in SEO by Jeffrey_Smith

It’s no secret that as of late SEO has gained recognition amongst the masses, some good some bad, but despite the rants, opinions or perspectives that either praise or denounce its worth, search engine optimization is predicated on more than just making pages rank higher in search engines.

What is SEO... Really?

What is SEO... Seriously?

There is a transcendent value that is inherent within SEO, as it is a collage of web development, copywriting, marketing, direct response and PR (since citations matter to search engines).

There are multiple layers involved in creating and implementing an SEO campaign and ensuring that asynchronous goals are seamlessly integrated and streamlined for conversion by consolidating multiple metrics.

SEO is based on (a) understanding consumer trends (b) interpretation of the language of commerce which implies nuances, verbs, modifiers based on context, search behavior and trend analysis that separate education keywords from keywords with conversion and (c) a solid methodology for integrating that market intelligence into a palatable format using content creation, accessibility, information architecture and relevance through creating a self-sustaining digital ecosystem with authoritative appendages each capable of producing its own ranking factor and strengthening the aggregate collective sum of its parts.

Although that sounds like a mouthful, lets, break it down for context piece by piece…

Understanding Consumer Trends

Keywords are the currency of context and the gatekeeper to relevant traffic. If your website is selling “fur coats” and someone types in “cheap jackets”, what is the likelihood of a sale? Similarly, if the context is completely off, such as someone looking for information about how fur coats are made and not looking to purchase, they would then use a completely different array of keywords to find a relevant document.

Based on this, an SEO’s job involves looking at search trends, understanding which keywords contain passionate or motivated buyers as well as structuring a compelling post-click conversion funnel once relevant visitors do arrive to capitalize on the process of optimization.

This is merely one slice of the pie, but obviously the most important since optimizing keywords or key phrases that have little to no significant search volume is an exercise in futility.

Interpretation of the Language of Commerce

People passionate about finding a product or service display undertones of urgency though the use of modifiers and specific key phrases. By dissecting those types of phrases from server logs, analytics, competitors click stream data or other means of competitive intelligence can reveal which modifiers and key phrases are harboring “the intent to purchase”.

Once bridled, that intent can be funneled through positioning specific landing pages designed to engage the reader, their problem and offer a tangible solution to their ailment or condition. This is the cornerstone of commerce withstanding the test of time at the convergence of supply and demand.

By speaking directly to the emotional and logical needs of a prospect, you can win their support and trust, which is a crucial step prior to commencing with any sale, submission of information, etc. Yet 50% of how you sculpt their perspective is in presentation – the site, the images or lack of images, the navigation, the content and the offer and how relevant it is to their originating intent for searching in the first place.

The real notion is, understanding the conversation of commerce and then being able to use that intelligence to create actionable clusters of relevance and structure a hierarchy within the website itself.

It’s not enough to just have a site, throw up pages, or just write great content, there has to be something to aid search engine spiders to interpret the signals of relevance and that is where taxonomy, site architecture, term frequency and co-occurrence come in to create enough citation for the site to cross the tipping point of relevance and gain traction in search engines.

Aside from this naturally occurring process (which is also managed on a granular level from SEO), the need to segue traffic to specific pages to lower bounce rates (which implied taking measurements via analytics) as well as positioning each page for a specific array of semantic keywords.

For example, when we optimize a page, we don’t just optimize it for one keyword, that would be a waste of the natural tendency of search engines to overlap and stem (from one keyword to another).

The idea is, for a new page to create at least three keywords the page is intended for, then through a combination of on page and off pages factors, increase that to 15, 20, 50 or more related keywords or key phrase combinations.

For example a page that is optimized for SEO rates, should also rank for SEO pricing, SEO costs, SEO fees, etc., if you had done enough research in the prior to optimization phase to see which of those phrases had the most relevance “as a solution” for a searcher in need.

Similarly, each page in your website should follow the same convention and have initial ranking objectives and benchmarks as well as long-term stemmed variations as the page and site gain more authority.

