In Google there are 101 million results for “what is SEO.” It stands for search engine optimization. You might also hear people referred to as “an SEO” meaning they optimize websites for search engines.
SEOmoz, a leading SEO industry website, has a good definition:
SEO is the active practice of optimizing a web site by improving internal and external aspects in order to increase the traffic the site receives from search engines.
Wikipedia defines SEO as:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines.
I think these are pretty good definitions, so here’s my SEO definition:
Search engine optimization is the process of modifying website characteristics and obtaining links pointing to your website in order to improve a website’s ranking in search engines and to increase natural or unpaid traffic from them.
Those are the definitions, but what’s it all about? Fundamentally, SEO is a subset of marketing. It’s a specialized subset that focuses on how search engines see your website.
SEO is about making your website relevant to a particular keyword search term someone enters into a search engine. That’s the goal of Google in its Webmaster Guidelines and it really should be yours too.
You might be able to increase your website visitors, but if you’re getting people coming to your site and finding it’s not relevant to them, what’s the point? You want visitors coming to your site that are going to find it useful and relevant. Those are the people that have the potential to be your customers or take actions on your site that you find desirable.
Do you have a different definition of SEO? Any questions about SEO?