Breaking Down The Science of SEO
To put it as simply as possible, SEO consists of techniques, strategies, and tactics that are utilized to gain a high search engine ranking online. The process uses facts, truths, creativity and skill to be systematically arranged and operated. The infographic below that our team at ManoByte developed, shows us several topics from the basic definition to the science of SEO. We can see how in today's technology-rich environments, there is a continuous evolvement and relevance with SEO. There is a methodology to all SEO processes that can either make or break a website.
What is SEO?
Online search provides a massive opportunity to grow an online business or blog. However, before we dive into the essence of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), its best to start with a basic definition of SEO. To put it simply, SEO is a process for increasing quality website visitors to a website by raising the website's rank on Search Engines. Raising a website's rank for targeted keywords will provide the website with "free" or "organic" listings. SEO and inbound marketing are closely related, and there are many tactics inside of inbound marketing that can be used to increase a website's rank and promote that website online.
SEO is a Science and an Art
Create to Inspire
The point of this blog post is not to bore you with the basics or how-to's involved in SEO, but to explain the overall essence of SEO. When a good online marketer uses SEO, they know it is not a magic wand. A switch can't just be flipped into instant results. It is not something mysterious, there is an actual process, method and science that must be involved to provide constant and consistent results. SEO does not only refer to search rankings, but also can be utilized on other forms of media, such as inside the social sphere, blogs, forums, online news and more.
By definition, science is a systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. Sound familiar? SEO can be defined more in this light than the basic definition provided earlier. When SEO is performed, observation and experimentation is used to provide more knowledge for a world we cannot physically touch, but we can still see.
Art by definition is the conscious use of skill and creative imagination to produce esthetic objects. SEO can also be viewed as an art form due to the skills and insights needed to produce processes, content, implementation methods and more.
SEO involves creativity, engagement, and implementation of a strategy plan. It is both an art and science. As online marketers, we are not just technical programmers of websites, but engineers of the real world in electronic form.
You Can't Pay to Play
SEO is a Valuable Source for Quality Traffic
One of the main reasons why SEO so valuable is because of its overall ROI (return on investment). The B2B Social Media Guide has showcased that more than 80% of Internet users use search and organic search is the #1 traffic driver to sites, beating out social media by 300%. If that stat doesn't phase you, how about the fact that BloggingPro provided that identified that 42% of all searchers click on the top-ranked result, while only 23% click on a pay-per-click (PPC) link?
Here are some more interesting stats:
When making a buying decision, roughly 75% of users first turn to the search engines for more information, while 60% refer to social media, blogs or other sources of information like forums and news sites.
More than 50% of online users agree that websites ranked higher in the search results are more trustworthy
Almost 40% of users admit to clicking on a paid search result less than once a month, showing that organic listings appeal more than paid listings.
SEO is very valuable and it's far from being gone. SEO provides methods to promote your website, grow your following, build your brand and generate leads.
Searchers are becoming more advanced due to technology being introduced and integrated into their lives at a much younger age. That being said, where is your target audience? Are they flipping through the pages of the local directory book, or are they swiping with their finger through social media channels, forums, or clicking around on search engines to find you?
Why Old SEO Tactics Do Not Work
Old SEO Methods = Bad Marketing
In the past, when SEO was considered a magic wand, there were SEO tactics that could instantly provide results. The truth of the matter now is those old SEO methods do not produce good marketing results. The key to gaining trust, building a following and ranking well lies within quality content and strategy.
Here is a list of old school marketing principals that can be applied to new SEO methods:
- Plan a strategy
- Work the strategy plan
- Implement the strategy
- Test, test, test and test again
When using SEO tactics, do not focus solely on rankings. Yes, the end result is to look for that glorious high ranking that will drive your website to the top. However, writing content built for rankings and not for the reader will not bring you social bookmarks, shares, lengthly page views and other factors that search engines take into consideration to bring you that ranking. Old SEO methods are out and quality marketing strategies are in.
Why Most SEO Agencies Are Not Doing The Right Things
Follow The Yellow Brick Road
As our infographic shows you, search is constantly evolving. And the world of SEO comes with a few words of caution, there are many SEO "agencies" out there who are simply not keeping up with SEO changes and developments. These agencies are often convinced that links are the only key factor to rankings, or that keywords must be stuffed into content, are part of the old ways that are not yet completely forgotten. For example, most SEO agencies still do not realize that meta keyword tags do not assist in ranking your website.
SEO Is Always Evolving - Take These And Run With It
What worked yesterday, may not work today.
- The only true way to stay up to date in the evolution of search is to research, test and stay involved.
- Distinguish your website and brand against everyone else. Be memorable.
- Provide excellent content that is useful.
- Create to inspire
- Experiment with different forms of media
- If your first test does not work, test and test again
- The conversation will not make you rank, but the solutions provided will
- SEO should be viewed as a science and an art
The science of SEO is very complex and constantly changing. As engineers of the digital world, online marketers can be held responsible for the content online viewers find. Our advice? Don't be known as "that guy" -- "that guy" that writes keyword filled articles that spam and clutter. Be known as "the guru" or "the expert" who provides results and amazing solution-based content. SEO is constantly evolving and it is up to us, as today's online marketers to refine and hone our skills for a better future of online search.