What is SEO? What does it really mean and how do you know if it’s working? I’m Dr. Ty Belknap with Port Bell SEO and I get asked that question quite a lot.
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My definition of SEO is: It is the tools and the techniques that a person uses to get to the top of the search engines. It doesn’t matter if that person is a professional, an amateur or anywhere in between.
But that doesn’t really tell us what search engine optimization does, does it?
As an example of what SEO is, I watched a movie recently. You know how they’ve got those Blu-Ray discs now with like four movies in one; you only want the one movie, but you get the other three anyway? Well, I bought one recently and one of the other three movies caught my eye because it looked like it had a couple of decent actors in it.
I started watching it and it was full of high rated actors; I was really surprised. The writing was great, the cinematography was good; the movie was very well done… except for one thing: The score.
Now if you’re not familiar with it, the score is the background music, not the songs that you hear but the background music that sets the mood of the movie. If the score is done right, you almost never notice it.
But it can ruin the movie when it’s done wrong, which is pretty much what it did with this movie.
So, this movie had two- and three-star ratings in it and the movie was done exceptionally well except for the score.
SEO is quite a lot like that. You can have a beautiful website; you can hire top-of-the-line graphic designers and top of the line web developers. You can even have your social media marketing done very well. But without search engine optimization, the entire package is missing something.
That’s what SEO is. It is one of the base things that you need for your marketing package to be done right.
“How do I know if my SEO is working for me?” The most obvious answer to that is you’re getting higher in the search engines. But higher in what? Let’s say you sell widgets and I go on to a search engine, whether it be Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex or whatever it might be. and I’m looking for refrigerator repair. When I type that in, your website comes up. But you don’t do refrigerator repair; you sell widgets.
However, when I go to look for widgets, your website doesn’t come up. That’s something that is very important to watch out for. You want to be at the top of the search engines for the right keywords. It’s very important. And each search engine is a little bit different.
I talked about Google and Bing and Yahoo. I think we should keep an eye on Yahoo though; I’m not so sure that it’s going to be a search engine for much longer; it seems to be turning into much more of a media outlet. But we’ll see how that goes.
I also said Yandex; you may not be familiar with that. Yandex is the largest search engine in Russia. Now, you may say “Well, I don’t have any clients in Russia; I am a Los Angeles company and I only sell to people in LA.”
That doesn’t mean you don’t want to be on Yandex because it’s a big enough search engine that it could still help to make a difference.
So how do you get to the top of the search engines? That really is the big question, isn’t it? But, before I go there, I’d like to talk a little bit more about internet marketing, because internet marketing is this big nebulous kind of thing, isn’t it?
But it could be simple. Think of internet marketing as a toolbox and there are different tools in that toolbox, depending upon what you want to do.
Search engine optimization is a tool. Search engine marketing, like doing Adwords or ads on the search engines, is another tool. Social media marketing; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, advertising on there or even posting on there is another tool that you would use in the internet marketing toolbox.
so how do I get onto page one for my keywords? That’s actually kind of difficult, which is why there are so many specialists around (and which is also why, you if you’re like me at least. you get so many robo-calls. Those people that are saying “I can get you to the top of the search engines”). Now, obviously they don’t pay attention to who they call because they call me two or three times a day. Hopefully the government will be doing something about that soon because it really makes the real people that have real SEO companies look bad).
Getting to the top of the search engines: I’ve been doing this since way back when. I started with search engine optimization just about the time they sort of created fire, maybe a day or two after that. But getting to the top back then, just like now, really relied on one thing: High quality content. Content is King when it comes to websites.
Go to our YouTube page here and subscribe to our YouTube channel. There are currently some SEO videos and I will be adding more, but I won’t inundate you with junk videos. I’m only going to do videos when I get enough people that say “hey I’ve got a question about…” and so I could answer it.
There are currently two videos that I’ve done, or two speeches I’ve done recently that are posted there.
One of them is on Applied SEO Techniques. The other one is on SEO Pitfalls to Avoid. Those are both part of my book Timeless SEO Secrets. But you can watch those and each one of those also gives you some tips and tricks on what you can do yourself to get to the top of the search engines.
I also have a webinar called: The 5 Pillars of Digital Marketing, which has more information on what you can do yourself with search engine optimization for your website.
Remember where I mentioned social media marketing as separate from search engine optimization? it is separate, and I can prove that. Go ahead and jump to a search engine, it doesn’t matter which one, and type in your business name (or your personal name if your business is not up and running yet) and you will probably find your profiles for several social media outlets in the search engine.
If I type in Port Bell, I’ll find my LinkedIn, Facebook, maybe even my Twitter profile. However, you won’t find a single post that you’ve ever done on Facebook because Facebook actually blocks the search engines from seeing too much. The search engines can see the profile, but that’s it. So, you can do all the social media marketing that you want, it’s not going to help your website.
That doesn’t mean it won’t help your business; it just won’t help your website. And I’m not going to go into that too much today because there’s a lot to do with that too.
But if you’re interested in some of the differences between social media marketing and SEO and how you can really work with social media marketing a little bit better to combine the two, I’ll do that. Leave a comment and let me know.
Now, be sure to subscribe to my blog if you want to be the first to learn about what I’m doing; I post everything on my blog before it goes public on YouTube or my podcasts. By subscribing, you will get a monthly update of what I’m doing.