• Zane Bolen

What does SEO Stand for, and what is SEO?

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Quick links to help you jump to the sections you are most interested in.

What is SEO

How does SEO work?

How to increase your SEO

Having a secure and accessible website

Page Speed (Including mobile page speed)

Domain Authority

Backlinks and Internal links

Real Business Information

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results via the use of popular keywords.

But what is SEO?

What does SEO stand for? What is SEO?

SEO is probably one of the defining marketing strategies of the common era. But why is it so powerful?

  • Quality of traffic: Imagine this; your website attracts visitors from all around the world, but if they're coming to your site because Google or Bing tells them you're a resource for graphic design when really, you're a graphic t-shirt seller, that is not quality traffic. SEO helps you to attract visitors who are actually interested in what your website sells/has to say.

  • Quantity of traffic: Once the right people are clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic means more potential customers.

  • Organic results: There are ads on many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don't have to pay for. Instead of paying for ads to attract consumers googling about your products, you can use platforms like SEMrush to help you create a content marketing strategy.

Using SEO as part of your marketing strategy can save you thousands of dollars per month that you would be otherwise paying to earn the same amount of website traffic.

How does SEO work?

When you visit a search engine, you may just think its a website that answers all of your questions by populating a list of websites that can help you find what you are searching for. And you would be correct. Google, Bing, Yahoo and whatever other search engines you use pull together a list of websites that answer the questions you are asking. But how do they do that? Google (or any search engine you're using) has a crawler that goes out and gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet. The crawlers bring all those 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with your query. Which is a really scientific way of saying these algorithms evaluate your website and the content within it to figure out if you fit the users search metrics.

So how do you increase your SEO marketing efforts?

Basically you just keep optimizing your website so that it performs the best. But what things can you optimize on your website?

Having a secure and accessible website

Unsurprisingly, Google has to be able to find your website for it to be able to rank. This means you want to use an URL that Google bots can easily find and crawl. To help the bots understand your website and each individual page you will need:

  • A website created with a well-coded website builder: Here are a few we recommend: Wix, Shopify, Squarespace or Webflow

  • A robots.txt file that tells Google where it can and can’t look for your site information

  • A sitemap that lists all your pages

The faster your website loads the better! Everyone hates a slow loading webpage and search engines are no exception to that rule. Find out your website speed.

Domain Authority

Domain authority(DA) is a search engine ranking score that predicts how likely a website is to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. Find out your Domain Authority.

Backlinks and Internal links

Links are a crucial SEO ranking signal. There are three kinds of links to think about:


Search engines use backlinks to help determine how authoritative and relevant your content is. To optimize this you want to get high authority websites to link your page/blog on their website. So for example, if Forbes includes a link to your blog, that will be perceived better than if a random person links to it. That also means you want to have very few inbound links from low-quality domains. You can find your inbound links using a tool like SEMrush or one of the keyword research tools shared earlier in this guide.

Outbound Links

You also want to show that you are creating quality content for your website visitors. This means using outbound links that connect to relevant and authoritative sites in your niche. For example if you write about SEO you'd want to create an outbound link connecting to HubSpot. But don't go crazy giving out links, make sure you do your research and only pull from sources with high domain authority. This will also provide the most value for your users.

Internal Links

Linking to your own content helps to tie pages together for both search engines and website visitors. Which makes each page more valuable. If you have a single page that has some authority linking to another page on your site, it can increase its authority as well. Make sure as you build content you link to internal pages as this will help your entire site support each other as they pass authority to each page.

Real Business Information

This last tip is important for businesses targeting local areas. The presence or absence of business information is one of the most crucial local SEO ranking factors. If you are a local business, signup and manage as many business listings as you possible can to provide consistency across all search engines on your business's information. This will also help you be found in voice search. Here is a list of business listing directories you can get your business listed on:

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