What Business Owners Must Know About SEO

What Does SEO Mean?

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

August 22, 2022

You’ve heard enough about SEO to wonder, “What does SEO mean?”

SEO refers to optimizing a website for search engines (SEO).

SEO is a strategy for raising the quantity and quality of visitors to your website by increasing your online visibility in organic search results. In general, this digital marketing strategy aims to increase your business’s online presence to generate revenue and growth.

Knowing more about the concept of SEO and receiving answers to some of the most commonly asked SEO questions, such as “What does SEO do?” and “What does SEO imply in business?”

This mini-guide discusses the top seven things that every marketer and business owner should understand about SEO, as well as a supplementary FAQ that addresses concerns regarding the cost of SEO and other topics. To get started, just keep reading!

P.S. Enter your URL here for a fast SEO audit to evaluate how your site is doing in terms of SEO.

7 Must-Know Facts About SEO’s Meaning

  1.    Definition
  2.    Strategies
  3.    SERPs
  4.    Tactics
  5.    Benefits
  6.    Results
  7.    Updates

SEO stands for search engine optimization

When people talk about SEO, they are referring to search engine optimization.

If you utilise SEO marketing, you optimise your website for search engines, such as Google or Bing, which may or may not be the same as each other. However, you’re optimizing your site for people as well as search engines.

Your firm may achieve a top place in search results, also known as search engine results pages, with a well-optimized site and a competitive SEO plan (SERPs). Your organization wants to appear in searches linked to your goods or services for the greatest results.

For example, if your firm provides HVAC services, you want to appear in search results linked to those services rather than plumbing or electricity. This situation isn’t a problem for many firms since they seldom generate and optimize website content for queries that aren’t connected to their industry.

SEO consists of an umbrella of strategies

The “optimization” component of SEO encompasses a wide variety of approaches. Because search engines like Google rank websites based on more than 200 factors, you may optimize your website in various ways.

Among the most effective techniques for optimizing a website for both search engines and humans are the following:

  • Creating an intuitive and fast-loading website
  • Incorporating user intent into the creation of site content that is geared for certain keywords or search terms
  • Creating page title tags and meta descriptions that are interesting and informative
  • Making sure that broken links on the site are fixed
  • Using descriptive alt tags and appropriate filenames for photographs on your website
  • Earning valuable links to the site’s content from respected and relevant sources

As you can see, SEO necessitates a sizable team of specialists. You’re going to need web developers, graphic designers, and copywriters. Not to mention the fact that you’ll require an experienced SEO professional to guide your team and lead your strategy.

That is why many businesses invest in SEO services, which provide rapid access to SEO experts for your organization.

A full-service agency, such as Rank Fire, provides an even greater benefit since we have a dedicated team of developers, designers, copywriters, and SEO experts on staff.

Natural, not purchased, search results are the primary goal of SEO.

Organic and sponsored search results aren’t discussed enough to answer the question, “What does SEO mean?” Remember that SEO may help your company get greater exposure in search results. It’s worth noting, however, that SEO solely focuses on organic search results.

Many search engines combine sponsored and organic search results in their results.

A sponsored search result is an advertisement that promotes a company and its services. That’s why advertising appears in searches with purchase intent, such as “HVAC emergency services.” Ads for navigational searches, such as the one seen above, may also appear.

Advertisements targeting a competitor’s brand name, such as “QuickBooks” or “TurboTax,” may also be created. Overall, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising provides numerous businesses with a new way to market their products.

While sponsored adverts come first in search results, earning a top place in organic search results, which appear after paid search results, is still significant.

Because sponsored advertisements aren’t free, this is the case. When someone clicks on your ad, you get charged.

You don’t have to spend anything when someone hits your site from organic search results. Not to add that organic search results account for 70% of all clicks.

Consequently, most consumers prefer to click on organic search results over promoted ones.

That isn’t to say that PPC advertising isn’t effective.

It’s a great digital marketing tool as well as an SEO-friendly tactic. For example, you may utilize PPC to provide your organization rapid presence in search results, which is beneficial since SEO takes a few months to produce results.

Even better, data from your paid ad campaigns can be used to guide your SEO strategy.

For example, keyword data, or the words used by searchers, is provided through PPC advertising. This keyword information might assist your business in determining which keywords to target in future content for your website.

Consider the possible usefulness of a short-term PPC campaign if you’re thinking about SEO.

SEO includes black- and white-hat tactics

Black-hat and white-hat SEO companies exist.

Don’t do it just because you can. Because black-hat tactics SEO methods harm rather than help your SEO strategy. They may also have a long-term negative impact on your website’s ranking and online reputation.

  • Stuffing a page with keywords, reducing readability 
  • Including hidden text, such as white writing on a white backdrop, to target keywords are just a few instances of black-hat practices.
  • Buying links from link farms or other third-party websites

On the other hand, white-hat tactics enable your company’s website to appear in relevant search results.

Because they follow SEO best practices, they provide your company the much-needed exposure in search results. White-hat approaches include creating digestible content that gives people the information they need.

