What The Heck Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization

Okay so you probably knew that. If this is the first time you are seeing the term SEO, then you might want to read closely. Unless you stumbled onto us mistakenly wanting to know more about Korean artistes with Seo in their name.

In a nutshell, search engine optimization is about making your website more visible on a search engine’s organic results page, through techniques that improve on-page factors or off-page factors. (or see Wikipedia definition) However, that is a very simple explanation which might have created more questions than it answered.

Let’s take a closer look at what SEO is.

what is seo, search engine optimisation

A little about Search

To know why search engine optimization exists, you need to know about this tiny thing called the Search Engine. Without delving too deeply into what a search engine is and how it works, here is a quick explanation. Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are online services that help locate answers for queries that a user types into the search box. The answer comes in the form of a list of websites arranged from what the search engine thinks is most relevant to what you are searching for, to the least relevant. (Learn more about how search engines work from one of my favorite SEO resource sites.)

With more than 70% of people online using search engines to find local businesses, you bet it is important that your customers are able to find you with a search engine. One way to make yourself more visible on search engines is through Search Engine Optimization. It means to tweak your site structure, its contents and its links so that it becomes more relevant for people and search engines.

It is like giving your site a make-over so that your customers are able to find the information they need from you easily, and search engines are able to determine that your site is in fact more relevant to your customer’s needs relative to your competitor’s site.

Ideally, the more useful and relevant the information you provide, the higher you will rank for search results related to your content. As a result, you are more likely to attract the clicks.

On-Page versus Off-Page

There are two main phases in the optimization of your website. The On-page Optimization and the Off-Page Optimization

On-page optimization deals with the items on your website/webpage. Factors include

  • Title tag and Headers
  • Proper HTML Tags
  • Meta Tags
  • Internal Link Structure
  • Keyword Optimization
  • URL and Domain name

Off-page optimization deals with items that are not on your website(duh). Factors include

  • Link popularity
  • Social media activity
  • Relationship with other leaders in the industry
  • Number of quality inbound links

Exactly how do we optimize those factors? That will take a whole other article (or read this SEO tutorial) to explain in greater detail. But basically, if you knew how to optimize all the given above, you will stand a better chance at performing better at attracting human viewers and ranking well in search engines.

SEO is not a miracle cure

That said, even the best SEO efforts may not help you achieve some of your goals. It is definitely not the ultimate cure-all for all your traffic woes. While making sure that your site is properly optimized should be the top of your list of must-dos, it does not mean that SEO will guarantee you success.

It all boils down to how good your product or service or content is.

Any other questions about SEO in general? Sound off in the comments below!

Marcus Wong

Marcus Wong is the SEO Strategist for SEOGoodGuys. His experience comes from personally creating SEO strategies and executing campaigns for over 150 SME businesses since 2011.

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