What Is SEO – Are You Sure You Know What It Means?

What is SEO?       

I sipped my red wine, as I listened to my two friends who had so much interest in SEO.

They were arguing about search engine optimization and what it takes to rank on Google first page.

Believe me; I was shocked when I realized they don’t even know what SEO means?

And I’m throwing the question open – what is SEO?

If you think SEO is that simple, why isn’t your blog page on Google #1? Listen, I’m going to share a few insights that could change your perspective about Google & ranking.

Knowing the meaning of a thing isn’t enough. You’ve to know the principles.

Principles of SEO

Aha, this is what you need to understand. How does SEO work and what can you do to get results without having to wait for months or years? See SEO 101 case study.

The first thing you need to realize is that Google is not concerned about your homepage, but your inner pages. This doesn’t mean you should neglect the index page of your blog, but it tells you to focus on the inner pages more.

Most especially, the archive posts. Bloggers make the mistake of neglecting the archive posts; those posts that were published months and years ago. They’re goldmines.

Keep everything fresh

Get this: In the eyes of Google spider, the old posts are particularly important. They dictate what the latest posts would be in terms of reach.

This was the reason why intelligent bloggers started revamping their posts when they got penalized by Panda and Penguin. Yes, you caught me red handed, I actually revamped 23 blog posts on my blog. Back in the day, I was scared of losing my Google #2 position.

The first principle of search engine optimization is to build a strong foundation for your future content. In order words, don’t just slap any type of content today, just to get started with your blog, with the hope of blogging smarter in the future. The future of blogging is today.

Most blogs are suffering organically because, the foundation of such blogs aren’t strong. And you know what happens when the wind blows hard upon a house not build on a solid foundation – it falls?

So, what is SEO?       what is SEO?

I’m not going to bore you with the traditional definition.

Because that definition has contributed to misunderstanding about blog marketing.

In the context of blogging, SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization.

Now, let’s take the meaning a step further:

Search engine optimization simply means studying your audience, to know what they’re looking for and using content marketing to solve the problem.

In a nut shell, you first conduct a research. Afterward, create exclusive content and use marketing to reach the audience.

SEO also looks at the right placement of words. How much you’re able to use words, sentences and the style to make your reader’s life blissful.

Storytelling, Copywriting, using your voice and other elements are all important.

In fact, as you get experienced in SEO practices, you’d discover that keyword research isn’t that important. Truth be told, if you understand your niche in and out, you may not solely target a particular keyword before Google can pick interest on your blog.

SEO secret – run with it

What SEO secret have you been neglecting? You may not believe it, but everything about optimizing for search engines and people is to “add value.”

The value could be helpful, informative, entertaining, educative, mind blowing, intriguing or a combination of emotional triggers like fear, hope, joy and so on.

And 75% of the web’s content is powered by articles. With approximately 160,000 blogs being launched on a daily basis, the content you write must meet the requirements, so you can stand out from the crowd.

Understand something: your competitors are either lazy or busy. Or they don’t have the inclination and passion to research and write quality content. That’s your edge.

Engage your audience, improve your ranking

If you can follow the simple tips here, I can guarantee that your blog’s search engine ranking will increase. I chased after the next traffic generation fad, but didn’t break even.

Until I took the decision to engage my readers, Google didn’t see my blog in existence, let alone send organic traffic to it.

You’ve to work on your blog. If you can get your readers to stay a little longer, leave comments and share your posts, your ranking would improve tremendously. It’s that’s simple.

Yes, it doesn’t matter whether you’re targeting a particular keyword or not, the fact that your blog engages people is a proof that you deserve a better ranking and avalanche of free traffic. It’s your right.

So, do you know what SEO is?

If truly you understand the concept of search engine optimization, then you wouldn’t bother about pleasing everyone, but your tribe. All the complaints about traffic will end. And trying to attract everyone on your blog wouldn’t be on your wish-list. Because, conversion is your ultimate concern, not numbers.

SEO doesn’t end at keyword research and writing. It looks into conversion and tracking, too. Get to know your readers. Challenge yourself to serve them with the right meal (quality and relevant content).

Then go out there and build a formidable brand using guest blogging and social media marketing.

What’s your own definition of SEO? Please share your comment below. See you at the top!

Photo Credit: SEO

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30 thoughts on “What Is SEO – Are You Sure You Know What It Means?”

  1. Julius Mass says:

    Before I clicked through the link from facebook. I already knew that it was Michael who wrote it. Nice insights as always! Keep it up!


    1. Aha, Julius has come again. Lol!
      It’s always nice having you read my posts. Stay cool like you always do.

  2. Well to me, getting a conversation going is top priority. We own a handful of blogs in different niches and we see giant spikes in traffic for months when we hit a good topic.

    Now back in the day, I would have said back-link the shit out of it and stuff the keywords. But not today…

    1. Yes I used to be with the stuffing keywords and lots of backlinks but not anymore…

      The good thing about the internet is you can evolve with it. Do what is right and acceptable as of the moment. Don’t stay in the thing of the past. Learn about SEO and the right way to use it.

