Search engine optimization (SEO) is thought of as a dark art to those not familiar with the topic. However, it is a key part of the process of professional content development. The Periodic Table of Search Engine Ranking Factors (updated in 2015) goes some way to visually explaining the factors involved in a more scientific format.
Search engines review and consider web pages using a complex algorithm of ranking factors. SEO ensures that your content generates the right type of signals to make it appealing to the search engines. This should not be at the expense of user-friendly, relevant and interesting content. When used correctly, effective SEO will enhance the visibility of these pages to ensure that they are reviewed and listed in the search engine results pages.
(This post was originally published in October 2011)