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What is SEO?

What is SEO?


SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process of getting traffic from the organic, free, and editorial and natural search results on search engine.
What is SEO

What does going in SEO?

To understand what SEO really means, let's break that sentence down and look at the parts:
1) Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they are coming to your site because Google tells them you are a resource for HP computers when really you are a farmer selling HP`s, that is not quality traffic. Instead you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products that you offer.
2) Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.
3) Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don't have to pay for.
What is SEO

How work SEO

You might think of a search engine as a website you visit to type (or speak) a question into a box and Google, Yahoo, Bing, or whatever search engine you're using magically replies with a long list of links to web pages that could potentially answer your question. That is true. But have you ever stopped to consider what is behind those magical lists of links?

The O part of SEO optimization is where the people who write all that content and put it on their sites are gussying that content and those sites up so search engines will be able to understand what they're seeing, and the users who arrive via search will like what they see. Optimization can take many forms. It is everything from making sure the title tags and Meta descriptions are both informative and the right length to pointing internal links at pages you are proud of.
What is SEO

Learning SEO

This section of our site is here to help you learn anything you want about SEO. If you are completely new to the topic, start at the very beginning and read the Beginner's Guide to SEO. If you need advice on a specific topic, dig in wherever suits you.

Building SEO friendly site

Once you are ready to start walking that SEO walk, it's time to apply those SEO techniques to a site, whether it is brand new or an old one you are improving. These pages will help you get started with everything from selecting an SEO friendly domain name to best practices for internal links.

Related markup & Content

A site is not really a site until you have content. But SEO for content has enough specific variables that we have given it its own section. Start here if you are curious about keyword research, how to write SEO friendly copy, and the kind of markup that helps search engines understand just what your content is really about.
What is SEO

Topics On site

You have already learned a lot about on-site topics by delving into content and related markup. Now it is time to get technical with information about robots.txt.

Links

Dig deep into everything you ever needed to know about links from anchor text to redirection. Read this series of pages to understand how and when to use no follow and whether guest blogging is actually dead. If you're more into the link building side of things (working to improve the rankings on your site by earning links), go straight to the Beginner's Guide to Link Building.
What is SEO

Other optimization

You have mastered the ins and outs of daily SEO and are now ready for some advanced topics. Make sure all that traffic has the easiest time possible converting with conversion rate optimization (CRO), then go micro level with local SEO or take that site global with international SEO.

Evolution of SEO

Search engine algorithms change frequently and SEO tactics evolve in response to those changes. So if someone is offering you SEO advice that doesn't feel quite right, check in with the specific topic page.
What is SEO

What is On site SEO?

On-site SEO (also known as on-page SEO) is the practice of optimizing elements on a website (as opposed to links elsewhere on the Internet and other external signals collectively known as "off-site SEO") in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic from search engines. On-site SEO refers to optimizing both the content and HTML source code of a page. Beyond helping search engines interpret page content, proper on-site SEO also helps users quickly and clearly understand what a page is about and whether it addresses their search query. In essence, good on-site SEO helps search engines understand what a human would see (and what value they would get) if they visited a page, so that search engines can reliably serve up what human visitors would consider high-quality content about a particular search query (keyword).

The ultimate goal of on-site SEO can be thought of as attempting to make it as easy as possible for both search engines and users to: 1) Understand what a web-page is about 2) Find that page useful and worthy of ranking well on a search engine results page (SERP).3) Identify that page as relevant to a search query or queries.
What is SEO

Content, Keywords and on site SEO

In the past, on-site SEO has been synonymous with keyword use and specifically, including a high-value keyword in several key locations on a website.

To understand why keywords are no longer at the center of on-site SEO, it's important to remember what those terms actually are: content topics. Historically, whether or not a page ranked for a given term hinged on using the right keywords in certain, expected places on a website in order for search engines to find and understand what that web page's content was about. User experience was secondary; simply making sure search engines found keywords and ranked a site as relevant for those terms was at the heart of on-site SEO practices.
What is SEO

Today, though, search engines have grown exponentially more sophisticated. They can extract a page's meaning from the use of synonyms, the context in which content appears, or even just by paying attention to the frequency with which specific word combinations are mentioned. While keyword use still matters, prescriptive methods like using an exact-match keyword in specific locations a requisite number of times is no longer a tenant of on-page SEO. What is important is relevance. For each of your pages, ask yourself how relevant the content is to the user intent behind search queries (based on your keyword usage both on the page and in its HTML).

What is off-site SEO?

Off-site SEO (also called off-page SEO) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs).  
What is SEO
Optimizing for off-site ranking factors involves improving search engine and user perception of a site's popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority. This is accomplished by other reputable places on the Internet (pages, sites, people, etc.) linking to or promoting your website, and effectively "vouching" for the quality of your content.

Off-site SEO matter

While search algorithms and ranking factors are constantly changing, the general consensus within the SEO community is that the relevance, trustworthiness, and authority that effective off-site SEO affords a website still play a major role in a page's ability to rank.
What is SEO

Off-site SEO and Links 

Building backlinks is at the heart of off-site SEO. Search engines use backlinks as indications of the linked-to content's quality, so a site with many high value backlinks will usually rank better than an otherwise equal site with fewer backlinks.

There are three main types of links, defined by how they were earned: natural links, manually built links, or self-created links. 
  1. 1) Self-created links are created by practices such as adding a backlink in an online directory, forum, blog comment signature, or a press release with optimized anchor text. Some self-created link building tactics tend toward black hat SEO and are frowned upon by search engines, so tread lightly here. 
  2. Manually built links are acquired through deliberate link-building activities. This includes things like getting customers to link to your website or asking influencers to share your content. 
  3. Natural links are editorially given without any action on the part of a page owner. For example, a food blogger adding a link to a post that points toward their favorite produce farms is a natural link.
What is SEO

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