What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a broad term referencing an array of techniques used to help content show up in search engine result pages (SERPS).
SEO Tactics Used to Optimize Content
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, these are typically the most widely used tactics within SEO.
The tactics used to get web pages to rank higher within a SERP include:
- Link building
- Linking between pages on your site
- Keyword inclusion in Title tags
- Keyword inclusion in Meta Description tags
- Keyword inclusion in the body copy of website pages
- Site speed optimization
- Reducing image size
- Reducing the code/text ratio
- Anchor text optimization
- Structured Data use (Schema)
- Securing your website with an SSL certificate
- Mobile optimization
- Reducing your bounce rate
- Content marketing
- Using Google My Business
- Getting reviews of your organization, products or services
- Keyword Research (This is not something that will directly impact rankings but it IS a critical part of any SEO project)
What SEO is NOT
- SEO is not something you pay the search engines for. You may pay a marketer to conduct SEO on your site but you will never pay a search engine directly to rank higher in organic search results.
- SEO is not branding or logo creation. While branding and SEO are both used to expand the exposure of your brand within your target market, they are completely different. Branding is typically a process that includes designers and copywriters and also includes offline efforts as well as digital.
- SEO won’t impact your social media. When someone looks for you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Yelp, those websites use their own search algorithms to display results. There are ways to better your chances there, but it is not typically considered part of traditional SEO.
Is SEO an IT Function or a Marketing Function?
This is a common struggle many organizations battle with. While there are definitely aspects of SEO where the two departments will need to work together, SEO is typically managed by the Marketing department because it has more to do with content adjustments than anything the IT team would need to worry about. Here are some SEO task examples:
- Keyword research to find out where SEO focus should be given
- Creating a content calendar that helps plan when content will be published using important keywords
- Adding keywords to content throughout the site
- Decreasing CSS files used on the site
- DOM reduction
- Ensuring the server up-time is above 99%
- Ensuring the domain name doesn’t expire
- Updating Title tags
- Updating Meta tags
- Making adjustments to website navigation
Is SEO dead?
Absolutely not. According to this article Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. With search being such an integral part of how we gather information there will always be a need to ensure the most valuable content is provided within the rankings.
Are SEO and SEM the same?
SEO and SEM are not the same thing. While they both live within the “search marketing” family, one (SEO) is organic search and the other (SEM) refers to running paid ads on a search engine.
SEM is also referred to as Pay Per Click (PPC), Paid Search Advertising and Cost Per Click (CPC) Advertising.