SEO covers a lot of ground. Business issues, case studies, domain names, news and press releases, product reviews, video, social networks and media, and search engine marketing.
A good site is one that is clearly and well written that provides good information. It’s a site with products or services that are competitively priced and in demand within whatever niche it finds itself. The goal of optimization is to improve upon those positive qualities through the use of several disciplines, not all related to what is on the web site itself because much of SEO is behind the scenes, under the hood, so to speak.
Great SEOs won’t hesitate to advise on every single detail of each aspect of what’s needed to improve an existing site, or to recommend what’s needed to build a nicely optimized site from scratch. Starting SEOs will deal with the mechanical behind the scenes, under the hood work and leave it at that NOT because they’re not technically proficient necessarily, but because they’re beginners and are learning the ropes. Back in 2003 (I was already an IT professional with four technical, engineering and Cisco certifications) as a complete SEO day one dummy I remember looking into SEO and admiring what they did immensely for their dedication and ability to communicate their ideas so well to one another on the web. I remember thinking I’d need years to bring myself up to speed. New SEOs aren’t necessarily bad if they’re serious and learn well, so you can often get good nuts and bolts work from them, but remember, it’s basic. Pay them a few thousand to start but find out what they’re going to do in writing and then demand proof that it’s been done. (screen shots, account setups etc).
The goal of SEO is to make you more money through higher conversion rates, more visitors, greater brand awareness in social media, press and news releases and more links to your site. The means to doing that as already mentioned is well written relevant and helpful information that will be appreciated, and good service and product prices, benefits and convenience. The whole thing today with Google’s use of social media signals really isn’t anything new, it’s just a new metric for them to do more accurately what they’ve always tried to do – find out what people want to see most and give it to them.
So the goal of good SEO for good web sites is partly cooperation. Cooperation between the site/business owner and the potential customer – you want what I have, I have what you want – and Google delivering on their promised goal of bringing you both together. Cooperation also works with SEOs helping each other out on the web with updated tips and tricks, hints and help on how to make things work better. So a lot of newer SEOs are greatly indebted to the old school SEOs but most can’t develop any kind of meaningful rapport beyond the casual brushes and comments on blogs and Twitter. To the new SEOs I say this: Don’t worry about the old timer SEOs. They have enough friends and have built over time powerful long lasting relationships and have solid resources and do not need you.
What you need to do if you’re a newer SEO is develop relationships with other newer SEOs and help each other. The old timers are happy to sell you services, software, seminars etc, but they’re not your friends and will be wary of your trying to become a friend thinking that you’re only looking for a one way advantage at their expense. That’s life.
For the business/website owner working on polishing and expanding content is important and so is having forms on your site to help you gather qualified people’s contact information for when you’re putting out newsletters. SEO isn’t set it and forget it (unless it’s the basic mechanical type and that’s all you want – those are essentially just settings). SEO and Search Engine Marketing require thought, direction and planning with an eye on growing traffic, visitor conversion, tracking and tweaking, and really connecting with your site’s visitors almost as if they were physically standing before you. Making their experience problem free, efficient, pleasurable and rewarding is the first step in positive Search Engine Optimization Marketing beyond the basics of simple SEO.