Long answer short to the question what is SEO:
● The abbreviation of Search Engine Optimisation
● Everything in the digital space describing your business (or yourself if that is the case).
● Can be done with on-page and with off-page optimisation
● A free way to grow your audience
● The starting point when you design a new website
● All about your industry and audience understanding
● All about being authentic and relevant
● Is not Pay-Per-Click or paid traffic in general
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation
So, let’s start from the name. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and by default it’s a wrong way of describing what you do as an SEO expert since nobody isn’t going to optimise any search engine unless if he/she works for Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any of the smaller search engines. What it actually means is optimising a digital entity for search engines to be able to understand what this entity is. Which brings us to point number two.
Digital entities are defined from two different streams of information
There are two types of information in the internet about yourself or your business. There are pieces of information that you have put out there and then you have information that 3rd party people have put either on their own right or after you asked/paid to be put on the web. In reflection to that there are two kind of SEO practices the on-page SEO and the off-page SEO. My interest and focus has always been on the on-page optimisation, and that is the approach I took when writing this post.
Don’t ever hire anyone that promises exact results!
If you ever have a discussion with anyone that is promising exact results or broadly exact (like place 1-3 on 1st page) then identify the exit and run towards without looking back. Chances are you’re either talking to black-hat SEO expert or to someone that really doesn’t know how SEO works. Not even Google can give you exact forecast of your ranking based on your digital presence. I got you wondering what is Black-hat?
Black-hat Vs White-hat SEO, how can I tell the difference?
Honestly, it’s getting more and more difficult to identify the fraudulent practices out there. My recommendation would be to speak with at least two (ideally three or more) businesses or candidates if you are looking for a freelancer and not an SEO agency. Here at Banter Media as a Digital Agency practicing SEO we do our best to describe what is the process that we will go through in relation to optimisation and if a customer wishes we can train someone to be able to create her/his own optimisation tactics. As Google Webmaster guidelines suggests , fraudulent practices can be:
● Content Automation
● Doorway Pages
● Hidden Text or Links (e.g.: making the text same colour as the page background colour)
● Keyword Stuffing (repetitive keyword usage in a non-genuine way)
● Sneaky Redirects
● Link Manipulation and Schemes (including buying links)
● Article Spinning
● Creating pages with malicious behaviour, such as phishing or installing viruses, Trojans, or other madware
● Rich Snippet Markup Spam
● Automated Queries to Google
● Creating pages, subdomains, or domains with duplicate content
The least we can do is inform you about these practices, one of the main reasons why I wanted to write this post, so that you are aware of the malicious practices out there. We respect our customers and ourselves as professionals in the digital space, so make sure next time you look for an SEO professional you have these in your mind.
SEO or PPC? Or Both? What should I do?
To get things right, SEO is all about organic search engine results. Using SEO will help your website / landing page to target an audience based on the relevancy of your page content and users’ query. So SEO is about using the right words to describe your business in the best possible way, and in doing so use a structured way to present this page in the search engine crawlers. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) on the other hand is an advertisement, think of it as digital billboard, the moment you stop paying your billboard advertisement is removed.
These two can be friends though, they can go hand in hand and help each other. PPC as good as it is if you don’t have enough budget per month to spend then it’s not going to perform, and the moment you stop paying you stop existing in search results. So getting your SEO right is important as it will drive traffic to your website at no cost, although it will need good planning and patience.
SEO make it work but do it right is the key!
As many things in life you can make something work in many different ways, but usually there is one way which is right, thus the best performing. Same goes with SEO, you should not try to trick a search engine to influence the results, it’s a place you don’t want to be. If Google penalizes your website/page means you are doomed to live at the last page of google results and trying to convince Google that you are not the malicious website she thinks is not going to be easy.
Remember, having good quality content and knowing your audience is a great start, but putting in work, having the right order and structure for your website/page is also very important.
All sounds good but… What is SEO?
SEO is every piece of information you put out there. SEO is your pictures, your page titles, you URLs, your meta descriptions, your social media interactions and feeds, your website architecture, your content quality, your relevancy to the targeted audience, and so much more. Pretty much as I previously said anything you can think of in the digital world, is influencing your SEO score.
Yes, I could create a priority list of the most/ least influential attributes but I don’t want to dive into so much detail, maybe in a future post if it is of interest? Let me know in the comments section below, and please share your feedback for my approach to replying ‘What is SEO?”.