What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a collection of things you do to make your website appear more favorably in search results for certain keywords and phrases. A well-optimized site will have better placement in search results than one that is not optimized, or poorly done. Since most people want their site to be viewed by a wide audience, SEO is a critical step in the site-building process. Your long-term goal should be placement on the first page of search results.
There are many aspects of SEO, and a wide diversity of opinions on the relative importance of each aspect. We have our own opinions at iKnow and would be glad to share them with you at length as they pertain to your project. The most important point to keep in mind is that optimization is a process. There is always room for improvement, and data that Google Analytics collects about your site can be used to refine your SEO approach.
On-page SEO is the first and most important step in optimizing your website. On-page SEO covers everything you do on the web pages themselves with the goal of improving search results, including:
- selecting your target keywords and phrases
- incorporating your keywords into your page content, titles, and headings
- appropriate use of page links
- creating amazing, original content that people want to read and view
The last item in the list above is the most important, and the most often overlooked. Frankly, your content needs to be the best if you expect top placement with search engines, period.
Off-page SEO encompasses everything you do elsewhere on the web to promote your website in searches. Depending on your business and personal preferences, off-page strategies can include:
- building incoming links to your site
- social media linking and traffic (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube)
- business directory listings
- paid Google Adwords campaigns
When we build a new website, we make sure that we have a clear understanding of our customer’s goals so that all site pages can be appropriately optimized. We often advise customers on the relative merits of off-page optimization strategies, which they typically implement themselves. We can also set up Google Adwords campaigns for customers who want to appear in Google’s Sponsored Listings.