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Definition of SEO - Search Engine Optimization Meaning Explained

A Simplified SEO Definition For Beginners


If you are looking to understand the definition of search engine optimization(SEO), OnlineBusinessConsulting got you covered.

In a rush? SEO is defined as search engine optimization which means optimizing a website for search engines like Google & Bing so that targeted keywords will rank higher on the first page.

Have more time? Continue reading below to learn more about SEO.

So What Is SEO?

So what is the meaning of SEO?

SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization.

This is a process by which the search rankings of a web page can be optimized so that it increases the online visibility of a particular keyword(s).

This process allows an article, blog, service, or product page to rank higher on SERP.


Some people may get SEO and pay-per-click(PPC) confused.

But since we are helping you understand search engine optimization, we might as well help you understand the difference between it and PPC.

PPC is the search results that you see at the top and bottom of search engine pages. They normally have the word "ad" or "advertisement" next to them.

You have to pay search engines to be displayed and charged for each time a searcher clicks on your site or landing page ( you will also be charged if searchers call an ad tracking number even if they did not click your ad link). This is why it is called pay per click.

Ads are one of the revenue areas that makes Google a trillion-dollar company.

SEO results on the hand are shown in the middle and are free.

In a way, you pay for SEO when you hire an agency specializing in it to help your website rank.

What Are the Factors That Affect SEO?

Now that we have defined SEO, let's briefly discuss the factors that affect search engine optimization success.

Understanding how optimization for search engines works and the factors that influence them helps one hit their ranking goals.

There are many factors that form part of the process of getting a page to rank higher on the search engine results page.

Here are some of those factors that may influence an SEO success:

  • Whether your website is secure (using HTTPS vs HTTP)
  • Whether your website is friendly for mobile phone users
  • Is your website lagging? How fast or slow are web pages loading on your website?
  • Effective interlinking within your website
  • Whether a website page has appropriate markup for schema (there's a lot of debate if this really helps)
  • The quality of the content of the web pages
  • The amount of content of the web pages
  • The anchor texts of your backlinks and on-page links
  • The number of quality backlinks that point back towards your site
  • Whether you have images that are optimized for your pages

How you influence the governing factors listed above and others is best done with the help of the right SEO service agency that knows how to apply those strategies properly.

The Importance of Conversion When Doing SEO

We can't help you understand what SEO is without briefly discussing the importance of converting the traffic that is sent from an SEO campaign.

Conversion is very often associated with a sale, though in the world of online marketing, to define conversion exclusively in that way is too narrow a definition.

The way we define conversion is that it happens each time a visitor to the website completes a desired action while they are on the site.

This can be a click-through to get to the next web page if that happens to be the main goal for that particular page.

For instance, it may well be a subscription to a newsletter, or it can be a visitor who buys your product.

To sum it up, conversion occurs whenever someone has completed the action that you wanted them to do.

To achieve a better conversion you or the marketing agency that you hire have to make sure that the right keywords with the right intents are SEO optimized.

It is important to understand the different types of intents of web queries if you want to search engine optimize your pages correctly and for the traffic to lead to conversions.

Hire An Agency or Do SEO Yourself?

Should you hire an SEO company or do it yourself?

It depends on many factors.

1. Time

Do you have the time to run your business efficiently while doing SEO properly?

Do you have the time to create a well-optimized content? Do the research to focus on the right topic that will drive leads?

Some things might seem simple when doing optimization but takes time. For example, optimizing an image for SEO might seem easy but one image might take 1 to 3 hours.

To do it correctly so you can rank the image high and help with conversion, you need to spend time finding the right image and redesigning it with visual and text illustration for the pay it will be posted on.

Then you have to spend time compressing and resizing the image for speed( another factor that helps with search engine performance) before uploading it to your site.

You also want to make sure that you name the file correctly to correspond with the page title or concept it will be uploaded to before uploading.

When uploaded, you have to optimize the alt text, name, caption, and description.

2. Skill

Just because one knows the definition of SEO doesn't mean that he or she can do it efficiently.

There are so many moving parts and constant changes in SEO that it takes a real expert to get it done properly.

One has to master technical SEO.

Advanced on-page and off-page linking strategies.

Understand search engine Natural Language Processing. Entity optimization, database optimization, website speed optimization, and a whole lot more.

3. Money

Another thing to consider when it comes to whether to optimize your website for search engines yourself or hire an agency is finance.

If you have the money just hire one of the best marketing agencies to help you.


Just pay an expert and focus on running your business and growing it.

Recap On the SEO Definition

We defined SEO as the acronym search engine optimization which is a form of online marketing whose main goal is to rank a website keyword higher in search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo(a great search engine for privacy), etc.

By using various strategies one can achieve these rankings.

We hope that you enjoyed this article.

Emmanuel Okeke

A Los Angeles resident who loves to write awesome guides on SEO, WordPress speed/security, content strategies, business and personal finance, digital and growth hack tools, legal stuff, etc, that are helpful to businesses, solopreneurs, bloggers, and consumers.

What I write about is based on tests, extensive research, and 11+ experience as a former Senior digital & content marketing consultant with a division of Thomson Reuters and running a successful digital marketing agency...[Read full bio]