’s development, making the ever-expanding number of websites more digestible and increasing traffic.

In these early days, it was easy for advertisers to use sketchy methods to game the search results. Google’s innovation, which made it the biggest search engine and created the entire SEO field, was its user-friendly algorithm.

After Google took off, companies started tailoring their content to please Google’s algorithm. In theory, the algorithm rewards the highest-quality, most helpful content for readers. Marketers try to keep up with the regular changes Google makes to their algorithm.

How SEO is used

Blog metrics dashboard laptop stock image

Now that you understand the background of SEO, you may still be wondering what it means. You can’t fully know why SEO is important until you know exactly what companies do to optimize.

Put simply, the elements people consider when optimizing for search engines are:

1. Keywords

People find articles by putting search terms into Google. The first thing people do to improve their SEO is find a popular search term to use as a keyword for their content. Next, they incorporate that keyword into their content. It’ll appear in the text, headings, subheadings, and even in invisible elements like image file names.

2. Links and backlinks

In addition to prominently featuring keywords, Google also looks for content that’s linked by other pages. If another page cites you as a source, it’s considered a vote of confidence in your content. This is why creators also try to include links in their content, both to other pages on their site and external sources.

3. Content

Search engines’ primary goal is to give users the best, most direct answer to their questions. That drive for better content is one of the reasons why SEO is important. Whatever tools you use, your goal is to create legible, informative content that people are actually looking for.

Through a combination of SEO tools and reader satisfaction, your work as a marketer, blogger, or any other type of content creator can make it straight to the top.

Why SEO is important

SEO important metrics chart

Let’s say you’re in the process of content marketing for your site. There are many tools in the digital marketing toolkit, and you may be wondering if SEO is really necessary. “If Google rewards good content, can’t I just build a user base in other ways and let search engines come to me?”

While traffic is a good way to improve your search results, getting there without SEO is an uphill battle. Even though users can be reached through social media and other avenues, Google remains vital to growing traffic.

Everyone’s doing it

As explained earlier, a majority of online traffic comes from search engines. If you don’t keep up with SEO best practices, you’re ignoring a significant chunk of your potential user base. With experts in high demand, companies in every industry understand why SEO is important. If you aim to be competitive, failing to practice SEO can be deadly.

Expanded user base

It’s not just an obligation, but also an opportunity. Marketing through social media and localized advertising can grow your business, but it can also be limited by your sphere of influence.

SEO is one of the best ways to reach people completely outside of your circle. Not everyone knows you, but everyone knows Google, and most trust their search results. A cosign from the algorithm can take you to a whole new level.

Better experience

Sometimes, fitting your content into SEO practices can feel like stifling creativity. You can think of it as writing a poem in free verse versus a sonnet. While neither is worse than the other, using a limited form doesn’t mean you’re making low-quality content.

Google’s goal is to deliver results that are easy to read, informative, and relevant. Following SEO guidelines can ensure that your content is engaging and high-quality, which can keep users coming back for more.

Getting started is easy

SEO specialists have tons of expertise to offer for boosting search engine rankings, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get started. There are free tools that can help you find keywords and improve your content. Even simple practices like using short, clear sentences and paragraphs can make a big difference.

It’s always changing

If you’ve already been optimizing your content and you’re wondering why SEO is still important today, here’s your answer. In their quest to improve user experience, Google rolls out changes to their algorithm at least once every few months. Most of these changes are small, but over time, your content can get left behind. Simply having a system in place doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention.


Google phone screen app SEO

Whether you’re a digital marketing veteran or a young content creator, you may wonder why SEO matters today. This article illustrates at a glance why SEO is important for everyone. It can help you reach a huge audience with high-quality content, and there’s always more to discover.

Google remains the biggest, most diverse audience you can capture, and there are a wide variety of tools to help you do it. With simple practices like the ones touched on above, you can have your work under the world’s largest spotlight, improving both your content and your audience along the way.