What is SEO? – Definition of Search Engine Optimization

by Maximilian Claessens

These days, marketing has more and more to do with websites and internet promotion. Everywhere you can read the term SEO in the context of websites – But what is SEO? And why do we need Search Engine Optimization?

SEO here, SEO there. What is SEO? That it stands for Search Engine Optimization can be googled quickly. But what does that mean?

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or page in the search results of a search engine. It stands for getting traffic from unpaid, free search results. These are often called “organic” or “earned” results. In fact, SEO is an Internet Marketing Strategy.

Why do you need SEO?

How are people supposed to find your website if they do not know it yet? Most certainly, they google. And consequently, the first search results they get will be the first websites they click on. By using SEO, you make sure that your website is the one that can be found at the top of the search results. You can image that the more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.

Why does SEO work?

All major search engines, let it be Google, Bing or Yahoo, have primary search results. There, web pages and other content are shown and ranked on basis of what the particular search engine considers most relevant to users. SEO aims at understanding how this ranking done by the search engines work. What criteria does the search engine use to decide whether a site is relevant for users or not? By answering these questions, SEO arrives at affecting the website’s position in the ranking.

What does SEO do?

In short, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Also, the actual search terms, called keywords, typed into search engines and the audience is taken into consideration. On basis of these insights, SEO optimizes a website. Optimizing a website may involve for instance editing its content and its coding to increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to indexing activities of search engines. Also, SEO tactics include increasing the number of backlinks in order to promote the website.

So… What is SEO? We can answer this question with one simple sentence: make your website visible in search results.


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