What is SEO Optimization
Created September 12, 2022
Updated March 11, 2024
20 min read

What is SEO Optimization?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization is the set of practices and processes aimed at improving the visibility of your website in order to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through search engine results organically.

Essentially, SEO is all about meeting users’ search needs by creating relevant, high-quality content and providing the best possible user experience.

For some SEO optimization may seem complex at first glance, but it is actually quite easy to understand when you get down to it.

Read our short guide to SEO to get the hang and learn SEO basics.

The Different Names of SEO

Before the term SEO was widely used in the marketing industry, several terms were used and some are still used to mean the same thing. Here are a few:

  • Positioning in search engines
  • Ranking in search engines
  • Search engine optimization
  • Website promotion
  • Organic traffic
  • Natural referencing

How do Search Engines Work?

In order to understand how SEO will impact your search engine results, let’s first start by understanding how search engines work when you search for something.

Search engines try to find and understand all the content available on the internet, then quickly deliver relevant and reliable results based on any term a user might search for online.

How do search engines work

To do this, search engines use robots. These robots analyze all websites to determine their relevance to a specific search intent.

Let’s take the example of a user who typed in Google, something like “What is SEO?”.

Google will analyze all the web pages already visited beforehand and recorded by their robots, and select the page on your site which they consider most relevant for the searched keyword.

To do this, they take into account many different factors, including how your content is written and coded, and how other websites link to you (known as a backlink).

Everything is collected in a massive and very complex index list (think of it as a database). 

In a fraction of a second, the search engine is then able to use complex algorithms to rank and display all those web pages in order of relevance to the phrase, location, and other factors that the user came for when he searched What is SEO.

Remember that the search engines make a clear distinction between content that concerns explanations of SEO and content for online advertising, for example.

Search engines are able to understand a large number of semantic and thematic links between words and concepts. 

For example, a search engine knows that online stores that sell bird cages are extremely relevant to the query “bird cage”, but it also knows that pet shops that sell birds are also very relevant. 

And they also know that a website promoting bird food or bird toys may also be relevant to search, but perhaps to a lesser extent.

If the search engines display your content first to a user, and that user spends 30 seconds on your page, compared to the same user who spends 2 minutes on the page of a competitor who was lower ranked than you, the next time, it will show the competitor’s content with a higher ranking than yours, since it obviously seems to be more interesting.

Visually here is an example of how a search results in Google.

Sponsored vs Organic Traffic SEO Websites
Sponsored vs Organic Traffic SEO Websites

The results marked with the mention “Sponsored” at the beginning are the results of advertising on Google or PPC which means Pay Per Click, so each click made on such a link represents a cost which varies for the creator of advertising which uses Google Ads .

While the results below them are the results due to natural or organic referencing.

Now let’s see what are the key SEO factors that will help search engines ranking of your website.

What are the Basics of SEO?

Key factors of SEO Optimization
Key factors of SEO Optimization

A good SEO for your website is essentially based on 2 factors, some mention 3 by considering “keyword research” as a factor in its own right, others integrate it directly into on-page SEO.

Keyword Research

Keywords are words or groups of words that a user is potentially looking for on a search engine to find your website for a product or service.

The pages and texts of your website must therefore contain the keywords relevant to your business.

If you offer food through your restaurant, you certainly don’t want to be on the front page of a search term for “dog toys.”

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO or on-page optimization is all about optimizing your website (in bulk or one page at the time). It is everything you do on your website to improve its ranking by search engines.

Here are several tips and best practices to implement directly on your website:

  • Write titles and meta descriptions of your pages
  • Use the correct html tags title levels H1, H2, H3 etc… 
  • Implement a robots.txt file
  • Implement a dynamic sitemap
  • Insert alternative texts for your images
  • Optimize your images for the web
  • Optimize the loading speed of your pages
  • Use an adequate structure for your URLs
  • Create internal links between your content
  • Use rich snippets
  • Have a responsive site (that works well on mobile)
  • Provide a good user experience
  • Create content and optimize it
  • Perform technical optimization

Part of the On-page SEO is the technical SEO, which is using SEO tools to optimize your website structure and architecture, this is the loading speed, sitemap, URL structures and so on. 

