Across the last 10 years or so, the digital marketing discipline “SEO” has had a somewhat chequered past. It was pitched by many providers as a “dark art”, something that only experienced specialists with years upon years of testing experience could possibly hope to decode.
That perception has since evolved into an understanding that the best approach is one of common sense and transparency. We work in an ecosystem where accountability is king. Return on any digital marketing spend can easily be measured, especially the organic channel. Analytics and rank tracking tools tell us where our traffic originates and how visible our brands are to searchers using search engines.
In modern digital marketing, it’s much, much easier to know if your SEO strategy is effective. Over the course of the next few months I’ll be helping you get up to speed with the process for yourself.
SEO is accessible, easy to learn, fun to execute and far from a mystery. We’re marketing, to people online. It’s a balance of technical and marketing discipline that, when working well together can be an extremely powerful and cost efficient promotion.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re planning your first SEO campaign. You have a team of five people available, ready to train and get to work, and you can assign them any job title you’d like.
All you need to do is understand exactly what’s important to execute. You may have heard phrases like “link building”, so you may consider hiring for a link builder position. Social media is important too, so you’ll need a team member to look after your social campaigns.
Search engines by their very nature need to crawl and discover your content, so there’s a technical interaction between your site and a search engine crawler that technical SEO must be needed to accommodate. That’s three roles filled, and conversion, analytics, content production and keyword research considerations are yet to be met.
The wonderful thing about SEO is that the roles within the field are wide ranging enough to justify a multi-disciplinary approach. You need the ability to research, learn and understand how your target audience are using search engines.
You need the ability to interpret the data from your research and derive meaningful site architecture, able to meet the needs of your users while providing relevant content to search engines.
Finally, but arguably most importantly, you’re going to need to be able to produce content that appeals to the very same people that you learned about during your keyword research activities and understand where to promote that content. With some luck all this work will result in a well linked to site with growing social popularity and a growing community of loyal subscribers, brand advocates and fans. You’ll have connected with a potential customer during their consideration process, solved a problem for them, satisfied a need and made a sale.
Where to learn the basics of SEO
One of the favourite destinations for beginners to SEO is Moz, a well known SEO tools company based in Seattle. They have a terrific set of guides including “The Beginner’s Guide to SEO”. Reading this and following their resources comes with a high recommendation.
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