What is SEO?

SEO: the buzzword of the decade. Whether you’re a blogger, a business owner, a marketer, or an artist, you’ve probably heard of SEO. Maybe you’ve even taken an SEO audit, watched a few YouTube videos, or talked about it with your marketing team. But what is SEO?

A Brief SEO Definition

If you’ve been afraid to ask, don’t worry – it’s a pretty confusing topic, even for the experts. SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization,” is the process of improving, or “optimizing,” the content on your website. This includes both the written content and the web coding, and also takes into account factors like your webpage’s loading speed and accessibility.

The better optimized your website, the higher it will rank in relevant searches on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. The keyword is relevant: if you’re a music blogger, tossing in words like “cat,” “feline,” “kitty,” isn’t going to rank you any higher in cat-related searches, because search engines are optimized for how people talk and what they search for. There aren’t many people trying to look for “cat playing violin,” and if they are, you’ve got a lot of YouTube videos to compete with.

What is SEO: How to Optimize

So, what parts of your website can you optimize for search engines? In short, everything. Your blog posts, about page, and page titles are all listed under search engines; so are the alt-texts for your photos, the words you hyperlink, and the readability of your content. That’s not to mention your website’s coding and loading speed, the number of links referring back to your domain, your website’s security, and a whole bunch of other factors you’ve probably never thought of.

We’ve answered the question of “what is SEO”, but not how to do it. In short, SEO involves a lot of stuff. You’re probably wondering, where do I start?

The easiest place to begin is to optimize the content that’s on your website. Take some time to write a list of keywords that are relevant to your website, then go through the content that’s already on your site and find places to sprinkle those words in. Again, the key is to use those words naturally – throwing keywords into the middle of each sentence won’t help, because search engines are optimized for the way that people talk, not for the frequency of certain words or phrases.

Then, after you’ve combed through your website, you can also take a look at the titles of your blog posts, the words that are specifically hyperlinked, and write some alt-text for your photos.

A good step-by-step SEO process might include the following:

  1. Identity SEO keywords
  2. Comb through old content, optimizing each page for keywords
  3. Make sure you only use one keyword per page. Using the same keyword on multiple pages will confuse the search engine.
  4. Make sure each page uses photos with keyword-based alt-text.
  5. Write a meta-title and meta-description for each page.
  6. Hyperlink to relevant content. Use both internal and external links, and don’t use keywords as anchor text.
  7. Optimize the web address for all content. Use short, keyword-packed link slugs.
  8. Make sure the backend of your site is optimized. Implement lazy-loading on all images, make sure your load speed is fast, and make sure all links work properly.

Finding SEO Success

So, what is SEO? It’s the pathway to success for your company. Optimizing your content alone can send you soaring up the search engine ranking.

If you’re still unsure of where to start, need help improving your web content, or want to optimize the other aspects of your site, you’re already in the right place! Summit Collaborations is a marketing agency with expertise in creative content and web optimization. Read more about Summit Collaborations here, or book a call with the CEO, Ashlee, to discuss our services.