Definition

The process of choosing targeted keyword phrases related to a site, and ensuring that the site places well when those keyword phrases are part of a Web search.

Information

There is much confusion about search engine optimization (SEO) and its relation to search engine spamming. Generally, legitimate search engine optimization adds to the user experience, while search engine spamming takes away from the user experience, although there is much gray area between the clear-cut examples on either side.

Optimization involves making pages readable to search engines and emphasizing key topics related to your content. Basic optimization may involve nothing more than ensuring that a site does not unnecessarily become part of the invisible Web (the portion of the Web not accessible through Web search engines). Advanced optimization may include significant research into every element of page design, site structure, and off-the-page criteria.

Before pages can be optimized, research must be done to determine which keywords to target. This involves finding relevant keywords, determining their popularity, assessing the amount of competition, and deciding which keywords can be best supported with quality content.

Pricing Models Include:
one-time flat fee
monthly fixed fee
pay-per-click
pay-per-ranking
revenue sharing

Tools

SEMrush – find organic & paid metrics for your keyword, related keywords, keyword difficulty, more.
SpyFu – spy on competitors, see which keywords they are using for SEO and PPC, much more.

see also: Digital Marketing Tools
see also: SEO Tool Discounts

Resources

SEO Tool Feature Matrix – direct links to key feature at the major search tools.

Articles

SEO Agency Tools Price Comparison 2015
MarketingTerms.com (February 14, 2015)

Related Terms

keyword research, link popularity, meta tags, pay per click search engine, search engine, search engine spam, search engine submission, top 10

view all terms in the SEO glossary or all terms in the Digital Marketing glossary