Creating a methodology for integrating market intelligence

Flash in the pan keyword rankings are not the objective of SEO, long-term sustainable and predictable keyword acquisition based on superior market intelligence is. Now that you are armed with the knowledge of keyword research and typical behavioral patterns, it’s time to put them into action through sculpting critical landing pages to convert browsers into customers.

This is the most integral part of SEO, and for those who scoff or say SEO is easy, there is always more than meets the eye. If your competitive keyword verticals are overlooked and not integrated into the site architecture through a logical page pecking order, you may miss the boat and get lost in translation when the spiders arrive to index your content.

The preference of site architecture determines how and which pages receive prominence in the Web sites hierarchy. The majority of how relevance is structured is completely under your control (since content is scalable as well as additional segmentation which can be added to facilitate zeroing-in on a theme).

Most web developers and SEO’s use flat site architecture for more competitive keywords and theming and siloing to build articles or supporting content which can then be redirected over time or consolidated through virtual theming (linking from relevant keywords to a preferred landing page) to consolidate ranking factor.

By integrating market intelligence, search behavior, on page optimization and site architecture as an infrastructure, your website becomes less reliant on external sites to provide buoyancy for specific or broad keyword clusters.

In other words, your website (as a result of segmentation and absolute links) can produce its own ranking factor (since more pages equate to more page rank) to topple competitive keywords and long-tail phrases alike.

It is merely a matter of coordinating the various overlapping processes to produce a Web site with the most relevant pages capable of each page ranking for multiple variations of keywords based on context and where those pages fit in the pecking order of the site and consumer appeal.

Although SEO is not rocket science, competency is not to be disheveled as obvious or merely implied that by writing great content alone that such a metric is capable of making up for all of the other intricacies that are a prerequisite to develop a genuinely authoritative site. 

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About Jeffrey_Smith

In 2006, Jeffrey Smith founded SEO Design Solutions (An SEO Provider who now develops SEO Software for WordPress).

Jeffrey has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and marketing strategies to increase rankings, revenue and reach.

9 thoughts on “What is SEO, Seriously?
  1. No Name says:

    With robot.txt files does the structure of the site really matter?

  2. Can you be more specific? Robots txt is just to block certain pages from appearing in the index and used as a means to assign permissions to crawlers.

    Site structure is extremely important, but the two are elements that should be collaborated through tactfully incorporating a goal. For example, if you had 50 pages of content that were somewhat similar, you could use robots.txt to block them from getting indexed to allow the specific page you wanted to promote to shine without a penalty.

    Or you could simply use meta tags to implement a noindex, follow method to allow the pages to pass link flow, but not create duplicity within the site. So, context is extremely important… which all goes back to motive and application.

  3. . Is the website Good?
    This might sounds like a funny thing to say as a guideline, but I think it bears mentioning. An economical SEO firm can’t do SEO for a website that comprises just a few pages of flash, or a few pictures embedded into 3-4 pages. SEO is a major commitment. Before you start SEO, you need to have a professional looking site on a stable server. Without this, the economical SEO firm is not going to give you the results you desire.
    From now on, I think that traditional SEO will get into the top 10 on Google. But, to get to #1 for a popular search phrase, you will need to painstakingly keep improving and editing your website until you have really low bounce rates. My SEO guideline is that you need to make sure that when people get to your website, they find what they’re looking for. I reached this conclusion after reading about personalized search. I think personalized search will be of great concern to many SEO companies. Personally, I think “personalized search” is the holy grail of algorithms to rank websites. It’s virtually impossible to fool and will continue to change the SEO industry.
    If you’re looking for a good introduction to SEO guideline, check this one out. http://www.bergstrom-seo.com/resources/google-search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf. It was written by google, and it’s really good.

  4. seo says:

    I would agree, the reasons for ranking are more important to me as well. They sound nice but don’t necessarily convert traffic. This is a solid post for beginners to SEO like myself. Thanks!

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