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1) Building a page/site so that search engines understand what the page/site is about. This includes not only choosing the right keywords and writing useful content about the main keyword themes, but also getting the right semantic structure to the page and setting up the architecture of the site so the pages have the right relationship to each other and the most important pages are indicated within the navigation.
2) Demonstrating that the site is an authority in its field by bringing in links from other related sites so that the search engines believe the site belongs near the top (or at the top) of the SERPS.
In my mind an SEO analysis should involve more than just slapping keywords onto a page, tweaking the head tags and adding a few pages with keywords in the filenames and a few directory submissions, but rather needs a snapshot of a whole site and how the pages fit together and compliment each other.
Any thoughts or disagreement anyone? I am looking for good argumentation to convince some skeptics that they need to focus on more than just adding content with keywords thrown in.