What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the rankings of a website through:
- Keyword research and selection
- Title & heading optimization
- Content development and optimization
- Technical optimization and recommendations
- Internal link structure optimization
- Link profile expansion and grooming
- User experience optimization (for improved time-on-site and reduced bounce-back)
- Each of the above-mentioned aspects of SEO work to address specific deficiencies. They can also build on existing strengths.
Keyword Research & Selection
Possibly the most important part of SEO is the process of keyword research and selection. Since search engine optimization is slow-moving, it is important to target keywords which are likely to result in traffic that performs desired actions (once on the website).
The keyword research process is seeded by clients. An SEO client will provide a list of the most desirable keywords for which they would like to rank. The SEO provider is then tasked with using that list to develop a well-thought-out collection of keywords which will be the most likely to help achieve the client's goals--and to fit within the confines of their budget.
Title & Heading Optimization
Optimized titles and headings are the fundamental building blocks of on-site SEO. The more important of the two, the title tag, is the textual content that shows up in browser tabs, and describes the content of the page. The title can be broad, or highly specific depending on the content of the page. The title tag is supported by the heading tags on a webpage. The most commonly used and effective heading tags are H1, H2, and H3 tags. The strategic use of titles and headings are the foundations upon which the rest of the on-site SEO is developed.
Content Development & Optimization
Textual, as well as visual, content is the core of properly executed on-page SEO. The textual content, when developed and presented in a useful and easily digestable manner, helps search engines understand the purpose of a page, as well as its place in the overall website structure.
SEO content development involves not only work done by the SEO provider, but also help from the client. This is ideal as the client is the subject matter expert in their field, and should be involved in the content creation process.
Content can come in the form of text, images, infographics, videos, PDF documents, and even whitepapers, tutorials and worksheets.
Technical Optimization & Recommendations
Technical, technological and code optimization is the improvement of website performance, and efficiency. This is achieved through code streamlining, load-time improvements, duplicate content elimination, and even technology upgrades where necessary.
Internal Link Structure Optimization
The internal connection path which is used by both search engines and users to discover content is an important part of the on-page optimization. Utilizing the keyword priority, based on client goals, the internal link structure is used to emphasize the value and importance of the pages on a website.
Link Profile Expansion & Grooming
Possibly the most important factor in SEO (no matter what anyone says, especially Google), inbound links are the lifeblood of search engine rankings. The quality, as well as the quantity and the relevance of incoming links are important. To this end, the SEO does outreach to obtain new links. In addition, existing links are groomed to improve relevancey, and quality of the link profile.
User Experience Optimization
One of the important factors of rankings, is the ability of a website to maintain the attention of visitors. If users quickly click back to search results after landing on a page, it sends a bad signal to the search engine algorithms. It is important to optimize the user-experience to meet expectations, and retain a visitor for as long as possible. Selecting the proper and relevant keywords is the foundational blocks of achieving this goal.