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What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the process of enhancing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic or paid traffic.
SEO involves various techniques such as keyword research and optimization, creating high-quality, link-worthy content, website auditing, and creating backlinks. It encourages websites to provide a superior user experience that search engines appreciate and reward with higher rankings.
The indexing, crawling, and ranking of websites by a search engine depend significantly on SEO. Effective SEO strategies lead to improved organic search rankings, driving more authentic traffic to your site and increasing the probability of converting visits into sales.
SEO's Role in Digital Marketing
SEO is a powerful digital marketing tool that assists businesses in gaining visibility online. Given that 93% of online experiences today begin with a search engine, SEO's role in digital marketing is undeniable.
Through the manipulation of algorithms that search engines use to rank web pages, SEO allows businesses to reach potential customers when they're most interested – when they're actively searching for the kind of products or services a business provides.
Also, by improving the website's usability and creating valuable content that responds to users' questions, SEO contributes to building branding and credibility.
Search Engine Optimization Examples
Hubblesite.org, a non-commercial, educational website, is a great example of SEO done right. The website consistently sets the right keywords, uses internal linking wisely, and builds relevant backlinks to improve its rank on Google.
An example of a local SEO success is OceanPlasticSurgery.com. After engaging in a comprehensive local SEO strategy that included targeted keywords, the website’s local rankings improved dramatically. OptClique, an online marketing agency, optimized their website for the keywords 'SEO' and 'online marketing', shooting it to the top SERPS for those terms.
The REI site demonstrates tactical use of long-tail SEO. Optimizing for longer, more specific queries like 'best hiking boots for men', the site attracts highly targeted traffic with a greater potential to convert.