FAQ’s :: So, what is this SEO stuff?

First in my series of ‘most asked questions’ has to be this one. When I tell people i do SEO, it’s quite a common response, “What is SEO?” I have actually been asked this question a lot by friends, family and potential clients alike, and answering it isn’t hard for me, this is what I do all day. But giving an audience appropriate answer, now that’s more tricky.

What is SEO

So, what is SEO?

For people outside of online marketing there are generally two preconcetions of ‘What is SEO?’ They are that it is either:

  1.    Some techie, geeky, mathematically certain process or
  2.    That it is a mystical dark art.

It’s neither.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is part art and part science in its application, but, by definition, it is just improving a website the according to the search engines’ own best practices. And whilst they don’t give us the magic formula (now that would take all the fun out of it) they do tell us enough that we can make educated decisions about how we align our strategy. And we have enough experience under our belts to know instinctively how to approach grey areas, and when to say “no-one could possibly know for sure whats the right way to go about it, let’s test it and be the first to find out”.

So SEO (part art, part science, part testing) , involves striving towards those best practices we mentioned. They include (but are not limited to):

The domain

This is your abc.com part. How old is it, who and where is it registered to, are there penalisations applied to it?

The pages on your site

How we create pages in the site, how we label the behind the scenes stuff, what we write on page, who writes it, how we present it, what images we use, how it relates to the rest of the site.

The community you are in

Are you keeping good company? If the only sites that talk about you are black hat (dark mystical types) websites, Google will (probably correctly) assume that represents who you are too. However, if have links from (and to) authoritative and reputable sites you build the case that you too, can be trusted.

There are a whole bunch of other factors too, but these are the basic building blocks of SEO.