SEO for Dummies by an Intern
I started my journey at the end of May with almost no knowledge of SEO, and when I say almost no knowledge, I mean I didn’t even know SEO stood for search engine optimization. But within just a short month of training sessions, hands-on learning, and a lot of watching my co-workers play Fortnite in the office, I think I can conclude myself a professional amateur SEO expert. Here are some things I’ve gathered:
- SEO is for everyone.
Companies that claim “we don’t need that, our website is fine” don’t understand what’s happening with their site. Google and many other search engines take all of the data on a website to determine its ranking, and most of the time the website is not optimized based on a number of different factors, including target keywords, meta titles, descriptions, headlines, external links and internal linking. Rankings on search engines go way further than how many customers or how many good reviews you receive, although they do of course add to it. As soon as companies understand that they never “don’t need SEO,” they’re opening up the doors to new opportunities that they didn’t even deem possible before.
- SEO cannot necessarily be seen by the naked eye.
Two-months-ago I would’ve looked at a website produced by a digital marketing company and one made by a high schooler in his basement and wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. That’s because how the website looks is not a main component of SEO, but rather SEO is much of what goes overlooked, what is working in the background. For example, a website renovated for SEO may look almost identical to its original form to a user, but the content will be extremely different because there will be many more keywords and internal links incorporated that add to the data that search engines are collecting to determine rankings.
- Everything in SEO works together.
While SEO doesn’t necessarily have defined steps, since every website and company is unique, most have a couple of aspects that must precede another. For example, keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO, because it is followed by many optimizing steps. Keyword research is exactly what it sounds like: researching which keywords would be most likely to rank for your website’s purpose. Of course, researching is not enough because it’s impossible to simply list keywords and expect your website to rank. Rather, taking those keywords to incorporate strategically in on-page content or blog posts are necessary. Everything in SEO is connected, and works together to optimize cohesively.