Search Engine Optimization (SEO) encompasses the strategies undertaken for a website to obtain high page rank in the “natural” or “organic” (free) search results. As has always been the case in marketing, visibility is crucial. A business may have a product high in demand at unbelievably low prices and in a beautiful setting, but will fail if no one knows the business exists. The benchmark for a well-executed search engine optimization campaign is when a site is found among the top organic search results. For a website to be awarded placement in the top ten listings for the keyword search entered, a web page needs to satisfy the complex criteria of Google’s (or any other search engine’s) algorithm; namely, that it is highly relevant to the searcher’s intent. The greater a web page’s perceived relevancy for a given keyword search query, the higher the natural placement that page is awarded on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Search Engine Optimization is not a one-dimensional process or one-time project. To achieve a high organic search engine page rank requires both on-page and off-page optimization strategies. The primary points of focus for on-page optimization are keyword research and keyword development, quality meta content, user-friendly site navigation, a well-optimized internal site structure, and having a search friendly sitemap for both users and search engine spiders. The fundamental components of off-page optimization are developing social media signals, acquiring quality backlinks, and measuring and evaluating data. To achieve top placement in the search results, it is essential that both on-page and off-page SEO strategies are developed and implemented as part of a comprehensive approach. A well planned SEO campaign, with quality page content, will deliver higher website SERP rankings, quality traffic, and most importantly, higher conversions (usually, in the form of sales, but could also be the filling out of a “contact us” form, submitting an email address, or taking a survey).