What is SEO? [Definition and Examples]
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a search engine such as Google.
The entire purpose of search engine optimization (and search engine-inspired inbound marketing in general) is to lead your ideal customers to your website instead of to larger and less personally useful businesses.
The key is to know how to optimize your website so everyday local search engine users can find you.
This process is known as Search Engine Optimization (commonly known as SEO)
Before we explain the different types of SEO, we think it’s important that we run of keywords.
Keywords or also known as “keyphrases”, are terms added to online content in order to improve search engine rankings for those terms.
These keywords should directly explain what the web page is about so search engines can decide whether it is relevant to searchers’ queries.
For example, we optimized this web page for the keyphrase “What is SEO”.
This was done in order to tell Google’s algorithms (or other search engines) that this page is relevant to anyone searching for the phrase “What is SEO”.
In turn, if Google deems this page relevant for that term, it’ll rank higher for anybody searching for the key phrase “What is SEO”.
Matter of fact, you’ve probably found this article by typing in those exact words or a phrase similar to that.
But how did we know you’d search for that term? Well, that is where keyword research comes in.
Using tools such as SEMrush, we’re able to see how many people are searching for that query each month, the difficulty level of how hard it would be to rank for that term, competition level, and much more.
Using that information, we decide whether or not to target a certain term or not.
Now that you know the basics of keywords, let’s talk about the main search engine optimization practices.
Types of SEO
The 3 primary types of SEO are…
• On-page search engine optimization
• Off-page search engine optimization
• Technical search engine optimization
The premise of each type is the same, to get your web pages to rank higher and bring more quality traffic to your website.
However, the difference is how you go about optimizing your web pages. Which we’ll be explaining below!
On-page SEO is what most people think of as traditional SEO.
It is the art of embedding frequently searched-for keywords into the content of your web pages.
Some common on-page SEO practices include optimizing title tags, site structure, content, internal links and URLs (without keyword stuffing.)
Google’s own “How Search Works” report states that, “The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a web page contains the same keywords as your search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information is more likely to be relevant.”
In other words, on-page SEO is a key factor that tells Google that “Hey this web page is relevant to somebody searching for the keyphrase What is SEO, so let’s rank it higher on our SERPs (search engine results page)”.
Of course, on-page SEO is most effective when combined with the 2 other types of search engine optimization practices below.
Unlike on-page practices which involve the design and structure of your website, off-page SEO has to do with everything that doesn’t happen directly on your website, taking on more promotional methods.
This is everything from, among other things, link building, social media, and local search engine optimization.
Link building is the process of gaining quality backlinks from other websites and is an important part of off-page SEO.
Backlinks are simply links directing to your website from another website.
Through gaining quality backlinks from sites with authority or similar topics, search engines gain a good idea of how others view your website.
This gives your web pages authority as a high-quality website is more likely to have references (backlinks) from other high-quality sites.
Finally, Technical SEO (or otherwise known as background SEO) is what you do with your web page behind the scenes.
Technical SEO includes image ALT tags, heading sizes, and improving your page load times.
Conclusion: What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is a big job involving a combination of creative thought and technical know-how.
These three search engine optimization practices combined (on-page, off-page, and technical) while being optimized for properly will ensure your web pages and overall website can be read and understood by search engines, giving you better rankings and more traffic over time.
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