What Is SEO?

You may be wondering to yourself, “what is SEO?” I cannot count how many times I have answered this question over the past two decades. Much like the techniques I employ when managing strategic SEO campaigns, my answer has evolved over time. Times change, and many business owners are waking up to the importance of SEO, and the impact it will have on their brand online. Unfortunately, many still don’t understand what SEO really means or how to take advantage of it within their various marketing campaigns.

So what is SEO? The term SEO stands for search engine optimization. Basically, it is a broad set of rules to follow when optimizing a website so that it can achieve higher rankings in a search engines organic results. Today the online market is a competitive place, and SEO continues to grow importance. More business owners are coming to the realization that If managed correctly, SEO can produce more ROI than other marketing mediums.

Millions of users from all over the world use search engines like Google to find answers to their questions, review products, and make purchases. SEO efforts can help websites owners websites to rank better in local, national and international organic search engine results, promoting their products and services.

Many people understand the basic principles of SEO, but things change quickly in the volatile world of digital marketing. This is not your granddaddy’s SEO. Experienced digital marketers have come to understand that the definition of SEO varies widely, and will continue to evolve. Understanding these two things means you just took the first and most important step to understanding the wide scope of SEO. There is a lot to learn.

The acronym of SEO originated in the late nineties, when Yahoo was still the powerhouse search engine, and Google was just getting started. Imagine a time when when website owners paid a $300 dollar fee to get their website listed in the Yahoo directory, rather than setting up a Google My Business page. These days, most business owners and digital marketers understand that Google is the whale they need to watch, any most have shifted their focus exclusively to the Google search engine, and its many algorithm changes.

Types of SEO


Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the process of fixing on-site issues and optimizing your website for search crawlers.  If search engines cannot efficiently crawl your website, your ability to rank well in search engine results can be hindered.

Improving the technical aspects of a website can help increase rankings on search engine page results (SERP). The foundation of every search engine strategy usually starts with technical SEO. Technical SEO includes server and website structure optimization to improve crawling, indexing, page speed, mobile usability, and rendering for websites.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO includes any actions taken to optimize individual web pages, including copy, meta descriptions and title tags, image alt text, headings, URLs, Schema makup, and the internal linking structure.

Making adjustments to on-page elements, increases its chances for ranking for relevant keywords, while generating more organic traffic. The goal of on-page SEO is to make a website more friendly for users and search engine algorithms.

Off-Site SEO

Though many people associate off-page SEO with link building alone, it includes all efforts made off your website to to improve it’s search engine rankings. Ensuring the use of white hat off-page SEO techniques help to improve your websites influence, reputation and overall authority.

Earning high–quality backlinks is the name of the game. Having a large, naturally grown volume of quality links pointing to your site from relevant, authoritative websites will tell search engines that your website is established and trustworthy.  Building quality backlinks naturally by creating quality content pieces can help earn trust signals that increase site authority, resulting in better search engine rankings.

What The Experts Are Saying…

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. SEO refers to the improvement of unpaid results (known as “natural” or “organic” results) and excludes direct traffic and the purchase of paid placement. Additionally, it may target different kinds of searches, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic. By May 2015, mobile search had surpassed desktop search.”

Search Engine Optimization – Wikipedia

“SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.”

What is SEO / Search Engine Optimization – Search Engine Land

“SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing content to be discovered through a search engine’s organic search results.”

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained –

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.”

SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2020 – Neil Patel

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting targeted traffic to a website from a search engine’s organic rankings. Common tasks associated with SEO include creating high-quality content, optimizing content around specific keywords, and building backlinks.”

SEO Fundamentals –

“SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. It’s the practice of optimizing your web pages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google or other search engines. SEO focuses on improving the rankings in the organic – aka non paid – search results. If you have a website and you want to get more traffic, it should be part of your marketing efforts.”

What is search engine optimization (SEO)? – Yoast

“SEO stands for search engine optimization — that much has stayed the same. It refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This makes your website more visible to people who are looking for solutions that your brand, product, or service can provide via search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.”

The Definition of SEO in 100 Words or Less [FAQs] – Hubspot

“SEO is the art and science of persuading search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem.”

What is SEO? A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization [2020 Edition] – SEMRush

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of increasing the number and quality of visitors to a website by improving rankings in the algorithmic search engine results.

What Is SEO? A Quick Guide To Search Engine Optimisation – ScreamingFrog

“SEO is short for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors (traffic) to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.”

SEO – search engine optimization – webopedia


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