SEO: The Business of Optimizing
When you first think about it, SEO (search engine optimization) could be one of those concepts that you skip over. It’s unfamiliar to most people. Sounds techy and pompous, like a term that someone would make up just to appear smart. And it sounds dull. Makes your eyes cross and glaze over, like riding a stationary bike. That gets results and makes you healthier, but it’s boring as all get out.
Leaving little trails for the search engine spiders to follow to your web pages used to be as easy as stuffing your content with keywords. Click the link for a good explanation of keyword stuffing, from Alexa. The practice was hokey then, and it’s unacceptable now. In fact, it works in reverse and puts the brakes on Google, Bing and the others.
It. Is… Alive!
From simple beginnings, optimization has mutated into a complex technology involving artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and ‘entities’. It’s gone from words to concepts, and now Google is pushing ‘intent’. ‘OK Google’ changed the game. And the core algorithm updates move the target again. Now we have to figure out ‘user intent’ and optimize for it. Where did I put that crystal ball… ? Technology is advancing so rapidly that some purists have declared that ‘SEO is dead!’
Like a physical training program, however, SEO is more than a simple set of basic exercises. Push ups, crunches, leg lifts and sit ups are a good start, but they sure aren’t enough to help you shed 40 pounds and get back your muscle tone. For that to happen, you need guidance from a personal trainer to target your efforts. Experience counts, while you may have to spend some cash for results. But I just have to mention that on my own, I’ve lost 10 pounds at least 20 times. See, physicality is not my area of expertise. I need help to get rid of the weight and keep it off.
SEO is like the weather.
More and more, we’re seeing social media ads claiming that some whiz kid can get your website ranked in 8 hours. Hmm, okay. Sometimes it takes Google and Bing a week to even notice you’re there. While it is possible to get results quickly, most of the time they can disappear just as fast. Trying to fool the search engines is clearly inadvisable. And it can get your site some heavy penalties that are difficult (and expensive) to remove.
SEO is a discipline, not a magic bullet. Just as working out must be an ongoing process to get the desired results, so it is with SEO. Progress is likely to be slow, even indiscernible at first. But you have to start somewhere. Get expert help. And don’t quit. It’s unglamorous, but effective. Also, it’s not a once-and-done thing. The same way you need to keep up with a fitness routine, SEO should be updated regularly to keep the crawl spiders’ attention. If you work out for an hour and then lay out for a month, the initial effort will fade. And so it is with SEO.
Reach out for assistance with your website’s SEO and let’s talk about it!