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What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

A basic breakdown of what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is and

Kevin Wagstaff avatar
Written by Kevin Wagstaff
Updated over a week ago

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) refers to the process of increasing your rankings on Google and other search engines.

There are many variables involved when search engines are indexing your website. Although Google keeps its official list of ranking factors a secret, there have been many case studies done by experts to determine what exactly contributes to a website's SEO.

SEO is a Combination of On-Site and Off-Site Elements

  • Off-site SEO: includes backlinks, citations, online reviews, social media, and any other external signals pointing to your website on the internet.

  • On-site SEO: involves optimizing the content and technical structure (technical SEO) of a website.

What is Technical Structure?

Think of your site's technical structure as a home's foundation. You could have a great-looking website, but without a solid technical structure, the whole thing is less effective.

When you write content for your site, you're typically writing it for the human eye. Technical aspects refer to elements that only search engines or special devices will see.

On-Site SEO Includes:


Metadata refers to snippets of text that describe a page's content. Meta tags don't typically appear on the page itself, but in the page's code for search engines to read.

What a title and description look like on Google, using as an example.
  • Why This Helps SEO:  Without metadata, search engines have a really hard time trying to figure out what your site is about. They aren't smart like humans, and need you to speak their language.

  • What About My Spectora Website? All Spectora websites are set up with optimized homepage metadata so your Google homepage listings are compelling.


Crawlability refers to how well search engines discover and index your website. Search engines crawl websites to discover content and store it in databases. 

  • Why This Helps SEO: Having a Google-friendly sitemap will help your site get indexed faster. A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, posts, and other files on your site. Search engines like Google read this file to more intelligently crawl your site.

  • What About My Spectora Website? All Spectora websites are set up with a comprehensive sitemap. You can find yours by adding /sitemap.xml to the end of your website domain (for example,

SSL Certificates (HTTPS)

An SSL certificate guarantees that a website encrypts its users' information. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Google prefers sites that are trusted and certified. Do you see the lock in the top left corner by your website address? That means the site you're viewing is secure!

  • Why This Helps SEO: Google has confirmed that it gives HTTPS sites a boost in ranking. This means that if your website is tied with a competitor for rankings and you're the only one to implement HTTPS, it is very likely that Google will rank your site higher.

  • What About My Spectora Website? All Spectora Websites are equipped with SSL certificates. See more info here.

Page Speed

Page speed refers to the amount of time it takes to fully display the content of a specific page of a website in an internet browser.

  • Why This Helps SEO: Google has indicated site speed is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can't crawl as many pages, and this could negatively affect your indexation.

  • What About My Spectora Website? We optimize our websites and images so your pagespeed always stays in a good range.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization refers to the practice of optimizing your content to achieve a better ranking for your web pages in search engine results pages.

  • Why This Helps SEO: Mobile traffic accounts for a majority of all internet searches. In fact, Google uses a mobile-first index, meaning that it's using the mobile content of a web page to determine its ranking.

  • What About My Spectora Website? We optimize our websites to be responsive on the most popular device sizes for desktops, laptops, and mobile.

Spectora builds high-quality home inspection websites with out-of-the-box SEO setup.

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