SEO, of course, is the art and science of getting your company, product, or service to the top of Google’s organic (free) results. If you’re a seller of “industrial fans,” it means that when customers search Google or Bing for “industrial fans,” they will see your company’s product at the top of the search results.

If you’re a local business like a pizza restaurant or a probate attorney, it means showing at the top of Google for searches such as “pizza delivery” or “probate lawyers in Houston.” Why is SEO so valuable? Simply put, SEO is valuable because nearly everyone turns first to Google to find products, services, or companies and because SEO costs nothing (other than knowledge, blood, sweat and tears).

SEO, in short, is free advertising on Google! And there ain’t nothing better than free, is there? (Well, a few things, but please keep your mind on the subject at hand).

How the Process Works

Let’s step back and ponder how the marketing process works on Google. Customers turn to Google first to find new products and services, new companies and consultants. They tend to ignore ads, and they tend to read and click through on the organic listings that show on page one of Google, especially the top three positions.

Looking at it from the perspective of a small business, Google is the beginning of a chain of very valuable marketing events. Ranking on Google for free means you are getting free advertising, free advertising means free clicks from Google, free clicks from Google mean free web traffic, and free web traffic means more sales inquiries and ultimately more sales.

SEO essentially turns “free advertising” into “paid sales,” which if you think about it, is what marketing is all about.