Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic (known as "natural" or "organic" results) rather than direct traffic or paid traffic. Unpaid traffic may originate from different kinds of searches, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, the computer-programmed algorithms that dictate search engine behavior, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.

The SEO process includes six general phases:

  • Research

    Including business research, competitor analysis, current state assessment, and keyword searching

  • Planning and strategy

    Including decisions on how to handle content, build links to the website, manage social media presence and technical implementation strategies

  • Implementation

    where optimization decisions on a site’s webpages and the website as a whole are executed

  • Monitoring

    where the activity of web spiders, traffic, search engine rankings, and other metrics are observed for producing reports on which assessment will be performed

  • Assessment

    involving checking the summarized effects of the strategy (and its implementation) against the SEO process’s stated targets

  • Maintenance

    where both minor or major problems with the website’s operation are handled as they arise (e.g., new content that needs optimization according to the strategy)