In order to achieve results in a specific area, first you must be able to define the area itself. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an integral part of basically everyone trying to achieve results online, yet I see a lot of people who couldn’t even define what it is.
Here I want to give you a very basic, yet powerful definition of what SEO is.
What Is SEO
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization.
SEO is the process of changing or developing the content or structure of a website or any other web property and sending so-called off-site signals to it in order to get better results in search engines. Better results can mean more visitors, higher rankings, outranking competitors, or any other goal that is related to search engines.
To put it simply, SEO comprises everything that you do on or off your website (or other web property) in order to achieve your goals in search engines.
Two Main Areas Of SEO
There are two main areas of search engine optimization, the so-called on-site and off-site optimization. Both serve the same purpose, with very different methods.
No matter what search engine you want to optimize for or what the current date is, these two large areas seem to be stable in SEO. The exact methods can differ and so can the proportion of how important these areas are in relation to one another, but the practice of search engine optimization always consists of these two broad areas.
As search engines consider both aspects, you must work, for at least some degree, on both areas with every website or web property that you’re trying to optimize.
On-site SEO, also known as on-page SEO, covers everything that you do on the website itself.
It means tweaking the content of the website (or other online property) so that it becomes more apparent to search engines what it is about. Also, one end goal of this process is to modify your content in such a way that it would more likely rank better in search engines and visitors would be more likely to click on it.
You must know that ranking is only one aspect of SEO. What you really want is visitors to your website, and therefore you need people to click on your website in the search results. So, the goal of your SEO activity should be both ranking higher and making your search result more appealing.
In website SEO, on-site techniques usually comprise technical settings, changing or defining the structure of the content, publishing new content, writing techniques etc.
Off-site SEO, also known as off-page SEO, on the other hand covers everything that you do outside your website (or other online property) in order to make it more appealing for search engines.
This, in practice, usually means making sure that links point to your website and some specific social media activity that sends so called social media signals.
A Simple Explanation
Please note that this is by purpose just a very simple explanation of what SEO is. My goal here is to give you a general yet easy to digest understanding of the subject.
The beauty of SEO, and the correct technique itself, of course lies in the actual steps that you take in order to reach your goals in search engines. And that’s a whole bigger area that can’t be covered in one simple material.
Make sure to read our articles about SEO and follow our online courses so that you can understand not only what SEO means, but what specific actions you can take to rank higher with your website.
What Can You Optimize?
When talking about SEO, people most of the time refer to websites and regular browser-based search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. Most SEO materials, articles, courses etc. also cover this aspect.
However, SEO as a term, in general, can be applied to other types of web properties like videos, apps etc. or other types of online searches like YouTube, app searches etc.