What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is the process of revising your website and marketing so that it tells Google what it is about so that Google can send users to the right site when searching online

SEO Step One: On Site SEO

How it tells Google what it is about is the first step in SEO. First the site makes a claim of relevance by having a strategy in place that ensures each page on site has a purpose and value to the user.

The meta data, file naming conventions, alt tags, and (above all else) content make the claim. Google analyses these factors and then looks into a few other areas such as conversion history, load time, mobile site availability, readability of the content, and overall usability.

For more complex sites there are more ways to make that claim *also called a ranking signal*. The more complex the site the more ways Google can review it. In order to have the review done we have Google crawl the website. This means we submit the sitemap of your website to Google and say ‘have a look!’.

If Google likes what it sees then we’re in good shape to start some Step Two initiatives which are referred to as Off Site SEO.

This can take a while. If you need faster results we can look at Paid initiatives. ­čÖé Having Paid ads is never a bad thing and often can really help with your organic rank (the organic rank is where you rank below the ads on Google). The feedback you get through adwords can show you a lot of great information you can use when doing your SEO.

SEO Step Two: Off Site SEO

The second step is the tougher and much more laborious part: backing up the claim. Now that Google knows you think you have the best site for a user searching they will see if others do as well.

For Google to send more users to your site via a higher rank it likes to see past user experiences, great website usability, and even social media engagement.

While the major platforms make all their links ‘nofollow’ (this means they are not made a part of the evaluation for rank) there is great value in other areas.

The level of engagement can mean driving traffic to your site or to your blog which then links to your site. Google will not factor the link into the valuation but it will look at how the user interacted with the site once referred by the social platform or blog or both.

The overall key is: did the user have a good time using Google when Google referred them to your website. If the answer is yes then the implication is a user will use Google again so Google with rank you higher for terms related to your business.

Quick Summary of SEO 

SEO is telling Google what your website is about so it can show it to users who express interest in what you offer by searching terms related to what you do or sell.

If two companies cover step one (on site SEO) well but only one succeeds on step two (off site SEO) then the second company will rank much, much higher.

Monitoring the platforms is a big part of SEO now and must be handled by someone experienced in Analytics, usability, and development.

If any of the terms mentioned seem confusing or you want to just learn a few check out my SEO Terms To Know Page