What is SEO? An overview and definition

…or said another way: What is Search Engine Optimization – if you don’t know what the acronym means

What is SEO: an overview and definition
What is SEO: an overview and definition

If you are unfamiliar with the term SEO – or if you have heard about it but not exactly sure what it is, then here’s an overview and definition so that you can understand what it is used for and even explain it to someone else, like an expert.

A search engine is a web site like Google or Bing or Yahoo. Its where you can find resources on the Internet by entering search terms. Simple terms like “organic dog food” or more complex phrases like “where in Tampa can I find organic dog food”.

The search engine will provide a list or web sites that answer that question and ranks them in order of relevancy. So the top site on the results page should be the best resource to answer your query. This is achieved by analyzing all kinds of criteria about each web site. The search engine scans web sites across the Internet and then indexes them based on the key words that they are about.

So what is search engine optimization or SEO for short? Its the process by which a web site owner customizes their web content pages – including the home page – to make them appealing to search engines looking for a match for specific keywords.

How is this done? There are three basic steps, although there is much more to SEO than just these, but they are the start of a strategy.

STEP 1: Research keywords

The first step in any SEO strategy is to identify what keyword or set of keywords (often called a “keyword phrase”) to optimize a web site and its web pages for. Choosing the right keywords will result in large volumes of traffic arriving on the web site if they are keywords that are typed into a search engine frequently. LEARN MORE about keyword research

STEP 2: Optimize keywords on a page

This process involved editing text and programming code on a web page to help search engines recognize it as a good page to rank for a particular set of keywords and to list it in their search results. LEARN MORE about on-page optimization

STEP 3: Get linked

This process – also called in-linking – is the work done to get other websites to link to your web site. It can be done by listing a site on free directories, getting mentions in other peoples blogs, getting media mentions and in some cases buying links (although this can sometimes be ill advised) on prominent web sites. LEARN MORE about In-Linking

STEP 4: Track and analyze

This process is about evaluating what keywords you have been ranked for on Google and Bing and then looking for ways to improve these rankings through  optimization and in-linking.

STEP 5: Create valuable content and continue to optimize

After an initial execution of steps 1 to 4, your ongoing job will be to create great content on your web site that positions you as an expert on the web in the areas that you specialize in an what to be known for. This is critical to your success in SEO. If you want high rankings on search engines you MUST become a content creator and update the content regularly.

Of course these steps only give you a basic overview of what SEO is, but should now have a basic understanding of the process and why its important. To learn more, join our Ultimate Digital Marketers email list. You will receive a free copy of our ebook Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed ebook. To order it, CLICK HERE.  There is a whole chapter dedicated to SEO in the book. You can also find out more by clicking the banner below.

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Andy Walker

Andy Walker

CEO/Senior Strategist at Cyberwalker Digital LLC
Andy Walker is CEO and Senior Strategist at Cyberwalker Digital. He is the author of five books and is a well known technology expert. Andy is a former G4TechTV host and currently appears in the media as a commentator of the Internet and all thing technology. He is co-authoring the book "Super You: How technology is revolutionizing what it means to be human" with CWD's Kay Svela.