SEO means search-engine optimization. SEO is not a job title, when someone is an SEO he’s not a CEO — far from it, actually! (Usually they are a hired contractor, an intern or often some junior staff member in Marketing quite far removed from board members.) So let’s cut the crap here and get just to what’s important about ranking your website successfully in Search.
Get Rid of the Bull****
It is also essential to debunk a number of other myths circulating out there about SEO:
- “you cannot be found in a search-engine results page unless you pay some ‘expert’ to put you there”
- “a great specialist will put you on the first page of Google”
- “large numbers of Likes or solid amounts of organic traffic can make you go viral on Social Media and then rank high up in Search
- “pay someone to be included in a Directory Site in order to rank better”
- and many more
In fact, if any of the above are part of the sales pitch of an SEO contractor you’re considering to hire, find yourself another one — and fast! Promises like this aren’t only major red flags, but if some of these methods are applied they can harm your website or get you penalized (and down-ranked or excluded entirely) by Google or other search engines.
Both a Craft and a Technical Skill
SEO has both a content-crafting and a technical side. When writing texts for online selling, and for on-page SEO, this means that using carefully selected words for the purpose of creating the desired tone of the text needs to be accompanied by equally careful selection of technically relevant vocabulary to be picked up by the search engines, and picked up in a relevant context for the text purpose at that. There are also other aspects to on-page SEO as well. Then, there is also off-page SEO which refers to a number of things, from creating the right external links back to your content, to mastering keyword selection and meta data, to getting organic traffic (or paid-for traffic) to a specific page or overall piece of content. Either works best when executed with meticulous attention to detail.
How to Select an SEO Contractor
Reality shows that things are a lot different today than in the mis-conceptions and rumors that partially stem from earlier methods (some of them worked back in the day, but aren’t permitted nowadays, after a number of small and larger changes on the part or search engines). So it really pays for businesses to not fall for the most attractive-sounding promises or overly bold claims. Instead, make sure you have at least a basic idea what’s possible and what isn’t so you as a website owner can make an informed decision and select the appropriate consultant to do SEO work for you.