SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. An SEO specialist is someone who optimizes web sites to increase their rankings in search engine listings.
While I have consulted for dozens of organizations in the past decade on generating web traffic, including search engine optimization, I have never classified myself as an SEO specialist. Yes, I’ve done the experimentation, the trial and error, analysis, site maps, analytics, testing and more analysis… So I do know more than the average web designer. I can get you 95 percent of the way there.
But a true SEO specialist is someone who keeps up on the trends, changes, and slight modifications week after week and month after month – something I have never had the time, nor the patience for. When it comes to such things, I much prefer being a generalist – and if you’re a writer, I suggest you take the same outlook.
There are basically two brands of SEO – white hat and black hat.
White Hat: Optimizing web sites within the rules and guidelines dictated by the search engines (specifically Google).
Black Hat: Optimizing web sites using loopholes in those same rules and guidelines, pushing the envelope between “legal” and “illegal” (where the fine for being caught can cause your website to be banished from the search listings!) Few specialists in these “dark arts” ever publicize their techniques, or sell their secrets en-masse, because once these techniques are made public, they are no longer of any value.
Some may make you think that getting web traffic from search engines is some kind of magical secret, as if it had been handed down from the Knights Templar. SEO is not a dark art, nor is it rocket science. Here are the five most important things to remember.
Again, 95 percent of what you need to know when it comes to getting traffic from search engines is not a dark art, nor is it rocket science by any means.
There are five points to remember:
1. Write GREAT Content: The better your content, the more people will read it, the more people will link to it, and the more likely it will appear in the search listings. Optimizing and re-optimizing a bad web page for the search engines, is the same as polishing and detailing a car without a transmission.
2. Keywords: Understand human behaviour when they go to a search engine looking for information. Understand keywords and variations on keywords.
3. Keyword Supply & Demand: Weigh the popularity of keywords people are searching for against the number of websites that are already available for those keywords.
4. Make your web page discoverable by your readers using those keywords. Understand where to place keywords in your code, in your content, and in your links. Understand approximately how often a keyword should be in a web page – what is too little and what is too much.
5. Invite honest, meaningful links to your website.
Now there are just three quick things I’d like to share with you:
1. Now that we’ve discussed the question of What is SEO, here are several great SEP tips to get more web traffic.
2. Have you enrolled in my Free Course on Building Web Traffic?
3. All of this information, and much more is included in my SEO Manual, Traffic Essentials: Your Little Black Book to Search Engine Optimization.
It’s a 54 page manual that discusses these five areas in detail, and gives you an understanding of the mechanics behind the search engines, and many more tips, strategies and techniques. It took me ten years and a couple thousand dollars in courses to get to my level in SEO. This books contains everything I know.
(Top SEO Graphic Courtesy of Svilen Milev)