SEO. The acronym on every domain-owning, internet-savvy person’s lips. It causes much confusion, stress and sometimes heartache in the blogging community, but is a very useful thing to wrap your head around. I've talked about how good SEO practices can help improve your Domain Authority, and glossed over a little of what it is there, but I thought the benefits of learning the ins and outs deserved its own post.
So. SEO: what it is and why you should learn? Call it a SEO training crash course.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In the plainest english I can manage, that translates to things you can do to affect how visible your website or page is to search engine results without payment (so not the little sponsored links that pop up all over the shop now). Also it's referred to a lot as organic, natural or earned results.
Kind of like playing a strategy game to get the most money, if money were blog/page visitors.
It also helps to know that there are 'white hat' (good) and 'black hat' (bad) strategies for SEO. And being both good and bad, will land you with good and bad results respectively. In the nicest possible way, using black hat practices makes you a bit of a dick - so learning about SEO to avoid being a dick is a really good idea.
White Hat SEO (the good kind):
- tactics and strategies that focus on a human audience (aka, your readers finding your stuff) rather than focusing on the search engines.
- follows all the search engine rules and policies completely.
- is sometimes called ethical SEO
- frequently used by people who want to make a lasting impression and long-term investment in their website or page
- includes using keywords, backlinks, and writing content for a human audience
Black Hat SEO (the ew kind):
- tactics and strategies that focus on search engines
- often called an aggressive tactic (and no one likes aggressive things)
- includes keyword stuffing, adding unrelated keywords, invisible text, and page swapping
- frequently used by people looking for a quick financial return on a website
- can result in your website being banned from search engines (bye bye organic traffic!)
- also known as unethical SEO, spamdexing
So why should you learn about SEO then?
Well, to learn good, White Hat SEO practices that help increase your pagerank and traffic, basically. But I'll bullet point some of the best reasons for you too:
- the higher up your page ranks in an organic search means the more likely potential visitors are to click your links = more blog views! yay stats increase!!
- good SEO means your domain won't get banned from search engines. Google does bring down the ban-hammer on those who disobey. You have been warned. Don’t run the risk. Don’t be shady.
- transferrable skills!
- you don't have to pay someone else to do it for you. always a good thing, those emails are annoying.
- If you prefer to use a blog host that doesn’t run or have SEO plugins, learning about good SEO practices is a slightly obvious necessity.
- you avoid ultimate dick status by being able to use the best White Hat SEO practices. scoreee.
Learning all the slightly scary sides to blogging can really help improve the performance of your space, so I hope this has been a little bit helpful in convincing you that you should invest some time in learning about SEO and its best practices. You can, obviously, delegate the task to someone else, but the satisfaction of knowing you personally are building up the foundations of your site is kinda nice, right?
What are you thoughts on SEO? Does it scare you, or are you an absolute whiz at it? Has this helped at all? Let me know~
*this post has been sponsored by SEO Training London - all words and opinions are my own