What Is SEO?

By Matt Bertram

By Matt Bertram

Matt Bertram is Head of Digital Strategy at EWR Digital. He is a nationally recognized expert in SEO and the Co-Host of the top rated SEO Podcast, "The Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing." Author of Build Your Brand Mania: How to Transform Yourself Into an Authoritative Brand That Will Attract Your Ideal Customers with contributing articles in Forbes, Search Engine Journal and numerous other publications pertaining to digital marketing.

Ever found yourself wondering, “What is SEO?” Don’t worry – we’ve got your essential guide right here.

SEO is probably the biggest buzzword of the marketing industry, but do you know what it means? Read on to find out the definition, what SEO stands for, and what it actually is below.

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What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym, an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (other examples include NASA or FEMA). So what does it stand for? Well, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

Now for your next question: What’s Search Engine Optimization? Read on below to find out and learn how it can help your business grow.

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What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing a website and its pages for search engines. In plain English, that means making it more likely for people to find your website and attract visitors.

Think about search engines like Google (and Bing). When you search for something – perhaps “women’s shoes” – Google shows you search results related to the phrase you searched for. The search results page shown includes websites most closely related to “women’s shoes.”

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Pages.

How does Google choose what results to show you?

So how does Google choose what results to show you? The 2 main factors are relevancy and domain authority. Additionally, it comes down to a large number of factors, many of which have been tweaked over the years as Google has released new updates to its algorithm.

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But if you want your website to be on that first page of search results for “women’s shoes,” there are a few things you can do to help make that happen. Yes, you have some control over where your website ends up in search results!

Examples of Ranking Factors Include:

  • Keyword Usage
  • Appropriate Headers and Alt Tags
  • Relevant Content
  • Domain Authority – A score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine results pages.
  • Page Loading Speed

The act of working on your website in order to improve where your site shows up in search results is called Search Engine Optimization. You are literally optimizing your website to show up better in Google’s search results. The closer to the first page, and the closer to the top, the better, and the more likely it is that people will visit your website and buy things from you.

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What does SEO include?

SEO services typically include the following:

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Keyword Research

The first step to starting SEO is doing some keyword research. There are a ton of great resources out there for keyword research, like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

The right keywords for you may vary depending on your business type and industry. It’s generally best to start with low competition keywords to build your authority and then slowly start adding in more competitive keywords as you grow.

Unsure where to start? Take a look at what people are searching for related to your industry in your city. For example, if you’re a pool cleaning company in Orlando, Florida, try using keywords like “pool cleaning Orlando” and “Orlando pool cleaners.”

Google AdWords Keyword Planner can show you search volume, price, and competition rates all side by side, and it’s just a great asset for any marketer out there.

The more relevant links you have, the better your SEO score.

Optimize Relevant Website Content

Maybe you already have a website, and it’s got some content on it right now. Chances are, that content hasn’t been helping you gain new leads and make sales. In order to fully harness the power of your website content, it needs to be optimized. Your website content should be relevant, include keywords you want to rank for, be longer than 300 words, be well-written and easy to understand, etc.

Other on-page content considerations include:

  • Optimized meta description
  • Accurate alt tags
  • Strong CTAs (call-to-action)
  • Offer value to your customers

Linking Strategies

Your website should include both inbound and outbound links for great SEO.

  • Inbound Links – Also called internal links. These are links to other content on YOUR website within your site.
  • Outbound Links – Outbound links link to content that’s NOT on your website, but somewhere else.

Including a good amount of both can positively impact your domain authority, thus raising your SERP ranking.

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Create and Optimize Blog Content

Content is a huge part of SEO. Often, you can’t just rely on the content on your website’s main pages to do the job all by themselves. This is where a blog comes in.

Writing blog posts is a great way to boost your SEO. When you write blogs, make sure they:

  • are relevant to your target audience
  • offer value to the reader
  • utilize relevant keywords
  • feature strong CTAs throughout
  • include images

For example, say you own a home remodeling company. You’d want to write blog posts about topics like “how to choose a good contractor.”

Local SEO Citations and NAP Listings

Research has shown that nearly 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. Today, the internet has made it easy for consumers and businesses to connect.

With local SEO, a consumer is able to find your business faster when searching locally. This places your business in front of new customers when and where they need you!

NAP stands for Name/Address/Phone. It’s basically the A/S/L of the 21st century, but for businesses instead of people. It’s important to optimize and submit NAP listings to multiple directories so that your business can grow by claiming more “digital real estate.

Backlink Building

We’ve already talked about inbound and outbound links. Now, we need to talk about backlinks. The more other websites talk about your website, the better your Domain Authority (DA), which in turn, positively affects your SERP rankings.

So how do you get other websites to mention yours? Through a process called Outreach. By doing some outreach, you can ask other relevant websites to link back to your website. Generally, it positively affects both sides – meaning both you and the person you ask should get an SEO boost from it.

Examples of good places to solicit backlinks from:

  • Industry-related blogs
  • Educational websites (.edu)
  • Local community websites (Chamber of Commerce, schools)

Reputation Management

You should monitor any and all mentions of a client’s brand online. Awareness of how your company is being talked about in the online marketplace is essential to understanding how to better build your brand. Brand protection through SEO improves your lead quality and provides excellent customer service.

How many times have you looked for testimonials or reviews before hiring a contractor or buying a product? Like you, most consumers are looking for credible reasons to trust your site. Reputation management builds and maintains a solid, trustworthy reputation.

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Why Your Business Needs SEO

  • Increases web traffic
  • Improves traffic quality
  • Increases business visibility
  • Extends your reach

There are over 1.3 billion websites on the internet today. Amidst all of that, how can you ensure you get found by potential customers? The answer is SEO.

There are over 1.3 billion websites online. SEO can make you stand out.

Let the Experts at EWR Digital Answer All Your SEO Questions

Now that we’ve answered “What is SEO?” for you, you can ask us all your other burning questions about SEO and internet marketing! It’s easy to get in touch. Simply contact us online or call us at (713) 592-6724 to speak with one of our internet marketing experts! Ready to grow your business? So are we. Call us today!

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What Is SEO? | EWR Digital – Houston, TX Internet Marketing