What is SEO?

This post originally published for the Atomicdust blog.

Our clients often ask us about our approach to SEO, or search engine optimization. It’s an understandable question considering Google and others constantly update their algorithms. Sure, there are general best practices about title tags, meta data length and more – but those are just the basics. Since we’re not specifically an SEO agency, what is SEO at Atomicdust? It’s actually pretty simple. And it doesn’t involve any tricks or gimmicks.

Instead of trying to beat Google, Bing or any other search engine at their own game, we like to take a step back and think about how search engines work and how people interact with them.

When you open up Google, you’re looking for something – and chances are you’ll probably ask a question. In general, search engines work to serve up the websites that best answer those questions. Being the most trusted, most visited or best source for information is how you win at SEO.

That’s where our strategy begins. Anytime we think about SEO, we take a three-step approach:coding best practices, initial content creation and continuous publishing.

Coding Best Practices

For us, SEO starts by optimizing the entire website for performance. We want to give every visitor a great experience by building a functional, beautiful website – something people want to visit. From there, we tackle all elements of backend functionality that help search engines digest your web pages and pull the best information for search engine results.

Initial Content Creation

We’ve stressed how important content is in the past, but when it comes to SEO, quality content is undeniably king. We take time to research all of our clients before we write anything, including website copy. After we have a deep understanding of the industry and the brand, we build content to inform and inspire the audience.

What that means for SEO is taking into account the most relevant, industry-specific search terms and using them to guide our keyword use. It’s another step in giving people what they’re looking for when searching. We hone in on those long-tail keywords in a natural way, while featuring them in the key areas where search engines look.

Continuous Publishing

We often say that your website will never be finished, and that also applies to your search engine optimization. For long-term SEO success, you have to keep visitors coming back to your site. That means continuing to publish content that people are looking for and want to read. It’s a continual process of seeing what visitors respond to and refining what your website offers.

For every website we build at Atomicdust, this three-step approach is our strategy behind SEO. After years of seeing how search has evolved, we take this tried and true method built on an understanding of how search engines work. That way, even after the next search engine update, your website will always perform at its best.