The history of search engine optimization is obscure, but according to SEO expert and ‘the public face of Google search’ Danny Sullivan, the phrase may have entered our lexicon in 1997. SEO mostly revolves around Google and aims to earn top rankings in Google search results (organic search) to be found more easily online and increase website visitors.

How do you define SEO?

Well, SEO can be defined in many ways, but this simple explanation from Neil Patel drives the point home:

Search engine optimization 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.

The Moz staff describes SEO as a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. They further add: SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines. 

Elements of SEO

Technical SEO: A website sells your business 24/7. Search engines should naturally be able to access your site at all times. However, crawl errors, crawl frequency and a lack of proper schema mark-up, the structured data that helps search engines understand your website’s information more effectively – are all technical SEO issues that need addressing.

On-page SEO: The on-page ranking factors for SEO are quality and linkable content, and optimized title tags, URLs and image alt text. The placement and density of keywords, proper HTML codes, meta tags, are all created and edited within the website code or backend of the website content management system (CMS). These elements have a direct impact on the user, from how your page titles and meta descriptions look in search results to the content on the page itself.

You may have heard of keyword research all too often, and there’s a reason why. Keywords – the words and phrases people use when searching for your product/service online – are a critical SEO success factor, boosting not only rankings but also page authority and domain authority. SEO managers conduct keyword research to incorporate the best short-tail and long-tail keywords in your website content.

To read more about keyword research as well as info on the next topic below, check out the Ahrefs Blog.

Off-page SEO: Off-page SEO is interested in improving Google’s perception of your website’s relevance, popularity and trustworthiness. Link-building is at the core of off-page SEO, as search engines consider backlinks to determine the quality of the content they are linking to. A website with many high-value backlinks will rank better than one with fewer quality backlinks, with other factors, such as content quality and UX being equal. Social media marketing, influencer marketing and guest blogging are also a part of off-page SEO.

The meaning of SEO becomes clearer when you view it as an ongoing process that YOU are responsible for, so you can serve your AUDIENCE quality, updated and relevant content, as well as help GOOGLE crawl your website effectively and index your new or updated pages faster. A comprehensive approach to SEO always yields the best results rather than a myopic view, such as only focusing on backlinks or not paying attention to website security and loading times.

Four reasons why your business needs SEO

To rank high in organic search results

Website performance and organic search go hand-in-hand. A majority of your customers will find you on Google. Search engines are an inextricable part of your buyer funnel, driving lead generation and conversion. SEO helps create a quality website that is both search engine- and people-friendly, getting you before your target audience and bringing quality leads your way.

Take a look at how we utilise SEO to provide companies for the best Services.

To improve user experience

Google’s algorithms have changed over the years to reward user-friendly websites that have relevant and rich content. A good user experience is significant to every effective SEO strategy. That means a fast-loading and secure website, keyword-optimized content on every web page, and an easily navigable site, to name a few features. A reliable SEO company will ensure that visitors spend time on your website and feel confident sharing their details and making transactions.

Higher traffic and conversions

This one is a no-brainer, but it’s importance to the bottom line is unignorable. An optimized brand website with quality content and valuable backlinks will rank higher, boost traffic, increase sign-ups, and accelerate the conversion process. Faster, better sales will obviously help your bottom line. Given the relatively lower cost of SEO versus other digital marketing as well as traditional advertising techniques, the returns will pay off your investment quickly.

To enhance local SEO

Google reports an increasing number of local searches (“florists near me”, “law firms near me”) for small and medium-sized businesses. Local SEO focuses on optimizing your digital assets to the specific areas where you provide your product/service as well as taking advantage of your Google Business listing, Google Posts and more.

Lastly, for a detailed understanding of SEO and a couple of more SEO definitions, please refer to this article.