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO includes all efforts carried out outside your website. It takes into account the presence of links from your site on other websites or on social networks. We often talk about backlinks or netlinking. As well as competitive backlink analysis.

Netlinking is a form of link strategy. It’s about internal links (internal mesh), outgoing links, and the search for backlinks or incoming external links. 

A backlink is simply a link made from another site that refers to a page on your website.

Receiving links from external websites to yours represents votes for your content, this encourages search engines to improve your authority score on the web, and give you more weight.

Of course, if you receive a link from the White House website to your website, it will not have the same weight as a link from our website or from a website that has just been created a week ago.

Remember that search engine robots are quite intelligent and interpret everything logically, so you don’t want to have links from just any website, because there are so-called toxic links and this could penalize you in your search engine ranking.

  • The competitive benchmark.

It is a process of observation and analysis of competitors’ practices. It allows you to compare yourself to competitors, to compare your practices in order to optimize your strategy. 

To achieve an effective competitive benchmark, here are 5 essential steps:

  • Critical self-assessment
  • The themes of the study and the targeting of the criteria 
  • The selection of competitors (5 maximum). 
  • Data collection. 
  • Comparison of positioning deviations.

You now know the two different types of SEO. Now let’s see what the main benefits of SEO are and how it can benefit you.

Some Advantages of SEO 

The main advantage of organic SEO is to have a good ranking in search engines. Good ranking means appearing on the first page of Google.

There are several funny pictures on the web which states that:

“The best place to hide a corpse is on page number 2 of Google’s search results.”

Indeed, according to several statistics, Google’s first page results account for 91.5% of all web search traffic. The second page gets about 5% traffic and the third just 1.1%. All the rest pages of Google get least then 1%. 

So here are several benefits of SEO:

  • Improve your positioning and visibility on the web
  • Generate more traffic and more sales
  • This is the best inbound marketing strategy
  • Organic SEO is one of the least expensive web strategies
  • It offers an excellent return on investment
  • It builds credibility
  • It attracts relevant users
  • SEO gets more clicks than paid PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising
  • SEO helps PR
  • SEO puts you ahead of the competition

How to Succeed in Your SEO Optimization?

Perform an SEO Analysis

Performing an SEO analysis, also called an SEO audit of your website, will allow you to understand how Google and other search engines interpret your website. 

This is essential because the results of an analysis will allow you to take relevant actions for your website and not to work blindly.

Establish an SEO Strategy

There are so-called “Black Hat” SEO strategies and so-called “White Hat” SEO strategies, think long term and favor “White Hat” SEO strategies. 

White Hat SEO is permitted and consists of any effort you do to make your website rank better.

Black Hat SEO is when you manipulate search engine algorithms for better ranking and is penalized.

A good SEO effort allows you to define your priorities and carry out a schedule of actions.

Make Sure You Have Clean HTML Code

HTML best practices are essential to a successful SEO search engine optimization strategy. This is good on-site optimization. 

And a good practice of HTML will help you increase the visibility of your website.

HTML coding plays an important role in SEO success because it allows search engines to easily understand your website content. 

In order to optimize your website for search engines, you should use title tags, meta descriptions, alternative text snippets that accurately describe the content of the page and many other good practices. 

Also, technical errors such as broken links or missing images can affect the performance of your website; they should therefore be avoided at all costs.

It pays to invest time in fixing technical errors on your website and ensuring that all of its elements adhere to good HTML practice standards.

To Get Big SEO Results, Start Small

Focusing on small, incremental changes to an overall website SEO strategy can really yield big gains over time. 

For example, implement good fundamental web practices such as correcting errors that may affect the understanding of your website by robots, etc. 

Here it is not a question of spelling error but for example facilitating the indexing of your URLs for search engines, creating a good URL structure and others.

Choose Good Keywords

Keywords are important when it comes to improving SEO. If they’re not relevant to your business, they won’t help your marketing efforts and in some cases could even drive people away from your various web pages.

In order to optimize your website for good SEO, it is essential to select the right keywords that are relevant to the topic of your website. 

Popularity isn’t always what matters when it comes to keyword selection; instead, you should focus on words that will help you reach your target audience and drive traffic to your website.

