Before I started my role in digital marketing, I had a very vague idea as to what search engine optimization (SEO) actually was. I knew that it was an essential part of all online businesses, but my god I had so much to learn. The easiest way that I could SEO is by referencing one of my favourite movie scenes. Have you ever seen The Wolf of Wall Street? Do you remember the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio (Jordan Belfort) is out having lunch with Matthew McConaughey (Mark Hanna) and they’re talking about stock prices? Matthew McConaughey’s character later mentions that stocks are like a fugazi… “They’re not f***ing real”.
That my friends are SEO! It’s not some physical thing that you can just do once and then hide it away in storage. SEO is a long process that over time, given you’re using the right strategy, will assist in boosting your rankings within Googles search results for certain keywords or phrases.
I remember in my earlier days of work, I simply just couldn’t fathom the process of optimizing a website. I remember an exact time where I even asked my boss, “So how do you do SEO? And where do you do it?”. Looking back that probably wasn’t the most intelligent thing for me to say. Although it seemed like a complex task, I was soon able to wrap my head around it with the help of Hubspot’s online SEO academy.
So in plain English, SEO is the process of optimizing your webpages by undertaking certain procedures to appeal to search engines. A commonly known practice of this is referring to select words on your website that you’d like to rank for in Google. Being that I work for an apps studio, we may desire to rank for keywords like ‘apps’. So we could update the copy on our website to reflect that we develop apps. This is great, but by updating our copy once, it won’t have much of an impact… why? Because a search engine will always try and find the most reliable website to present to a user. By constantly updating our website with new content like blogs that incorporate our desired keywords, it can reassure the search engine that we are a reliable website. There are other contributing factors to help increase your search rankings, these can include; customizing your websites meta tags and meta descriptions, naming images accordingly, increasing your page load speed, adding effective header tags and using outbound links.
So there’s this search engine out there that seems almost like a bad guy, although everyone wants to be his best friend. However, this character is rather picky about who it becomes close with. It only likes friends who are genuine and work hard for their friendship over a long period of time. But, if you try and cheat your way into a friendship with him, you’ll be punished and lose any progress that you’ve made.
It’s always important to remember when trying to optimize your website, that search engines love sites that are genuine. There’s no point in paying someone to give your web page 100,000 page views. Search engines will eventually find out about it and can actually penalise your website. At the end of the day, it’s important to just be yourself on your website. Don’t try and overkill your website by trying to optimize it. Instead, just post genuine content that is relevant to both your keywords and your target audience.
I’m aware that this post hasn’t covered everything about SEO, instead, it’s just covered what I’ve learned so far. I look forward to publishing the second series of this blog as my SEO knowledge continues to grow. In the mean time be sure to subscribe to my blog to keep up with my latest posts.