What is SEO?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a topic we hear a lot about and, like other facets of digital marketing, it has evolved considerably over the years. The very question, “just what is seo marketing?” itself can’t be answered as it once would, as SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) have differentiated themselves over the years, with the former centered on maximizing organic traffic and the latter encompassing both paid and organic traffic.

Moz, a high-profile company in the Inbound Marketing niche, defines SEO as “a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results.”

Exactly what constitutes those practices seems to be in a state of perpetual change — often for the better. There was a time when Google, as well as other search engines, lacked the ability to effectively detect keyword stuffing (the practice of a company or website proprietor inserting the pivotal phrases — or keywords) that prospects use in their searches in an unnaturally high frequency to rank higher in organic results.

Thankfully, growing sophistication in this area has led to an improved user experience — keyword stuffing not only rarely works but is grounds for search engines to punish offenders by pushing them lower in the search results. Instead, putting in the due diligence to determine what keywords best serve a company’s interest in the form of mirroring user intent, then creating helpful, valuable content along those lines constitutes the best practice in this area.