When conducting keyword research, be sure to consider factors such as search volume and level of competition. 

This information can be obtained using various tools such as the Google Keyword Planner or other keyword research software. 

In addition, choose nested or derived keywords that accurately represent the content of your site while avoiding overly competitive terms that will make it difficult to rank in search engine results pages.

Write for humans, not robots

It’s easy to think that optimizing a website for search engine crawlers is the most important aspect of increasing visibility, but the truth is that crawlers don’t buy products or services, humans do. 

While it’s important to write content intended to be easily detected by search engines, companies must never forget their real audience: humans. It can be difficult, but not impossible, to steer content in a way that both search engine crawlers and human readers are happy with.

The key is to understand how humans and machines process content and develop strategies that address both. 

For example, when writing content for your website, use keywords strategically, make sure they flow naturally into the flow of the text. 

This way, your website not only attracts search engine crawlers, but also allows people to read the words on a page as if they were speaking with another person, which helps build trust and credibility.

So remember that “Google only loves you when humans love you”.

Don’t be Afraid of Algorithm Changes, Embrace it!

Search functionalities are constantly evolving, and Google may change its algorithm several times a year and even several times a day, in order to display the most relevant content for users and to follow the evolution of their behavior.

It is important to realize and accept that these changes are beyond your control. 

Take for example today more than 50% of website traffic comes from mobile, new developments such as AMP have emerged. 

Sometimes these changes are algorithmic. Other changes relate more to features or different ways of presenting different types of content to users in search results pages.

Continuous work on search engines marketing means continuous changes in your strategy and improving the users’ experience.

Create a Smooth User Experience

In today’s digital age, it is essential that your website has a good design interface. 

A well-designed website with an intuitive user experience will make it easier for visitors to navigate and find what they need faster. 

Good web design also helps improve search engine rankings for your SEO because it helps Google to notice ease of user interaction with the site when ranking websites.

When designing a website, special attention should be paid to layout and navigation. 

Make sure you have a website that works perfectly on mobile and whose pages open quickly. 

Web designers need to create a logical structure of pages and menus that users can access quickly in order to locate the content they are looking for. 

If visitors can’t easily navigate through different sections of your site, they’re less likely to find what they need or engage more with your business or services.

Inspire Confidence

Trust is an important factor for all relationships in general, and is crucial for business relationships.

When someone visits your website, be it a customer or a potential user, if they can’t trust your site, they won’t stay there long. 

Ensuring that visitors feel safe and protected when visiting your website is imperative. One of the best ways to promote trust online is to have features like SSL and HTTPS certificates .

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates provide encryption for websites and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) ensures that information sent between two systems remains secure.

These technologies are becoming increasingly important as part of search engine optimization SEO, in addition, Google also gives preference to sites with secure connections over those without, making them standard features for all websites.

Improve Your Visibility Outside Your Website

If you are looking to increase your positioning and credibility on the web, there are many methods to explore. 

Search engines don’t just look at the content of your website to determine its credibility. They also take into account information available about you from other sources on the Internet.

Your brand visibility goes beyond the confines of your own website and search engines pick up signals from off-site sources such as social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, linkedin etc..), local directories and assessment sites. 

If potential customers can easily find information about you online, search engines will see it as a sign of trustworthiness, which will improve your overall credibility score. 

This has an impact on the ranking of your business by Google for relevant searches. 

Therefore, it is useful to focus your efforts on activities outside your website if you want to improve your position in the search engine results pages for your SEO.

Use Videos and Images

Using images and videos for your web content can be a great way to get more search engine attention. 

With the rise of visual content, like GIFs and memes, it’s no surprise that search engines love videos and images. 

Using media such as videos and images can help you stand out with the multitude of content out there online, making your content more eye-catching, engaging and memorable.

However, when creating web content with images or videos, it is important to focus on certain aspects of organic SEO. 

By including relevant keywords in the title, meta description tag, and alt text of your visuals, you’ll increase your chances of appearing higher in organic search results. 

Additionally, optimizing file sizes to load quickly is also key to keeping visitors on your page long enough to engage with what you’re sharing.

Link building is an essential part of any search engine optimization strategy for your SEO. 

It’s about building backlinks to your website across the web to improve your search engine visibility and rankings.

