There are many people who say they "know SEO." But what does this actually mean? Over the course of my career in digital marketing, I've come to understand that different people adopt different paradigms about what SEO is. And this affects the decisions, strategies and directions they make when working to optimize a site and its content. Here is my paradigm.
SEO, of course, is about performing/ ranking well in search engines so that a site is easily visible to online searchers as a way of generating more traffic. To do this, it is important to know what search engines want and how they are built. These questions can certainly get very technical and intricate. And it can become quite easy to get lost in these details. But it is more important to understand the bigger picture intent of search engines and work within this context.
Matching Supply and Demand
I like to think of Google, for example, as an informational marketplace. Here, demand is in the form of user search queries. And supply is in the form of content and information that is the ideal match for these search terms and phrases.
Google earns revenue from advertisers who pay money for their ads to be seen by users who make up their target audience. So they have a vested interest in making sure that people like you and I keep coming back to use their search engine. After all, this is where the traffic comes from to benefit their advertisers.
For the most part, I would say that Google has done an amazing job at getting us to rely on their search results. In fact, it seems that we are conditioned to use Google for making pretty much all of our queries. How did this happen? They made sure that we are served the best possible results and information when we are looking for the answers to a particular question that we have. If they didn't most of us would be using other search engines more often.
So the sites and site content which best meets the questions and informational needs of users stand a high chance of being ranked higher. Of course, there are other factors like the longevity and reputation of the site, as well as technical SEO factors (e.g. page load times, crawlability of the site etc.) but the basic principle at work is meeting the demand of user queries with the right supply (i.e. content, sites and overall experience).
There are many people who attempt to do SEO and get fast results by spending minimal amounts of time on content quality, and using quick tactics like keyword stuffing or inauthentic (or purchased) backlinks. The Google algorithm constantly evolves to recognize poor content that offers little to no value for the user. And it makes sure that these types of experiences do not make it to the top of search engine results pages.
Instead, real success at SEO involves the creation of well-optimized experiences that best match the questions and searches demanded by human users. Helping Google make these quintessential matches is the paradigm approach that makes the most sense.
A Specialist in Best Current SEO Practices
My expertise lies in creating content and informational experiences based on researching and understanding of how different audience groups think, what they want to know and what they are driven by. I help brands align their offerings with these various areas of need to produce more effective, human-centric messaging and content assets which help to answer common questions that are on the minds of regular, everyday people.
Content which reflects this understanding is positioned to serve users better (versus content which is not as well designed around user needs). And also it helps Google do its job of providing the best information to match search queries.
Besides content strategy, design and development, I am well-versed in SEO best practices which lays the foundation for better performance. In short, this includes:
on page optimizations such as SEO titles and descriptions, url structure, H2/ H3 headers, internal and outbound linking, image optimizations
off-page optimizations including the sourcing of quality, authentic backlinks
keyword phrase optimizations, LSI keywords, long-tail keyword phrases
I constantly also follow new and emerging best practices to help companies put in place new trends and developments in the world of SEO. Helping users helps Google. And this ultimately has its rewards for the performance of company sites in search engines.