Search engine optimization (SEO) can be defined simply as the design and composition of copy that best meets the quality content standards and parameters of search engine algorithms. Unfortunately, so vague are most definitions of SEO that they are of little to no practical use. Furthermore, the world of Internet search engines is in constant flux, and no aspect of the industry is more fluid than SEO.
So, rather than trying to define SEO with a usable, all-encompassing definition, it is easier to understand SEO in terms of the elements of which it is composed. There are 10 essential elements to SEO.
1. Meta Content
Descriptions of the content within an article or on a web page, meta content is placed within HTML tags. Titles and section headers are two examples of meta content. Meta tags are another. Search engines use meta content to determine the relevance of an article or page to keyword searches.
2. Keyword-Relevant Embedded Links
When a link is embedded in the content of a blog, article or page and the link has a keyword relevant text, search engine algorithms will give more relevance to the content as a whole. Embedded links with relevant keyword phrases optimize a page.
3. Engaging Headlines
Search engine algorithms move pages up in the search rankings as the pages get more clicks. One of the easiest ways to get clicks is to have engaging headlines — the description that appears on a results page. Engaging headlines are those that are clear, indicate that the page is relevant to a search phrase and capture a searcher’s attention.
4. Site Maps
Again, search engine algorithms attempt to rank pages with regard to relevance and quality of content. Search engines also try to rank entire sites with respect to relevance. The more relevant a page within a site that is relevant, the higher the page will rank in a search. But, it is not always easy for a search engine to determine the relevance of a website. The solution is a site map. Site maps make it easy for an algorithm to determine the purpose of a website.
5. Do Not Keyword Stuff
After content farms like Demand Studios inundated the web with low-quality, semi-relevant content, search engine algorithms — particularly Google — began increasing its content standards. Keyword stuffing is a certain means of pushing your page to the bottom of the rankings pile.