SEO, as part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the skill to prepare a web page and its style to be on the one hand found by as many queries as possible and on the other hand to be as high ranked as possible in the list of results. The different search engines are using specific algorithms and web crawlers, to find results for their queries. These are secret algorithms, are being regularly changed, to avoid misuse. They use e.g. keywords or backlinks to find the relevant pages to the queries. The better a query result is, the better is the ranking in the list of results.
In times of Google and Yahoo most of the Internet sites are called via search engines. It is not necessary to know exactly how an Internet page is named (URL), because Google knows. You only have to type vaguely the name of the page you are searching for and press enter. Within seconds a list of results is shown to you.
The same is valid for the content in the pages. It is not necessary to know on which page to search specific content, because the search engines are searching the whole World Wide Web. They present a list of the site, where the searched content is available including the high lighting of the specific location, if wanted.1) The exact algorithms of the search engines are not known, as written above, but the concept is.2)
To be found might be the most important thing in the Internet.3) For service companies there is one major aspect. To be known. To be known, on the one hand by the customers, existing and potential customers, and on the other hand by employees, future ones in this case. If a company is competing on the market, there is always at least one competitor offering the same service. In this case it is important for a company to be chosen by a customer instead of the competitor. SEO is a possibility to gain competitive advantages by being listed higher then the competitors in the search engines. Most of the people are too lazy to really compare the different results. So the higher a company is ranked the more visible the company is. To be on page two in the list of results is as bad as not to be listed. In former times, yellow pages have been used. Now the search engines are the new yellow pages.4)
To guarantee best service it is necessary to be in hand of the best employees available on the market. To hire new employees is like selling a service to a customer. If a company wants to find the best workforce, the company itself has to be found by the future employees in the Internet. It is not sufficient to wait and hope to be found by a walking by employee. The good ones are in the position to choose their employer and to be able to be chosen, it is mandatory to be found.5) 6)
For Service Companies there is a real opportunity in using SEO to acquire orders and new employees. Good search engine marketing could help to be more visible in the Internet then the competitors. The awareness that other competitors could use SEO by themselves should be motivating enough to avoid being less visible by passing this chance.