What is SEO?

What is SEO? | Marketing and Advertising Agency in the Southeast | Asterisk CreativeAs noted on our homepage, Asterisk Creative offers search engine optimization, or SEO. But what is SEO?

When you do an internet search, you probably notice there are some results marked as ads and some aren’t. The ones that aren’t marked as ads are considered organic results, meaning the search engine determined the information on that page as a good match for your search term. It’s important to note here that there are multiple search engines. Google, Yahoo and Bing are the big three, but there are other, smaller engines like DuckDuckGo, Yandex, and Boardreader that still exist.

SEO is the work done in the backend of your website and social profiles that tells the search engines to “see” that page for terms for which you want it to be found. On your website, this involves editing multiple elements of your site based on the criteria the search engines look for when “choosing” websites for their organic results. These elements include each page’s title tags, your on-page content, the alt data for images, and the meta description for each page, among other things.

I’s not enough just to throw your keywords in these areas willy nilly. In fact, depending on your technique for putting you put your keywords in these areas, the search engines could potentially see your efforts as keyword stuffing. Per Google, the definition of keyword stuffing is “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” The search engines don’t like keyword stuffing and could potentially not show your site at all if that’s what they determine that you’re doing. There are best practices around how your title tags should be laid out, how often your keywords/search terms should appear in your content, how many characters your title tags and meta descriptions should have, etc. Each search engine has different rules for these elements. A good SEO practitioner will know how to choose which search engine is your priority based on the audience you’re trying to reach, as well as understand how to work with those rules to get you ranked on more than one search engine.

The search engines also consider your linking strategy when they’re deciding whether or not to show your site in their organic results. They look for internal links (links that go to another page within your site) and external links (links that go to another site). They also place a value on your link’s anchor text (words within your copy vs “click here”).

In addition to SEO work needed on the pages of your website, there is off-page work needed. A full-scale SEO strategy involves work such as guest posting on other websites or blogs, a plan for producing inbound links, disavowing poor quality inbound links, online directory listings with keyword-rich descriptions, and more. Adding this layer to your SEO strategy expands your potential for being included in the organic results.

Ready to take your website to the next level? Contact Asterisk Creative for SEO help today.