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What is Search Engine Optimization ("SEO")? [DEFINITION]

Written by Nick Simard on 10.19.17

What is SEO?


Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website so that it attracts more visitors from search engines. When creating your website, you want to your site to have a high ranking and visibility in search engines like Google. For instance, when searching in Google, the websites listed on the second or third page of the search engine are (statistic) less likely to have visitors than websites on the first page. SEO is not a paid form of advertising; it’s an organic form, which means your relevant content will boost your rankings without you having to pay Google or another search engine directly. The ultimate goal is for your website to be placed on the first page results when searching for your type of business.


In order to achieve the best search engine optimization, you should take these 4 steps:

  1. Identify your target keywords
  2. Create content that incorporates your target keywords (learn more about developing a content strategy for your business)
  3. Optimize the page
  4. Promote your content

When determining your target keywords and key phrases, you must consider who is buying your product or service and what they would typically type into their preferred search engine. Thanks to "machine learning," artificial intelligence and algorithms, search engine results, displayed on your SERP (What is a SERP?) are intelligent, super relevant and 


For example, IMG Digital has a client that is a mechanical company with heating, cooling, ventilation and plumbing services. For all content, we've created a list of keywords such as solutions for warming, how to heat, heating and cooling, programmable thermostat, plumbing repair, etc. Notice that these keywords aren't just one broad word, but are longer and more specific. 


When you are ready to create content using keywords, remember to stay focused. Only write content, such as blog posts, that are relevant to your clients. Also, don't over do it with using the same word over and over again in one post. It will come across as overbearing. You can use synonyms or rearrange key word phrases and search engines will still recognize it. 


For example, potential customers for the mechanical company may be searching for a the keyword "programmable thermostat." In order for the mechanical company to pop up in the search engine, the business may want to make a blog post titled, "5 Reasons to Install a Programmable Thermostat." That way, when someone is researching about a programmable thermostat, they can read the post and ask the company straight from the post to install one for them.  Potential clients find company's by researching content first. 


In order to optimize the page, you must use primary keywords, include relevent links, promote a good user experience, and make sure your content can be used on mobile. First, place primary key words in your page title, URL, body, headers, image alt-text and meta description. Next, within your page link to internal pages on your website as well as external pages. The internal links will enable your visitor to jump around your site from page to page. The external links to other reliable websites makes your page more relevent. When your page is connected to a well-known website, search engines will see that and place you higher on the search results page.  It is important that your site has a good user experience and that it is intuitive and easy to browse. If you website is confusing for visitors, it won't get many clicks. Lastly, make sure your content can be used on mobile. 80% of internet users own a smartphone, which is a large audience to omit if your website is not mobile friendly. 


Finally, when your website content and format is all set, you must promote, promote, promote! Share everything to spread awareness of your company.  For evergreen content, you can rename it and repost it again.


Speak with a member of the IMG team about your digital marketing strategy,  goals and challenges.


Topics: Digital Marketing