Definition of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Definition of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO, what is it?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): This term defines all the techniques used to improve the position of a website on the search engine results pages (SERP). It is also called natural referencing. The objective of an expert in natural referencing is to improve the visibility of the websites he supports by making them gain a place on search engines (Google, but also Yahoo !, Bing, etc.). The goal is to bring together Internet users interested in products/services or informative content.

We say that a site is well optimized or referenced if it is in the first position of a search engine on the desired queries.

What are the main criteria in SEO?

In the world, the sites most visited by Internet users are those which appear on the very first page of results (among the first 10). Of these first 10 results, the first 3 sites are the most visited.

According to studies, the figures for the percentage of clicks on Google search results based on their position on the SERP are as follows:

  • 1st position: 33% of computer clicks
  • 2nd position: 15.6% of clicks on the computer and the same on mobile
  • 3rd position: 10% of clicks on the computer and the same on mobile

The first 3 results, therefore, represent almost 60% of clicks on search engines. Hence the importance of being well placed in the natural results.

Google rates websites by the degree of relevance. More notes are good, they are more visible and are approaching the 1 st page. To be relevant in the eyes of the search engine, several criteria are taken into account.

On-page optimization: textual content of the pages of the site

On-page or on-site optimization is the set of techniques aimed at improving the quality of the content of a site/web page. Several elements need to be perfected from your keyword strategy :

  • Title tag
  • Meta tags (Meta description, robots, keywords)
  • Semantic markup (H1-H6)
  • URLs
  • Page content (Body)
  • Internal mesh (internal links)

Off-page optimization: external links (Netlinking)

Conversely, the off-site part represents everything relating to the environment of a site, and therefore the links that redirect to a page of it. It is :

  • Origin of external links (backlinks from quality sites will be more relevant to Google)
  • Link anchor (which term is used to redirect to your site)

The quantity of links is also a factor, but it is much more important to bet on the quality of the links than on their quantity.

User experience (UX)

This part is the last to have been taken into account by Google, but for years we have seen that this point is large to be taken seriously if we want to secure places in the first search results.

We can distinguish several important criteria for SEO:

  • site ergonomics: appearance and quality
  • rebound rate
  • conversion rate
  • user journey

The following elements, if done well, are likely to save you a lot of space in the results and make you much more visible. Conversely, putting aside the user experience aspect would be a serious mistake. You risk being penalized by search engines, and this more and more, because they will continue to raise their standards in the field. Above all, do not neglect them!

Technical elements related to the

site’s infrastructure (HTML code, domain name, crawl, etc.)
These are all elements that affect the user experience (UX). These factors are also essential, in particular, to reduce the bounce rate or to improve the conversion rate of a site.

  • Weight and speed of loading of a page (very important)
  • Appearance and quality of the site
  • Architecture and tree structure

These different points are essential to deal with, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Natural referencing indeed involves a multitude of actions and a regularity of actions. These are all operations that will improve the image of your site for Google or for a search engine. In all cases, natural referencing takes time.

How to optimize your SEO in 2020?

SEO is a constantly evolving sector, which requires constant monitoring to be aware of the latest news and criteria to apply. Here are a few points that will have to be integrated into its digital strategy or monitored in the coming months.


It has been several years since the number of searches on mobile devices exceeded that of searches on desktops. This is why Google and other search engines are adapting and tend to favor so-called “responsive” sites in their SEO algorithms.

Switching to HTTPS

Google has already officially announced it. The hunt for non-HTTPS sites (especially e-commerce) is on. These are and will also be banned from the first search results. Better to take the lead and migrate to HTTPS as quickly as possible.

Local SEO

More and more, we see local geolocated results appear in the SERPs

Voice search

“Ok, Google! This sentence shows the full meaning of what voice search is today. In terms of SEO too, practices are changing rapidly in this direction. Research is becoming more and more natural. We focus less and less on keywords and more and more on the semantic aspect and on questions in the form of whole sentences.

Video SEO

Social networks, streaming platforms, live,… We see it every day, visual content is much more represented and impacting in our current information system. This is the reason why producing, optimizing, and embedding videos in your content can only be beneficial for you.


After SEO, it’s time for SXO. In any case, this is the term already used by certain SEO experts who see SEO as an aging term, which will no longer be used in a few years. For them, the number 1 criterion will soon be user experience (UX). Hence the term SXO (Search eXperience Optimization)

SERP: What criteria should be used in SEO?

SERPs analyze sites with algorithms that identify several hundred different criteria. These criteria vary from year to year and these algorithms are more and more precise and refined. They filter the sites according to their nature and the type of request to which they answer. Thus, there are filters corresponding to a geo-localized, pictorial, current, musical, etc. request. To better meet these thematic criteria, the SEO is available also in local SEO, SEO videos, pictures SEO SEO news, etc.

The sites naturally present on the results of the SERPs are visible thanks to their notoriety, their meticulous work, and their popularity. Unlike paid search (SEA Search Engine Advertising), they are not the result of payment to Google or other SERPs. SEO is a long and tedious job while SEA is quick but temporary. An advertising campaign made up of SEA and SEO is called SEM (Search Engine Marketing). We, therefore, obtain the following equation: SEO + SEA = SEM

How to apply good practices

in natural referencing?
Ideally, an SEO strategy should be incorporated into each site creation so that it can be directly designed according to the criteria of the SERPs. If this is not the case, an SEO audit is necessary in order to take stock of what has been put in place previously before resorting to the modifications/optimizations.

SEO professions must therefore be creative, versatile, and innovative. The “good ideas” and the tests prior to the implementation of new strategies are essential to maintain websites or win new ones in the long term.

In conclusion, mastering the tools of natural referencing requires both technical and marketing knowledge. It is essential for a professional to stay informed of developments and trends on the web in order to react in the event of a change or the launch of a new algorithm.

Web merchants with large e-commerce sites have SEO teams within them who very often work with the DSIN (Director of Information and Digital Systems). They can also outsource their SEO to private SEO agencies or work with specialized experts. Either way, the qualifications and motivations of SEOs must

Harkati Malika


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