Search engine optimization (SEO) has long been associated with keywords. That is, an SEO specialist looks at the possible keywords associated with a client’s business, and incorporates these terms into the marketing copy.
While this principle still applies today, it’s worth pointing out that SEO is more than just stuffing content with keywords, especially after Google updated its algorithms to bury spammy, keyword-studded pages in search results pages. Now, SEO experts take a more holistic approach to the practice, which include the following techniques:
Search engine spiders “crawl” or analyze a page to decipher its content. They can’t do this, though, if a website doesn’t submit a sitemap—a listing of all the pages it contains. SEO specialists make sure that a client’s website always has an updated sitemap so it can be crawled and displayed properly in search results.
Google now places a heavy emphasis on content quality, and one of the best indicators of quality is the number of inbound links a website receives. An SEO professional helps clients establish links with trusted bloggers and reputable websites to gain “link juice” or authoritativeness in the online world.
Social Media Optimization
Similar to inbound links, tweets, shares, and likes on social media platforms are now also considered as proof of quality and relevance. That’s why social media optimization has become a cornerstone component of modern SEO practice, with specialists helping clients to post relevant, share-worthy content on these networking sites.