So you’ve heard the term SEO being thrown around while you’ve been finding out about marketing and promotion but you’re not really sure what it actually means – even though you’ve been nodding in agreement so that you didn’t look too silly in front of your nerdier friends.
Well have no fear, because I’m here to help you out with the basics of what this term means.
Don’t worry, we won’t be going into too much detail in this particular post as I will be making posts for all the different terms you are about to hear (if they need more explanation), but this will at least give you an understanding of the overall area that is SEO!
So first and foremost…
What does SEO stand for?
The acronym SEO simply stands for search engine optimisation, or search engine optimization if you are in the USA 🙂
As I am in the UK… Search engine optimisation 😉 is the process of making sure that something you put online, whether it is a blog post like this, a video, a website or anything else is doing all it can to try and get it as high as possible in the search results on search engines such as Google, through the use of various techniques and best practices.
But why is SEO important?
As much as we would love to think that our own websites and videos are the best things ever and will get great rankings purely on their own merit (which you could look at as completely natural SEO) unfortunately this usually isn’t the case.
So as an SEO guy or girl our job is to try and make sure that we follow best practices, with a dash of your own individual awesome SEO sauce, to give it the best chance possible to hit that number one spot on page 1.
n.b. Although there are other search engines apart from Google this is the main one that we focus on purely because they have the lion’s share of the traffic online – you get a good ranking on the Big G and you get the most natural traffic. Simples.
Can’t We Just Do What Google Says And Rank 1st?
Now the people at Google aren’t stupid enough to let us know exactly what ranks websites etc online otherwise people would just abuse it and spam the heck out of it (in fact this used to be possible just a few short years ago and was soon put a stop to because it made the search results look awful) but they do help us out by letting us know a few of their best practices.
They send this stuff out on a regular basis to their blogs, youtube and twitter (and anywhere else that will have them) and if you are interested in this stuff it does make sense to keep an eye on what they are saying… with a pinch of salt…
A good SEO’er won’t necessarily agree with everything they say but they will take it into account and with a little wizardry and jiggery-pokery will try and persuade the ranking gods to favour the content they are putting out for the world to see.
Even with a little knowledge under your belt (or down your trousers, your choice) there are still a lot of different things to get used to when it comes to SEO.
Luckily most of them kind of fall into two main categories, which are on page and off page.
What The #@?! is On Page?
On page refers to the things that we have complete control of on our website (or whatever it is we are putting online) – so the things we can edit freely and keep an eye on.
These are things such as H1 tags, alternative text on images, internal linking of our pages, file names, the structure of our site and various other things as well.
*Don’t worry if you don’t know what all those terms mean, this is a general look at SEO, we will cover individual things more in their own posts
All these things combine to create good on page SEO which in turn helps things such as visitors, time spent on the site, click through rates and many other things that places like Google look at to see whether a site is relevant and interesting.
The more relevant and interesting a site is the better it is in Google’s eyes therefore the better it ranks. It’s a win-win situation as you are giving something good to your visitor and at the same time you should see yourself higher up in the search engine rankings.
The other main factor that you need to look at when it comes to SEO in its most general form is known as off page.
What The #@?! is Off Page?
This is the stuff that we don’t really have that much control over (although you will learn that you have more control than you may think) and includes everything that is happening anywhere else and pointing towards your site.
These ‘things pointing to your site’ are commonly known as back links, no matter where they are coming from
But there are many many different versions of a back link, some are awful, damaging ones (think spam, porn, link farm type links) and some are brilliant ones that are hard to get (government sites, universities, authority places such as online newspapers) but if you can get them help hugely.
As I mentioned there are many different types of backlinks, but the main ones you will come across are:
Social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn…
Web 2.0 which are things such as Squidoo, Hubpages….
Video sites which include YouTube, Vimeo….
Forum comments – this is where you find a discussion board on your topic and join in the conversation…
Blog comments – similar to forum comments (but can be much better links) where you find other sites that allow comments and leave relevant posts
That’s some of them, but this is in no way all of them.
There are also many lesser-known ones such as software links, wiki links, PDF sharing sites, PowerPoint sharing sites and more but I think we need to stop there before we lose track of the point of this post!
As much as this may all sound a little bit confusing right now, I can assure you that before you know it you’ll be spouting this nonsense at the next family party and getting blank looks just like I do right now 🙂
This is just a very general overlook what SEO (Search Engine Optimisation, remember?) is and hopefully it has given you an idea of some of the (many) areas involved.
I will be going into much more detail on some of these points in their own posts or videos to don’t worry if you don’t totally get it from this one article, you’re not alone!
If you’ve got any comments or think that I haven’t explained something very well (entirely possible!) then please leave a comment below or ask away on the Facebook page at http://facebook.com/pocketacepromotion and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Take it easy, speak soon.
SEO - What The #@?!
So you've heard the term SEO being thrown around but what does it actually mean?... Worry no longer 🙂