A 2-minute intro to SEO

Quite often people outside the digital industry ask me: “but what the hell is SEO”?

Well, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. The aim of search engine optimization (SEO) is to succeed in being well ranked (i.e. at the top) in the search results following a query made on a search engine (Google, Blekko, Bing…). Defining a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for a website usually involves 3 steps:

1- The Keyword strategy

This step consists of a selection of keywords on which you would like to be well ranked in the search results. These can be considered either as “Head” (generic ones which generate a lot of searches but are quite difficult to be well ranked on) or “Long tail” (specialized, so easier to have some good results on but with a lower number of searches). For instance, for an online travel guide to Australia, “Travel” or “Travel Guide” will belong to the head category, and a new site will have some difficulties in being well ranked for those. On the other hand, the expression “How to travel to Australia” will be in the “long tail” type. This selection can be made through the searches made on the engines, the content of your website, a market analysis, or even from you SEM, i.e. Search Engine Marketing (advertising on the search enging) campaigns (if you run any).

2- Optimization initiatives

These include all the initiatives that one can take to improve the ranking of one’s website based on the keywords chosen earlier. There are 3 kinds:

  • “On page” (Title Tag, Meta tags, ALT, word formatting, copy writing,…).
  • “Internal Links” (URL rewriting, Internal cross linking between all the pages of the site, Keywords put in the links, creation of a Robot.txt file, implementation of hallway pages, creation of a sitemap,…).
  • “External Links” (RSS feeds, PR articles, content submission to social media websites with some links to yours, natural link baiting,…).


After a few weeks/months you should begin to see some results. It will then be time to analyze your initiatives through different metrics (the search engine visibility indicator, the ranking of your site in the search results, the Click Through Rate, the number of visitors who come from this channel and the conversion rate if your website is an e-commerce one) and optimize them consequently.

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