      1. Your comment and reply makes a lot of sense. “Don’t stay in a thing of the past.” We should evolve with it. Thank you so my Trent.

  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which is supposedly an “Art” has metamorphosed into a “Science” by some so called SEO Experts. lnstead of writing for humans, they’ld rather write for “bots”. And to them, that’s mastery of SEO. Personally, l have never bothered rehashing “keywords” to rank high in Google search, rather l follow what’s trending and the keywords naturally falls in place. What works for me? Simple, l write for humans not bots.

    1. You truly follow a great SEO strategy and I encourage you to keep it up – write for humans, not bots.

  4. I dont care much about seo these days, all i care about is quality content and proper marketing. If you can get your content to the front of the right people, you will surely break even in terms of traffic.
    Am not saying seo is dead, it works well especially if you are building niche sites, but if you want to build a brand and community, you need to write quality content.

    1. You’re correct Joseph. But quality content is part of SEO – that’s what every blogger must create. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Mikka says:

    That’s what I think too SEO is so complex and obscure that I won’t spend too much time with keyword research and optimizng my posts for this posts. My readers will feel that my content is not real and leave…
    Especially today social proof is probably the most important part for your ranking…

    1. Yes, social proof to Google means you’re engaging with your readers. So when you write content for your blog, make sure it meets the requirements and offer value, help.

  6. Thanks for a reminder of what SEO means!
    Of course you start with your research work. You want to see what people search and what problem they want to solve. If someone is great story teller and writer he or she can exploit this SEO knowledge and gain organic exposure. As we can see from past experiences it’s also a dynamic category.

    1. Storytelling, hmm, I think it’s vital as well. People who tell good stories oftentimes do it naturally and that’s what Google wants – not a bunch of keyword padded content.

  7. Khaja moin says:

    Yes OLD posts are really old mines for blog.
    I got a work on a blog which got hit by Panda, so I have decided now to go to old posts and make some see if they are really worthy to keep.

    Thanks for the post.


    1. You mean archived posts? Yes, they are really goldmines. If you were hit by Panda, go and revamp the older posts and see what happens. Thanks for reading my post.

  8. faisal says:

    SEO is writing correctly in order to ensure your readers get what they want.

  9. Ferb says:

    Oh, I can see SEO that is very important to a website and blog in order to gain visibility. However, the best way to keep a good SEO on blog is just like you said to produce more useful content.

    Most people starting to play with SEO, they just jump into it without even understand what that really is. But thanks for reminding me, just gotta learn what it is now 🙂 – Ferb

    1. Know how SEO works before using it. Thanks for the comment Ferb.

  10. This is the post when panda and penguin were not in market so I want you to update a post after animals had come in SEO’s World lol

    1. I don’t think much has changed about content marketing. From the onset, quality content has always been the requirement for ranking. So, this post works for pre and post panda periods.

  11. John Bruce says:

    Hy Michael
    I have read lot about SEO on all the way searching about what exactly this means, and you know what, when i have read your post its just stand out of crowd.
    Thanks for your beautifully crafted SEO.

    1. And your comment stands out as well. Thank you friend.

  12. Daniel says:

    Since old SEO tactics have changed for Google, but for all the other search engines aside from Google, don’t they still use the old SE tactics? If we change our sites to fit Panda/Penguin needs will it affect our ranking for the other search engines?

    1. I don’t think changing your SE tactics can affect your rankings on other search engines. Because 75% of search engines rely on Google for metrics. Only a handful are independent.

  13. Yes surely i have read a lot about SEO and sometimes its even confusing.You have laid it quite simple and as im a new blogger its going to really help me.Thank you

  14. Great article Michael! Building a strong foundation creates a high pagerank and Google position. Though updating on a regular basis helps receive exposure from consumers, content quality is important and keeps them intrigued. Slapping together some text, as you mentioned, might grab a consumer’s attention at first; however, the message keeps them interested instead of just continuing to scroll thru their Twitter or Facebook feed.

  15. While focusing on great solid content and marketing is great and will drive traffic, it’s also imperative to know and keep up with best SEO practices. Great article! I love what you said about the competitors being too lazy or busy to develop great content… So true!

  16. Umer Sohail says:

    I still don’t understand, if i’m writing quality content, but still not getting the visitors, (nor relevant, neither irrelevant). then what should I do?

  17. Michael Lucy says:

    Truth be told the most difficult part of SEO and a blog in our opinion is the engagement .. Our blog is about 3-4 months old, and we are using the Facebook comments plugin for engagement. Out decision to utilize the Facebook plugin was because we are a technology company and we were heavily promoting FB tools at the time .. IF I had to do it all over again, I would implement standard engagement tools including standard response tools, like this one.

    We will be implementing new engagement tools shortly, but given this article and the “keep everything fresh” section, does our lack of engagement and tools to allow readers to comment, backlink and “follow” our post hurt us in the eyes of a search engine?

  18. ketan says:

    i appreciate this article about seo…. its really very helpful & explained in very simple way that any one can understand…& will fix in mind forever. well done.

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