  • Another example of white-hat strategies is creating shareable, high-quality content that gains links from credible websites.
  • Adding new content regularly 
  • Maintaining the website’s usability and functionality 
  • Improving the site’s speed or page load time

Using white-hat tactics, your company can appear at the top of relevant search results.

Search engines like Google will de-index your website if you don’t use black-hat tactics. Google will not show your website in its search results. You don’t want to get into a scenario like this since Google has a 90% market share.

 SEO matters because of modern shopping habits

If you’re presenting SEO to business decision-makers, it’s vital to give persuasive information illustrating SEO’s worth. You want to establish that SEO is critical and useful to your business.

Additionally, it is critical to understand what SEO comprises and why it is important to organizations. Individuals and companies alike now purchase in a variety of ways.

Rather than visiting a real store, many individuals use their phone, laptop, or desktop to seek items, ask questions, and read reviews.

Search engines play a significant role in the buying process for both consumers and companies. Consumers do 80 percent of their product research online. Additionally, more than half of users discover a new company or product due to a search.

You don’t exist if your company doesn’t appear in search results.

Even if your business appears in search results, a position on pages two, three, or four renders it inaccessible to the majority of visitors. This is the case because just 25% of visitors go beyond the first page of search results.

That is why SEO is important for today’s businesses.

You may utilize SEO to make consumers aware of your company, whether you’re an ecommerce store or brick-and-mortar shop.

This awareness may lead to interest and conversion, resulting in a new sale or lead for your business.

Take a peek at our customers’ triumphs to get a sense of the power and utility of SEO.

We’ve helped our customers make more than $1.5 billion in sales using SEO and other digital marketing methods in the last five years. That’s fantastic because it’s enabled our customers to achieve a wide range of objectives, from establishing a new site to introducing a new product or service.

SEO takes months to show results

What exactly does SEO imply?

Numerous businesses invest in SEO with the expectation of quick returns. For many, it means a long-term financial commitment. Your company’s rankings will take time to improve, regardless of optimizing current website content or publishing a whole new set of pages.

This is because SEO is a time-consuming process.

It takes many months for your team to notice a difference in your rankings in many circumstances.

Certain factors, such as the age of your website and its Google history, may affect your business’s timeline. For example, an older website with no Google penalties may notice results sooner than a brand-new one.

However, regardless of the age or history of your website, you will have to wait a few months to see results. However, SEO is well worth the wait.

It produces excellent results, which is why 75% of businesses have already invested in SEO.

For example, we’ve helped our clients generate over 4.6 million leads, 1.9 million phone calls, and more using SEO strategies.

  1. Algorithm changes continue to shape SEO.

Search engines such as Google aim to please users.

Consequently, search engine algorithms that influence organic search result ranks are constantly updated. These changes have a direct impact on today’s SEO strategy and approaches. If your firm decides to use SEO, you must actively participate in keeping up with the latest developments in the field.

You can keep your staff updated on SEO methods by reading blogs, taking classes, hosting seminars, and more.

  •      Moz
  •      Rank Fire
  •      Backlinko
  •      Search Engine Land

Even if your organization works with a respected SEO firm like Rank Fire, it’s important to stay current.

FAQs about what SEO means in business

Have more questions about what SEO means in the business world? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions!

What does SEO stand for in business?

SEO’s major objective is to increase your website’s visibility on search engines such as Google and Bing. It includes a variety of methods, including content marketing, that can help your website rank better in search results for your company, goods, and services.

For example, if your business offers roofing services, you’ll want to show up in searches for roofing contractors.

You may even want your site to appear in search results for roof maintenance, roof design, and other roofing themes, depending on your approach. From a commercial standpoint, SEO entails generating more cash for your organization.

Your company (even if it’s a physical location) may reach out to your target market through search when they browse and study their next purchase.

Why does SEO matter to businesses?

Nearly 75% of companies spend on SEO, and here’s why:

SEO drives sales

SEO can help businesses in various sectors, from home services to manufacturing, increase revenue.

This is because 80% of consumers (and 71% of business-to-business customers) begin their product search online. However, when it comes to search, 75% of users just look at the first page of results.

If you don’t engage in SEO, your website will most likely show after the first page of results, which implies a large chunk of your target market is unaware of your existence. Your business may alter that using SEO.

These outcomes may be seen by looking at the accomplishments of firms that invest in SEO.

For example, our SEO services have helped our customers generate more than $1.5 billion in revenue in the last five years.

SEO improves lead generation

Your organization may strongly emphasize lead generation, depending on your sector and business style. You want to generate high-quality leads for your sales staff to follow up on, and SEO may help you achieve that aim.

When it comes to your audience, digital marketing, which includes SEO, gives your firm thousands of data points. You can learn a lot about your audience, from their demographics to their surfing habits, using your site’s statistics, which you can get for free via Google Analytics.

This data might help you plan your SEO strategy.

For example, you may adjust your material’s tone, style, and writing level to your target audience.

This change may have an immediate effect on your target market. It gives users the impression that your company cares about them, encouraging them to submit quotation requests or contact you.

From home repair contractors to medical businesses to software suppliers, SEO has shown to be a successful lead-generating strategy.

