SEO 101: An Introduction to Search Engine Optimization

September 27, 2021

How do you explain SEO, or Search engine optimization, in a few hundred words? Although the full scope of SEO may be better suited to a complete edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, the basic premise is simple.

Search engine optimization is the process of improving, updating, and adjusting your website to increase the quantity and quality of traffic. Essentially, it means understanding how search engine algorithms work and using it to your advantage to increase the flow of visitors — and ultimately conversions.

For any business that operates online, SEO should be a critical part of their marketing strategy. But, it would be physically impossible to introduce all the necessary ingredients to SEO in a single blog post — so instead, we will look at the fundamentals:

  • The Essence of SEO
  • SEO Best Practices
  • The Value of an SEO Expert

The Essence of SEO

The fundamental premise behind a winning SEO strategy is answering searcher intent. After all, the goal of all search engines is to help internet searchers to find answers to their questions quickly. The more informative or helpful your website for that specific inquiry (aka a keyword or key question), the better you should rank.

While most SEO attention is focused on cracking Google's algorithm, it technically encompasses all search algorithms — including Bing, Youtube, and Amazon, among others. Thus, the specifics of any SEO strategy depend on the search engine.

Many SEO newbies assume all SEO revolves around keywords. But that is a very small part of the greater puzzle. Many other factors play into SEO. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Website functionality
  • User experience (UX)
  • Mobile website performance
  • Backlink profile
  • ... and more

Because nobody knows the specifics of Google's algorithm outside of Google, most of the current understanding of SEO best practices is trial and error. Over time, SEO experts have pieced together a comprehensive understanding of which approaches work and which don't.

Search engines also update their rules all the time, sometimes upending the entire SEO industry in a single update. This means that SEO best practices are never static and require ongoing maintenance and editing.

A Quick Rundown of SEO Best Practices

Everyone talks about using SEO best practices, but what does that cover? Once again, we could fill an encyclopedia with the details, so let's review the most important factors:

Indexing and Crawlability

Ensure all of your pages that you want viewable by Google are indexed and crawled. In practice, this is a manual process through the Search Console. It also means addressing orphaned pages (pages with no internal links) and errors like 4xx and 5xx.


Google and other search engines love security, which means you'll want your website on https instead of http. You'll also want to avoid long redirect chains and setting specific canonical tags (rel=canonical), which indicate the original (or master) page to search engines. Essentially this directs everything to the page you want, prevents duplicate pages, and clarifies the structure behind your website to Google and other search engines.

Mobile Usability

Ever tried to use a non-mobile-friendly website? We know that more than 54 percent of website traffic comes from mobile devices (as of the beginning of 2021), so this means you need to ensure your website is equally as user-friendly on a desktop as it is from an iPhone. For example, images and text should adjust, the speed page should be fast, and there should be no functional issues for mobile users.

Keywords and On-Page Copy

Everyone talks about keywords, but these are one of the most difficult aspects of SEO strategy to master. Use keywords naturally in the copy, and always think about that searcher's intent. Work keywords into headers, slugs, and images, but only if it makes sense. And don't go overboard—you'll lose SEO points for keyword stuffing.

The Value of an SEO Expert

Most business owners don't know the difference between a meta description, an alt tag, and a title tag. They also likely don't know how to fix indexing issues, 404 errors, problems with canonical pages, and a hundred other SEO dilemmas. 

Enter the SEO expert and the Amplify SEO team. Our team keeps abreast of the latest and most significant changes to search engine algorithms and current SEO best practices. 

We get down to business by first completing an SEO audit of your website. This paints a detailed picture of what's working — and most importantly, what's not. We always include a point-by-point breakdown of the following:

  • Indexing and crawlability
  • Redirects
  • Encoding and technical factors
  • URLs
  • Links
  • Images
  • On-page (SEO)

And then we get to work. We offer extensive search engine optimization strategies encompassing all aspects of your website and online presence. That means not only correcting backend issues but also improving user experience and on-page copy. 

Interested in Learning More?

Amplify believes in a more human approach to advertising. Let us demonstrate how you can reduce wasted ad spend and time to conversion by implementing an omnichannel strategy that amplifies your SEO, paid search, content, and programmatic strategies. 

If you would like to learn more about shifting your marketing strategies to grow your market share and bottom line, let's have a conversation.  

Are you ready for 2024?
Learn the latest digital advertising trends in 2024.
FIND Out why