What does SEO mean, and what do I REALLY need to know about it?
I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
It’s REALLY hard to understand what SEO is and how to implement it properly.
Or is it?
As it turns out, you can substantially increase traffic to your website by doing one simple thing…
…learn what SEO is (and how it can improve traffic flow to your website exponentially).
In this post I’m going to show you exactly what you need to know and how to apply SEO to YOUR website.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”
Oddly enough, everyone seems to have heard about and uses the term “SEO” but many do not know what SEO means.
Why do I need SEO for my website?
SEO is basically what web designers do to make your website more attractive when the search engines, most often Google, come along to index and rank your website. SEO has been around since the early days of web design and a lot has changed since then.
Hey! Can you believe this?
Back in the early 1990’s, the average person did not have a clue about search engine optimization, aka “SEO” and for the most part, did not care.
Learn to Optimize YOUR Website with Proper SEO and Increase Your Traffic by at least 25%
Only after the web started to become much more competitive, did the phrase “SEO” start to attract attention.
Companies, anxious to compete on the web, desiring first page rankings on Google became desperate to learn what could be done to influence the rankings. Seemingly overnight, many so-called SEO “experts” started to appear until SEO itself became a profession all to itself.
Along with that came a vast amount of snake oil practices, shady promises and totally fantastic and outrageous claims such as “we can get your website on the front page of Google – guaranteed”.
SEO is not magic. Real SEO consists of some hard work!
A book could be written about the entire SEO debacle and the circus that it had become. These days, a lot of Internet marketers use the buzzword SEO to describe something in extremely broad terms beyond what it really is.
Why “black hat” SEO tricks are still rampant:
Although Google through it’s various algorithm implementations has caught on to most of the tricks and penalized or even banned websites for using these methods, there are still some debatable practices still in place such as PBN’s (private blog networks) and link buying.
Unfortunately, due to misuse and taking advantage of loopholes in “white hat”, or proper SEO practices, some of the old tried and true methods of search engine optimization such as reciprocal links are now much more of a gray area than they used to be.
Some of the older SEO tactics that might get you banned or penalized by Google:
Stuffing non-relevant keywords into your meta-tags and content that are of obviously intending to sway the rankings in your favor.
Hidden keyword text. For instance, white text on a white background.
Link farms. If you have paid to get your website link on another site that’s sole existence is sharing links, this can come back to haunt you in the form of lower rankings or even a total ban in the search rankings.
Participating in PBN (private blog networks). Recently, a lot of websites got slapped down by Google because they were linking between other blogs and websites that they created solely for circulating link traffic.
Posting your link on forums and irrelevant websites and blogs. While this may not get you banned, these are considered “low quality” links (some of which may be “no-follow” links anyway) which can nullify your SEO attempts.
Set it and forget it solutions. Often touted by so called SEO experts, some of these automated link building tools and article spinners can cause you major headaches if you get caught.
What DOES Google want to see in terms of SEO ranking?
Good quality content
This goes way back to websites 101. “Content is King“. This is one thing that has never changed. Providing high quality content is still one of the best ways to influence page rank.
Have you considered guest posting?
Strive for relevant links on other high ranking websites that are associated with your website’s subject matter. Unfortunately, getting links on high ranking websites can be very difficult to get. Guest posting on related authority websites can be helpful.
Participate in Google + and YouTube. This one is a no-brainer. Both are owned by Google which stands to reason as to why they would influence your ranking.
Participation in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. The more social your web presence is, the more visible and rank worthy it will be. This great SEO article by Neil Patel indicates where Google is heading in terms of SEO in the future.
2018 Update – What’s Working (and not working) for SEO these days?
According to Brian Dean of SEO That Works, the following are 3 common, old SEO mistakes that people have been making:
- Keeping your site updated with fresh, quality content
- Focusing on long tail keywords
- Not proactively building links
What??? The first two may come as a bit of a shock but the third makes sense. But as Brian says churning out new content with long tail keywords is pretty much a waste of time these days.
Ok, so just what IS working for effective SEO these days?
According to Brian, the following are much more productive methods of search engine optimization. The bottom line is focusing in on finding high quality resources, which is people that have the ability to share and to create links to your website.
- Proven Content Frameworks
- Content Promotion and Link building
- UX Signal Optimization