SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, it used to refer solely to the act of optimizing your meta tags, image alt tags, keywords and inbound links to gain higher rank within search engines. Today some people say SEO is dead. I would contend that SEO isn’t dead, It’s just evolved to encompass so many things that what we called SEO 2 years ago, is completely different from what we see today.

This has a lot to do with changes in search engines, what they’re looking for and how they rank websites with their algorithms. 5 years ago it was all about inbound links and meta tags. How many links you have pointing at your website from the outside world and keywords you had in your metadata. Then it moved to inbound links + keyword density in your content.  How many links you have pointing at your website + how many times the keywords your customers were searching for showed up in your content.

Today, meta tags are relatively obsolete when it comes to SEO, inbound links play less of a role due to abuse by people creating thousands of inbound links through spam bots, and keyword density is less important than having fresh relevant content.

The spamming of back links caused a huge problem for search engines as people were able to up their page rank by creating thousands of low quality links to their website on all sort of comment sections, blogs, youtube, facebook etc. Today we generally recommend creating around 40 back links to your website each month and linking those from websites that have a page rank higher than yours. There are tools out there such as MOZ bar which will show you page ranks of websites you’re on so you can judge if it’s a good opportunity to post a link to your website. Also tools like SEOMOZ that are paid services, give us immense insight into SEO rankings, problems, fixes and competition. For Back links, you want quality links. For example if you get a link from a website ending in .edu, it’s worth its weight in gold. They’re notoriously hard to get on as they’re usually from a university or college. While a free directory service, offers a lower score and will only marginally affect your page rank.

About two years ago, google switched things up and put a real emphasis on fresh and relevant content on websites. This of course knocked out some of the back link spammers if they weren’t already black listed. They decided to give rank to websites who put work into their content. Fresh content with a high density of relevant keywords is more valuable to someone searching than a static website that hasn’t been updated in 5 years. Well that’s the thought anyway.

So we often recommend that all of our customers have a blog, and that they update it once a week if they can. We know people who routinely create article three to five times per week. Creating educational content that serves to build SEO, trust and a relationship with your customer is easily the top way to boost your website relevance and your customers interest.

Consider that by investing some time in your website articles, you’re showing search engines and your customers that you care about your products and services. That you want to educate your clients and help them make the best decisions they can.

Google’s customers are the same as your customers. Google’s customers use their services to find their products, and googles products are our websites. So they want to deliver the best product to their customers just like you do. So, if you’re generating fresh, up to date, relevant content, google is going to say, “Hey, this is a good product, let’s move it up in the listings”.

And that my friends is what SEO is…. For some, including us, SEO has manifested into Inbound marketing, where we take it to the next level create campaigns and continue the experience on a more in depth level. That however will need to be in another article.