What is Search Engine Optimization?

Just a couple of years ago, at least 75% of clicks went to sites that appeared on page one of Google’s search results. Roughly 33% went to the top ranking site for the search query. And 41% of clicks go to the top 3 ranked Google Ads. 

These statistics about search engine optimization (SEO) and pay- per-click (PPC) prove that search marketing is an essential strategy for businesses.

Understanding SEO

Organic traffic, also known as earned traffic, is “free” or non-paid visits to your website. But thinking about search engine optimization as a free way to build marketing traffic is a huge disservice to you and your marketing team. Developing and implementing a good SEO strategy takes a lot of worker power. So instead of thinking of SEO as free, think of it as non-paid. When your site ranks organically for a keyword or key phrase, that means you’ve created a lot of compelling content that matches a web visitor’s search intent.

Like the statistics showed, a higher search ranking brings visibility to your website. Optimization (SEO) is more than a Yoast SEO score (though tools like Yoast can be helpful). It’s more than alt-tagging and meta descriptions. More than anything, search engine optimization is about supplying valuable content to people who are looking for it.

Did You Know? Meta descriptions aren’t a big SEO factor. Instead, they can increase your site’s click-through rate. This is still good and an essential practice! However, if someone is telling you they’ll update your meta descriptions to boost your SEO, be wary. There are far more critical site ranking factors. 

google search console report

Three Steps of Search Engine Optimization 

In truth, there are a million steps to increase your organic search results. However, we think it’s easiest to think of an SEO strategy in three parts. 

Technical SEO

With. a variety of auditing platforms at hand, we’re able to look at what makes your website tick and diagnose (and fix) rank-threatening issues.

Keyword Research

Using trusted tools, we assess search volume and keyword difficulties for the words you want to rank to identify high-value opportunities.


Watch your number of ranking terms increase, your positions rise, and your site performance metrics improve as we continuously improve your SEO.

Build a site with a healthy foundation that’s technically correct.

If you’re developing a new site, you have a rare, excellent opportunity to prevent problems that might inhibit your site from ranking well. Start with critically thinking about your sitemap and site navigation. What pages and topics are important to your users? How will pages link to each other? The way you organize and categorize your site is one of many significant signals to Google about the topic of your site. A site that has a nonsensical flow or no precise topic and purpose is not likely to rank well.

In addition to your site’s navigation structure, make sure you check other technical aspects of your site. Things like slow site speed, broken links, and code limiting your website’s crawlability can hinder your SEO performance. One of the big things web designers tend to forget is the importance of a website’s UX across multiple devices. If your website’s performance suffers on mobile, you’re at risk of losing a significant (50-60%) share of traffic.

Boost Tip: You can get a good metric of your site’s page speed using Google’s free Page Speed Insights tool.

Draft and implement a content strategy.

sOnce you have a good site in place, you can truly optimize it with excellent copy. Copywriting for SEO is a mix of technical skill and creative flair. Copy should always be simple to read, and focused on a specific topic. Subject matter for your copy needs to be motivated by keyword and keyphrase research.

By researching keywords, you can learn approximately how much effort you’ll need to put in to rank for particular terms or phrases. Finally, as you’re writing the copy, structure the pages in an SEO-friendly way. Adding the proper headers, spacing, and visuals to your site makes it easier to read and more fun to engage with.

There are dozens of ways to tweak and improve the content on your pages. Headers, links, and optimized videos and images are a few of many. There’s a lot you can do on your own, but having an SEO-knowledgable team on your side can expedite your efforts.

Track Your Performance

Google (and other search engines) often updates, which means you can sit idly with fingers crossed when you’re dealing with SEO. Plus, don’t you want to know if your efforts are working? There are a few ways to track the impact of your organic search optimization.

Google Search Console is the most accurate data out there about your site’s search performance. It doesn’t record your data until you set up an account, though. So make sure you create an account right away so you can see the impact of your results.

Position Tracking Tools can show how your rankings for specific keywords have moved up or down over time. Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush are all popular position tracking tools.

Google Analytics is another way to see how people are getting to your site. Here, you can view the influence of SEO and PPC work. Like the search console, it can’t backfill data, so set up your account as soon as possible.

A Certified SEO Agency

Momentum team members hold certifications in keyword research, auditing, and more. We take our craft seriously, and we’re always looking for more ways to learn and keep up with what’s happening on the web. Ask about our certifications when you meet with us about your SEO strategy!

Get Started with a Site Audit

We believe in using multiple auditing tools to get a complete picture of what’s happening with your site, still you can get started today with a free audit that will show you some errors, warnings, and notices that contribute to your site’s performance.

Audits can be confusing, so let us know if you don’t know what to do with the results. We can guide you through your site audit, explain key errors, and do additional auditing that will help you truly understand your site’s health and search performance.