It may seem like a really simple answer. SEO is the process of optimising or improving a website to increase organic visibility. And to a large degree, that definition still stands…mostly. There is so much more to SEO that I felt the need to explain what it actually is so that we can really start doing Search Engine Optimisation.
In the beginning…
When the web started, there were a few search engines dedicated to bringing results to questions. Back in 1998 Google set about changing this. At the time, there was little to suggest that it would become the search engine to rule them all.
Back then, and up until May last year, everyone (including Google) depended on Links to improve the authority (the amount of strength) any one site had. But as is often the case in life, it was possible to take short cuts, forcing the authority rather than earning it.
Penguin put a stop to that. Google has now forced us to change the way we approach the SEO process. We have to be smart and really engage with audiences and customers to deliver something fantastic that earns their respect and in turn we get authority.
So, what exactly is SEO today?
Now SEO is basically everything from Social Media to PR and offline tactics. SEO is online, On The Line and offline…
It may be confusing when an SEO consultant provides advice on what you should be doing on social media or what events you should be attending. You may even ask why they’re even mentioning those things. All you are asking for is SEO advice right?
And that is the point really. SEO is everything and anything that may have an impact on your site. Let’s delve a little deeper into this idea shall we?
Say, for example, you have a great website that offers great products. How should you go about boosting performance and organic visibility? Well first off, you need to deploy a neatly developed structure using tactics like:
- Information Architecture
- UX paths
- Schema Mark-Up
- A Sitemap for Google and Users
- All the other SEO basics
Do you just employ the above tactics and leave it at that? No, you need to do more because somebody is always trying to outdo you. What other steps can you take? Well here are a few simple ones to get you started.
- Start promoting your site offline by saying hey have you seen my site?
- Referencing industry experts (networking)
- Creating a social community around your content
- Deploy conversion Optimization
- Research – Customer surveys, study groups and more
All of these are directly aimed at making your site better for those who use it. This, and it’s painful to have to point out something so obvious, will help your site. People will start linking to you. They will talk about you socially online and offline, the user experience will be better and, in the end, your bounce rate will decrease.
What have you done? You have earned the respect and gained the authority and over time (SEO is a marathon, not a sprint) you will see your site continue to outperform your competitors.
So back to my opening question, What is SEO? SEO is anything and everything that may have a direct or indirect impact on your site.
It is isn’t keywords or links. It is so much more than just the basics. Don’t get caught in a rut and don’t expect to make one go of a site and have it become an instant success. Perform the above five things and more and you will get better results and better traffic that actually wants to convert.