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Starting a business is hard enough, but trying to stake your claim in cyberspace’s increasing noise is a whole new level of headache. This practice of figuring out how to get your web page to the top of a search engine list is known as SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and by definition, it is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”


What do we mean by ‘organic results,’ though? In essence, organic results refer to organic traffic or website traffic that you don’t have to pay for. Generating as much organic traffic to your website is the ultimate goal of SEO.


Let’s talk a little bit about the quality of your traffic, though. What we mean by quality traffic is traffic that comes to your website looking for the resources they searched for. If you’re looking up words for Chinese vegetables but end up getting Chinese restaurant results instead, that is pretty low-quality traffic. You mainly want your website to appear in searches that use words and phrases specific to your business and niche.


As for the quantity of the traffic, the more people you have browsing search engine results pages (SERPs), the better chances your website has of generating some new traffic.


One big question remains. How can you manage to generate quality and quantity SEO traffic? There are two routes you can go: on-page SEO factors and off-page SEO factors.


On-page SEO factors


Anything relating to on-page SEO factors has to directly with your website. These factors include your website’s structure and copy quality, as well as more technical aspects like website code and site speed. The more you fine-tune all of these, the better chances your website has of leaping to the top. A new sub-practice of SEO has emerged from focusing on on-page SEO factors: holistic SEO. Holistic SEO is the notion that keeping your website as efficient and up-to-date as possible will generate higher quality results. Think about it; search engines make money by leading their users to the resources they’re seeking. If search engines see high-quality websites, they’ll be more likely to push it to the top to make users happy. In this sense, holistic SEO offers a reasonably straightforward path to improving your SERP rankings.


Off-page SEO factors


Off-page SEO factors, in contrast, is essentially what other people are saying about your website. The more people are talking about you, the higher you’ll appear in SERPs. This outside attention includes social media presence, backlinking (i.e., links to your website found on other websites), as well as external marketing activities designed to generate more traffic to your site. Of course, your on-page SEO factors can affect your off-page SEO factors. That’s why it’s so essential to maintain a sterling web presence; it’ll cement your status as a force to be reckoned with and pique the interest of new leads.


We hope you learned a little something about the exciting new world of SEO today. For more information on this burgeoning industry, check out some of our picks for the best search engine optimization books.