Search Engine Optimization as you know is basically a practice and methodology to increase your ranking in the search result when a person tries to find out something related to you. There are people who do this and help you rank higher in search results and these days there are hundreds of them coz digital media world is growing at a super fast rate. The most prominent negative effect of this is that it also increases the chances of customer being cheated or mislead by these SEOs. I’ll be highlighting some level of insights here in order to make you understand what SEO people are and what’s their job and how can you help yourself from being cheated.
Since the time I have been learning and implementing SEO(not long) what i have learnt is that SEO people have two levels, first kind have the basic knowledge of SEO and how to implement the basic stuff and the other ones are the advanced people who are way past the basic SEO implementation and implementing the advanced SEO practices which might sound very fancy but are actually just elaborate. And yes you read it right there are no intermediate levels.
Basic SEO implementation is something that anyone can do on their own for their websites. Basic SEO essentially contains some fixed rules/practices/methods and tactics that you have to implement. Basic SEO actually has a checklist which can be found on many different websites and then working on every step of that checklist individually can get half of your SEO work done without anybody’s help. So it’s not a rocket science but just a step by step process. Basic SEO will mostly contain On Page SEO which is very basic yet very important. On Page SEO contains optimization of your own website and webpages for better search engine visibility. This is similar to the principle that if you can’t keep your own house clean you won’t be of much help to keep your neighborhood clean. So if you can’t optimize your website properly then Off Page SEO will not be that effective.
If you think about advanced SEO, it is much like a lake rather than an ocean. It’s not huge but quite elaborate. Again advanced SEO also have many fundamental processes and methods that can be applied directly without needing to learn rocket science. However there are only few fundamentals and that too are not very simple and straight forward but an amalgamation of many different channels and sources and their combinations to obtain the best desired results. Person implementing advanced SEO need to find these right combinations and implement them over and over again till you get number one position in search engine results. This is what they charge for. This might seem vague as to which combinations and channels I’m talking about so lets look at it a little deeper with an example.
Consider you have a freemium e-learning online platform which targets school children. Your primary users are children of the age group 12-18. In order to get high traffic you need to find out combinations of channels that will hit these target users or affect them in a positive way. To do that you can:
1. Find out what are the interest of these children. (Research)
2. What do they like to do online. (Research)
3. Say 70% of the target users like online games so you can then produce games which will provide knowledge side by side as you keep on playing. This will help you gather attention of these users. (Implementation)
4. Say 50% of the target users also uses social medias like Facebook, you can then optimize you Facebook brand page with the relevant and engaging content in order to gather their attention. (Implementation)
5. Children are not the decision makers in a household, parents are. Find out where do parents of your target users hang out and then engage with them using your creative approach. You can then actually sell your product to them by showing them how their children are liking it and how it is really beneficial for the children of this age group. (Business Development and Sales)
6. Parents are diversified group, once you influence them they will spread the word around and if some of them are influential people in online world then it would be an added advantage to you as you might get featured in articles or might be covered by online magazines. (Link Building)
7. Now that you are getting decent users after 4-5 months, you can then analyze the behavior of your users by different analytic tools and see what is popular among your target users and then produce similar type of engaging content. (Analytics)
8. Say after 6-7 months you have a lot of user data and you are analyzing it to effectively promote your brand, is that it? What now?. You can then dive into the data and by using few of the important parameters you can create a beautiful and useful infographic for your industry. (Content Generation)
9.Promote your infographic in the industry, send it to bloggers and online magazines in your niche market. If it’s useful people will again write about you which will increase your backlinks. (Link Building and Marketing)
And this will continuously go on. These strategies are formed one on top of other and they will never end if you keep on innovating and coming up with new ideas. Original and relevant content is one factor that is always constant and can differentiate you from the normal crowd and increase your rankings tremendously. You can also see that many different types of channels are being used in the above points and they are all linked to one another. SEO person does this and lot more. Doing this effectively is something that makes top SEO consultants stand apart from normal SEO consultants.
Knowledge of advanced SEO comes either with experience or if you are creative enough to explore all the different possibilities. So next time when you hire a SEO make sure you are hiring an advanced SEO person coz basic SEO you can do on your own. Lemme know if this helped you in any way.