what is seo

What is SEO?

what is seo

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of creating content such as website pages, which is designed in a way that is ranked well on search result pages to effectively fulfill the search intent of the person searching the internet via that specific search engine. SEO has been a process practiced by internet marketing experts since the advent of search engines. Think of SEO like this- you hire marketing companies to create stunning ads and content that appeals to the target audience. Search engine optimization acts in the same way that it focuses on excellent web content that appeals to the searcher and the search engine.

The purpose of this article is not to provide you with a detailed step-by-step process for each aspect of effective and affordable SEO, but rather to only touch on the terms you will likely see while learning about SEO. Don’t get me wrong; there are plans for a series of best practice articles you can use to optimize your website, but today we are only covering the “What” aspect of SEO rather than the “How” aspect.

Areas of SEO

The facet of digital marketing, known as SEO, is comprised of many areas. For your understanding, we will briefly touch on high-level aspects of each area of SEO and what they are used for.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is merely doing something technical in nature to improve the search rankings of that particular subject.  Technical SEO is essentially: Creating a website structure that contributes to the effectiveness of the search engine bot (a program that scans the internet) in its crawling of your website. Some questions you might ask yourself while auditing your website in the technical search optimization realm are in line with whether the site structure will be optimized for the searcher, and therefore the search engine to find what they need. Other aspects are the usage of an SSL certificate as it is now a factor in the Google search algorithm. This means that sites with an SSL certificate are given more power in the search rankings than equal websites that do not have an SSL. Don’t get lost in the weeds here; we will cover more on technical SEO in a later article.

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO is the alteration of website content to rank higher in the search results page. This includes the inclusion and usage of keywords (the words people use in their search) in places that make sense. For instance, if a high-quality web page is about making widgets, then the reader would expect the title of the web page to include words such as “widgets.” You would also likely find that the author would discuss the process of making widgets in their content and, therefore, words related to widgets and the process of making them would be included. There are certain helpful places in the material where these words would be used, but that’s an entirely different article.

Off-Page SEO

As the name implies, Off-Page (or off-site) search engine optimization works to improve the authority of the webpage concerning the content that it provides. The easiest way for Google to determine if a site or page is authoritative is by how many links to it the site has. Google considers links to a site as the equivalent to a vote of confidence from another website or entity. Links from a site that Google already ranks highly and is deemed trusted and authoritative on the topic that you are covering tends to have more voting power than a brand-new website that may not even be about be related to your site content. Again, there is a science to effective backlinks, which we will cover in another article.

Local SEO

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the rankings of your business listing on Google or Bing. Search on your phone or computer for the services of a local business (example- handyman) and the search engine will return a list and map with results for the Google My Business (GMB) listing or Bing Places listing if you use Bing. Local SEO is the process of improving the order in which your business’ listing appears for potential customers/clients looking for your types of services and products. Google’s local search algorithm utilizes different aspects (signals) of a website and listing than that of their standard search algorithm, which is why you should hire an affordable local SEO expert if you’re a local business to attract local customers searching for what you provide.


I hope this article helps you better understand the different types of SEO are about. In the world of digital marketing and search engine optimization, in particular, there tends to be a strange secrecy regarding what is done to help search rankings. You should not have to scratch your head over stuffy verbiage used by experts in their field. When it doubt, look it up. Hire an affordable seo expert who is not afraid to explain the work they will do for you using language that you understand. At the end of the day, an expert in search optimization is a lot like any professional service provider- they have the knowledge to fix the problem you have, but you should understand the “what” and “why” of what they do. With EdElkins.com, we want to empower the small business owner with the knowledge and services they need to be successful- there are no secrets, only remarkable results.