A Quick Guide to SEO

SEO is a topic that every business owner and digital marketer should be aware of. Since businesses have begun the move to digital marketing and advertising, SEO has had a tremendous impact on how they do business. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process by which a website can improve the organic traffic to the website. 

How Does SEO Work?

When you search a term on Google, Bing, or whatever search engine you use, certain websites will appear at the top of the search engine results page, otherwise known as SERP. A search engine will use an algorithm that selects for certain criteria, and if a website meets those criteria, it will rank highly on the SERP. So, SEO is interested in understanding the algorithms and getting a website to rank as high as possible on the SERP. 

To find which websites satisfy the algorithm’s criteria the best, the search engine will employ bots to ‘crawl’ through websites and see which website is the best fit. By using links, the bots will crawl from website to website. After the bots have crawled all of the relevant websites and gathered information, an index will be created. The bots will then consult the index and begin ranking the websites according to their criteria. 

Key Ranking Factors

Though the search engine may select hundreds of different criteria, there are three different factors that you need to keep in mind as you are working on SEO.


Your website needs to be able to satisfy whatever search a person is conducting. This is where it is important to keep an eye on keywords and keyword research, so you can know what your target audience is searching and you can then optimize for those keywords.


If your website has content that satisfies the algorithm’s search for intent, it will then move on and see if your website has relevant content. This is where on-page SEO (we’ll talk about that in a bit) is essential. By having fresh, relevant content on your website, you will improve your chances of ranking higher on the search engines.


Not only does your website have to meet the search’s intent and that it needs to be relevant, but your website also needs to have quality content. You cannot cram your website with relevant keywords – the algorithm will be able to pick up on that. Many digital marketers refer to the acronym EAT to help them guide their content – which stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.

Why is SEO important?

SEO is vital to getting your business online attention and traffic. If your business has a brick-and-mortar location, you understand the importance of having your business in a good location. You want your business to be seen by potential customers. The same logic applies to the digital world: you want your business, in this case, a website, to be seen by as many people as possible. And SEO is the way to get your business to be seen by as many people as possible. If you keep your website updated with high-quality content, and if you are aware of the certain keywords people might search for your products or services, then you will generate a ton of organic traffic to your website. 

Two Types of SEO: On-Page and Off-Page SEO

As the name suggests, on-page SEO is interested in all of the content that will be visible on your webpage. On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing all of the content on your website and the HTML code, which both help define what your website or business is about. Here are some different factors that influence on-page SEO:

  • Meta descriptions (a short summary of a website that appears on the SERP)
  • Keywords and related keywords
  • URLs
  • Duplicate Content
  • Crawlability (the ability to easily find information on your website)
  • Content Length
  • Mobile Device Compatibility
  • Videos and Images
  • Internal Linking
  • Social Media Share Option

Off-Page SEO is a little bit different from on-page SEO. Off-page SEO is interested in tactics that occur off of your website. Off-page SEO is a great way to build domain authority, relevance, and trust. Off-page SEO is a little less straightforward than on-page SEO, and so it will require a little bit of ingenuity and creativity on the marketing side. Here are some examples of off-page SEO tactics:

  • Link-building
  • Guest Posting on other websites and blogs
  • Frequenting and commenting on other forums as your website or company

The Importance of Content

A website will only rank as high as its content is strong. A strong website has quality and fresh content. However, you might be wondering how an algorithm and some bots can tell if a website has quality content. Well, here’s how: 

  • Look at what websites are ranking the highest for your niche, and see what type of content they have on their website. What subjects are they covering? What keywords are they targeting? You’ll need to do some deep research to see what the competition is up to. Identify what your competitors are doing and what you are not, and begin filling in those gaps.
  • Make sure that your content is accessible. You want as wide an audience as possible to read your content. If you are getting bogged down in jargon and esoteric concepts, lighten things up with analogies and reader-friendly language. 
  • Length of content pieces is important, but don’t let it distract you from quality. The adage quality over quantity still applies to SEO. People do not spend that much time reading online articles – so don’t spend too much time writing them. Keep things to the point and interesting.

SEO is a complicated field with a lot of different factors and moving parts. Keeping track of a website’s SEO requires a ton of work and research. That’s why we are offering you a tool like Ella Interactive – an all-in-one digital marketing tool that can help give you insights into your website’s performance, and you can quickly course correct and improve your rankings on the search engines without spending all of your time on research. 

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