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Straight from the horse’s mouth — actually from Cyrus Shephard at The Moz Blog, which is even better — comes this article, titled “10 SEO Myths That Friggin’ Tick Me Off“. Definitely worth a read, whether you are a purveyor of search engine optimization or a recipient of its decidedly NOT mythic results.
Here is the entirety of #8, “SEO is all tricks”, because of all the myths listed herein, this is the one I have to deal with most routinely. I have added some real-world translations after each:
“Tricks” is what professionals call bad, manipulative SEO that gets you penalized. The problem, I believe, is the first thing any developer or marketing manager hears about SEO is something close to “put more keywords in the title tag.”
If that’s all SEO is, it does sound like tricks.
Real SEO makes every part of content organization and the browsing experience better. This includes:
- Creating content that reverse engineers user needs (in other words, figuring out what your users want from you and giving them more of that)
- Making content more discoverable, both for humans and search engine crawlers (yes, you still need to use search terms within your content)
- Improving accessibility through site architecture and user experience (making sure your users can actually find what they are looking for on your site)
- Structuring data for unambiguous understanding (don’t have a page titled “Fruit” that talks about cars)
- Optimizing for social sharing standards
- Improving search presence by understanding how search engines generate snippets
(putting succinct summaries where they need to go)
- Technical standards to help search engines categorize and serve content to the right audience (making your meta tags do what they need to do)
- Improving website performance through optimizations such as site speed (exactly as said)
- Sharing content with the right audiences, increasing exposure and traffic through links and mentions (getting your stuff listed and linked to from other places)
Each of these actions is valuable by itself. By optimizing your web content from every angle, you may not even realize you’re doing SEO, but you’ll reap many times the rewards.
To sum up, search engine optimization isn’t rocket science, but it does require some technical knowledge of how the Web works, some marketing skills, and some plain old common sense. At Diamond Mind, we have all that stuff in spades, so give us a call when you need help with your SEO!