Backlinks from other websites to yours
Backlinks from other websites to yours

While link building can be a powerful tool, it is also rather difficult and time-consuming. It requires research, good planning and constant effort to ensure that you are getting quality links from reputable sources. 

Unfortunately, many people get it wrong, and buy fraudulent links or engage in unethical black hat practices that can only result in their website being penalized by search engines at some point.

To ensure you get quality backlinks for your site, focus on creating real value-added content that other websites will want to link to organically. 

Reach out to other content creators and build relationships with them so they can share your content with their own audiences.

Measure Your Performance

Creating quality content for your website can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to keep up with the ever-changing preferences of your visitors. 

A great way to make sure you’re always providing great content is to understand what types of content they like and how that changes over time.

To improve, you need to evaluate yourself. Several online platforms such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, allow you to analyze all these details for free. 

Using data from search engine optimization and other sources can help you better understand what works best for your audience.

By knowing what draws visitors to your website, you can create more relevant and engaging content that will keep them coming back. You can measure success in terms of page views, clicks, engagement rate, and other metrics that will give you an idea of how effective certain elements and types of content are. 

It also allows you to identify areas where improvement is needed and adjust accordingly.

Do Your Digital Marketing with SEO Experts

SEO experts understand the importance of using various channels, such as content marketing and link building, to effectively reach target audiences and increase website visibility. 

Additionally, these SEO strategists can constantly stay up to date with the latest digital marketing developments to keep your efforts relevant and effective over time. 

From keyword research to creating engaging content, as well as paid search, they have all the tools necessary to succeed.

Doing business with SEO experts is beneficial for any business looking to make a splash in the world of digital marketing. 

An SEO agency can provide you with cost-effective and quality services to achieve high rankings on search engines like Google and Bing. 

With the help of an experienced SEO expert, you are guaranteed to benefit from the best practices in digital marketing or web marketing in general.

How Often Should You Perform Actions for Your SEO?

Still, yes, too bad if you don’t expect it, but SEO is a never-ending process. 

Even if you won’t do the same tasks every day, there’s always work to be done. 

SEO is not a one-time project. It is a process that you will continue to pursue over the long term.

Google’s algorithms, for example, change frequently and your SEO work should follow them. 

You should also keep in mind that search engines don’t necessarily interact with your website immediately. 

It takes time for them to discover changes to your content and new links to your pages, and to understand the structure and overall performance of your website. 

It will take them longer to put all of these factors into their index to run against their algorithms to reassess your quality, relevance, and authority before these changes are reflected in search results.

So be patient and stick to your natural SEO strategy, it will help you stay focused on the organic SEO process you have put in place.

SEO is a little different from other internet marketing strategies, and understanding these differences will help you stay on track to run and measure a successful SEO campaign. 

To start noticing results for your SEO you must wait a minimum of 4 months, if not 6 to 9 months. And this does not mean that you will be on the first pages of search engines, but you will notice signs of evolution in some of your keywords

Patience is a virtue, and that couldn’t be truer than with SEO. Approach SEO as a long-term process that creates long-term value.


Optimizing your website for search engine’s is part of SEO processes that requires a lot of work, a lot of time and patience, but above all consistency. 

Leveraging SEO strategies to build an effective website that meets the needs of its users is key to leveraging organic traffic from search queries. Investing in these processes takes considerable effort, but the rewards can be significant. 

By understanding how SEO works overall, businesses can ensure they have a website that is optimized for both usability and searchability.

SEO optimization is a very profitable marketing strategy, due to its nature of inbound prospect generation, targeted, automatic and above all less expensive than the development of an advertising campaign. 

To position your site online, with the best SEO strategies, you certainly have costs associated with maintaining your positioning in search engines, but you will never pay for visits to rank higher on Google, so 0 $ in cost per click (CPC) and $0 in cost per thousand (CPV).

If you want to climb search engine rankings, you need to use a good combination of SEO and website design. Be sure to address both of these processes to reach the top of local search results.

That’s all for today! If you would like to learn more about SEO and website design, contact us anytime and one of our experts will help you and offer free analysis and recommendations to improve your online rankings. We run the best web agency in Montreal and we have over 10 years of experience in digital marketing.