Our performance-driven tactics, for example, have generated over 4.6 million leads for our customers in the last five years.

SEO boosts brand awareness

Establishing brand awareness is a critical component of every successful marketing strategy. While brand recognition may not result in an instant sale or lead, it may help your company establish a connection with potential consumers and increase customer loyalty.

Your company may appear in not just service- or purchase-related searches but also inquiries posed by customers in the early phases of the purchasing funnel, thanks to SEO. They could inquire about the cost of a service or look for solutions to a common issue, such as lawn weeds.

You become a trusted point-of-reference for consumers as your firm continues to rank higher in search results.

Expect your company to be on their list when they’re ready to buy, call, or enquire about a product.

SEO generates real company growth

It’s simple if you’re looking for a shorthand version of SEO’s business meaning.

Your business will see genuine, measurable growth as a result of SEO. It assists you in increasing income, allowing your company to grow into new areas, hire additional employees, or even introduce a new product or service.

People depend on the Internet to discover what they need in today’s technology-driven environment. They use their preferred search engine to ask questions, obtain answers, and learn about the items and services they are looking for.

You don’t exist with the current customer if your firm doesn’t appear in searches.

That’s also why SEO is critical for today’s businesses.

How does SEO work?

It’s easy to become perplexed when attempting to explain how SEO works. If you want your company’s executives to sign off on SEO, you must first verify that they are familiar with the topic.

That involves explaining SEO to them in the language they understand and addressing their queries. So, how does SEO benefit firms that use it? In four simple steps:

  •      Site audit
  •      Keyword research
  •      Site optimization
  •      Re-optimization

Site audit

Before optimizing your website for search and users, your organization must first assess its existing SEO state.

Your team may learn where they need to improve and thrive by conducting a site assessment. While a paid audit examines your SEO in more detail, free SEO analyzers are also accessible.

Keyword research

Remember that SEO improves your online exposure by allowing you to appear in relevant search results. It’s up to your in-house staff or an SEO service to determine which search results are important to your company and its objectives. This is where keyword research is useful.

With keyword research, your team looks into terms relevant to your company and those that are often used by your target audience.

Relevant keywords may be discovered in various methods, including competition research and social media surfing.

A few keyword research tools, such as Moz Keyword Planner or Keywordtool.io, are also popular among businesses.

Site optimization

Your organization may begin improving your website after assessing and researching keywords.

In certain circumstances, your organization may design an SEO strategy that outlines your game plan and what you want to achieve with SEO. You may anticipate a well-researched, personalized plan if you work with an SEO business like Rank Fire.

Several methods may be taken to optimize your website, including the following:

  • Redesigning your website’s navigation 
  • Updating your title tags and meta descriptions 
  • Adding your targeted keywords to certain pages 
  • Changing your image filenames 
  • Improving your page speed 
  • Modifying your page URLs

Because some of these stages need web design and development knowledge, your team may need to interact with other departments. You can also work with a full-service agency, such as Rank Fire to handle all of your SEO needs.


When you invest in SEO, you’re making a long-term commitment. Your company cannot optimize all of its material and then abandon it. Otherwise, whatever enhanced search engine exposure your site obtains will be eroded as rivals use SEO methods.

As a result, your organization must continue to generate new content while also optimizing existing material.

With this proactive move, you may gain even more ground, showing up in relevant search results for your company and audience. Your organization may anticipate going through the auditing and optimization process with re-optimization.

What services does an SEO firm provide to businesses?

While many firms handle their SEO in-house, small-to-midsized enterprises find it difficult.

Internally leading SEO activities is tough even for large corporations. This is why these businesses work with SEO firms.

An SEO company may give your organization all it requires when it comes to SEO.

They conduct a website audit, develop a strategy, optimize your site, and track your progress. They also have access to tools and technologies that enable you and your company’s decision-makers with detailed information.

An SEO firm like Rank Fire is an example. Thanks to our decades of expertise and cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology, we’re one of the best SEO firms for small-to-midsized enterprises.

Consequently, our client suggestion score exceeds the industry average by 488 percent.

How much do businesses spend on SEO?

small-to-midsized businesses spend an average of $350 to $2000 per month on SEO services. This is cost-effective for many businesses, especially considering your marketing team’s additional responsibilities and limited time.

If your company decides to work with a professional SEO firm, be wary of agencies that advertise “cheap” or “low” monthly rates. These offerings may seem appealing, but they often leave your company with nothing to show regarding SEO outcomes.

Instead, Choose an experienced agency with reasonable rates. While your company will have to pay more upfront, you will get a better client experience and results.

This benefits your organization and your employees by allowing you to generate more money from SEO.

Need help with your SEO marketing manager? Check out our SEO Guide for Marketing Managers to start driving more site traffic, leads, and revenue!

Ready to use SEO for your business?

Rank Fire can assist you whether you want to learn more about SEO or choose a reputable SEO service provider. We have everything your company needs: an informative blog, extensive resource library, and an award-winning team.

Take a glance at our SEO services today to see how we can help your business grow.

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