What Is SEO aka Search Engine Optimization?
We've all heard about SEO but as with many things marketing, acronyms and explanations can be confusing and abstract.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. But what IS Search Engine Optimization?
The first thing we need to contend with is: SEO is not the objective.
SEO is a process to help us reach our objectives.
The objective is (typically) to get the highest Google ranking you possibly can.
SEO is like gymnastics...
Imagine for a second you are a gymnast. You do cartwheels. You are one of the best cartwheelers in your country.
And in gymnastics, like all sports, you need a sporting body that lists the best gymnasts in your chosen discipline. This gymnastics index is organised and managed by the Gymnastics Sporting Authority. You really want to be on this index because it will give you access to more fans, more opportunities to compete at the highest levels and more sponsorship deals.
This index lets people know who the best gymnasts are. It is an important index.
To get onto an index, you first need to register with the sporting authority and then improve your routines to be seen as the most skilled in your category. The cartwheeling category.
It is through strategy, practice and specialised tactics that you will climb your way up this index so that the offers, the fans and the sponsorship deals will roll in.
But how do you get on the index in the first place? How do you get this massive authority to notice you?
Imagine assistants are sent out to gather info by the Sporting Authority. They list each gymnast by name, verify registration and information so that a scout can go check out each gymnast to see who is the best.
The Scout Scout
A scout then takes this list, goes to each gym, watches each gymnast perform and rates their abilities based on the rules set out by the Sporting Authority. They consider each personal skill set and then decide where a gymnast ranks on the index.
Now imagine a gymnastics enthusiast is looking for the best cartwheeler. The scout has this information and will give fans a specialised list.
Let's put down the analogy for a second...
The gymnasts are the websites. The Sporting Authority is Google. The scout assistant is a Google Bot and a Scout is an algorithm.
Search engines like Google, use bots to read pages on the internet. They collect information about each page and put them on a list.
From this list, Algorithms analyze websites and pages -taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals- to determine the order websites should appear in the search results in a given category for a given query.
Now, the last part is where things get a bit more complicated but we're just going to focus on the bigger picture.
So as you can see there are several factors involved in getting your site ranked on Google. This ENTIRE process is SEO.
How do we get the algorithm to re-rank us higher than our original position?
We use our specialised SEO skills. First, we might find out what the problems are on the site and we make improvements. We can put more relevant content on our sites for the algorithm to re-consider where it places us on Google (for a given query). But more on that another time...
If you'd like a quick way to improve your SEO, run your site through the SEO Check Up and get started!
To find out what else you can do to improve your website ranking, sign up to my newsletter!