WHAT IS SEO
Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is a process that involves creating attributes within a web page that make it more easily found and ranked (Search Engine Rank Position, SERP) by Google and other search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, and countless others.
Google, which is the primary target of most SEO specialists, is the largest search engine on the planet and commands the lion's share of searches done by users of the Internet searching for most anything. Google has what is called "algorithms", that are mathematical formulas that weigh dozens of parameters pertinent to a web page and URL, creating a score for each one resulting in a composite score which, when applied towards a various competitor's scores, results in a SERP, or where Google positions a site in a search result.
There is no Holy Grail, per say, as Google keeps information about exactly what to do to rank well very close to the chest. It does however, publish much information about the do's and don'ts of what it considers important to a site and its pages, giving page designers some meat and potatoes to guide them in designing for a high page rank. Trial and error among web developers and other groups can reveal much about what works and what does not. Click here to see some of Google's more important ranking priorities.
The content (information about the particular topic of a site) within a web page is what Google primarily uses in determining a search result position. The content delivered to a searcher must relate as closely as possible to the search terms entered. Therefore, it is very important to create high quality content. Therefore, it is crucial that you create high quality content.
What is good content? From an SEO perspective, all good content has two attributes. Good content must meet a need and must be linkable. Take a searcher looking for information about custom woodworking. The searcher enters the term "Custom Woodworking" in the search box and gets a number of links in the search results on the topic. If you did woodworking, where would yours be in that list?
Google will look at the content closely and analyze the page almost in a way a human would... it's abilities are amazing. If Google sees other relevant words and sentence structure that mention woodworking, like "custom benches", "tables", "build", etc., it knows that your page is probably about the topic, rather than a page that someone might have posted the words or phrase "custom woodworking" in another context, like "Joe recently had a table designed for his dining room using using custom woodwork", which would not be relevant to what the searcher was looking for.
CONTENT MUST BE LINKABLE
From Google's perspective, there is no difference between the very best and the very worst content on the Internet if it cannot be linked to. If Google cannot read it, it cannot use it in search results and the content will not rank or get any traffic to the given website. Unfortunately, this happens frequently.
A few examples of unlikable content are; AJAX graphic image slide shows, anything done in Flash created as a body of text, or any content created as body of text that exists with in a graphic image. Other examples are content can't be reproduced or shared. Content that doesn't meet a user's demand or is not linkable is irrelevant in the eyes of the Google and other search engines. Any content of interest to someone, somewhere, and is presented in a text format is probably going to be linkable. Rules of thumb for great content that Google will love;
a. Uniquely Valuable as a Result for the Search Terms Users Enter
b. Fast Page Load Speeds
c. Keyword Balanced
d. Multi-Device Ready
e. Built to be Shared through Social Networks
f. Crawler Accessible
g. Proper Use of Title, Description, H, and Alt Tags
oh. Authorship, Meta Data, Schema, and Rich Snippets
ON PAGE SEO
The first step in applying SEO techniques is on page SEO. We begin by examining what keyword searchers are most likely to use to find whatever product or service you offer. Once identified, we write or modify existing page copy to include a limited number of those keywords so that Google can match a search term entered with content that contains those word. Additional items, such as Title Tags, Description, ALT, and H tags are all page elements that help indicate to Google what your page is all about. It must be unique information and presented in a way that is most likely to get the visitor to read it.