Search engine optimization (SEO) is an online marketing technique that utilizes keywords, content and technical improvements to get your webpages noticed by search engines like Google. Keywords form the foundation of SEO as they allow Google to understand what your page is about and rank it for relevant queries.

SEO’s aim is to attract quality traffic that converts into customers or clients or an audience that keeps coming back. This can be accomplished by optimizing your website for users and search engines through content, structure and links; SEO is a continuous process requiring research, testing, tweaking and implementation changes in order to improve its performance.

SEO encompasses many elements, from keywords and content creation to technical considerations like responsive design and structured data. But its main aim should be people-first: producing quality articles that deliver value for target personas while using relevant keywords they utilize for an exceptional user experience.

To do this, it’s essential that you understand how search engines operate. Search engines begin by scanning the title and meta description of your page to understand its topic; after which, they scan your content to identify main topics and keywords before indexing all websites they find in a list called their “crawl list.” Finally, they evaluate relevancy and authority based on keywords they discover as well as other ranking factors.

Next step should be optimizing your web pages using advanced on-page SEO techniques, including adding structured data and making pages more visible to search engines with rich snippets. Rich snippets are text that appear below your listing in a search engine results page (SERP), such as ratings, prices or images that increase click through rates while simultaneously improving the user experience on your website.

Additional on-page SEO techniques for advanced pages include using an appropriate URL slug, optimizing image alt text and including a social media share button. Google uses your URL slug – the part after your domain name – to understand your article better; using hyphens between words and avoiding dates in the slug can help Google understand better its topic and rank your article for related searches.

Finally, it is key that your website is easy for users to navigate and organized properly. This can be achieved by linking pages that cover similar topics within your site as well as using internal navigation for user navigation. In order to protect search rankings it’s wise not to create too many no follow links as this could harm their results.

As SEO encompasses many elements, keeping up with Google’s ever-evolving algorithm is impossible for even the most dedicated specialist. Instead, focus on performing basic steps well and regularly for a sustainable SEO strategy that will continue to deliver over time.