Let’s start our introduction to SEO by defining SEO itself.
In case you don’t know, SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”.
If you bought this book, you probably already know what that means – or at least you think you know what it means. If what you think it means is “How do I get my website to number 1 on Google?” then the very first thing that we need to do is realign your expectations of search engine optimization.
Today, any reputable SEO provider has long ago stopped promising to get you to “Number 1 on Google”, to get you on the “front page”, or really to get you anywhere specific at all. The SEO industry has laboured since its inception against a tsunami of bad practice, empty promises, and snake oil salesmen clicking the heels of their shiny shoes together and promising you that there’s “gold in that thar’ Internet”. Even today, when you’d expect people to know better, I still receive emails daily that promise me an absolutely incredible, and also totally undeliverable, result from hiring a new SEO agency.
So, even if you’re just reading the preview of this book on Amazon, then take this piece of advice with you – SEO companies who promise to get you to the front page of Google are not going to deliver what you’re expecting.
There is only one guaranteed way to appear on the front page of Google for a particular search phrase, and that’s to be the highest bidder. If you have deep enough pockets, you can be the top listing. The top organic, or “free”, listing for any worthwhile phrase by comparison is volatile, transitory, and subject to the constant changing and improvement of Google’s search engine algorithm.
But… there’s hope.
Reputable SEO agencies will talk about improving traffic. They might generate more traffic for you, or they might look to reshape your traffic so that it is more appropriate for your website and brings you more enquiries/sales/followers etc. Sensible SEO measures from where you are and looks for improvement, as opposed to posting a flag on Google’s green and promising to sink a hole in one.
The reality is that many, many websites are underperforming today – appearing lower in the search engine results than they should, or, in the worst cases, not appearing at all. Many businesses with a great product or great service are being let down by poor quality websites from agencies and providers who don’t care about how well their clients do online, or who just don’t understand the fundamental mechanics behind good website building.
There is also always the opportunity to be the new, disruptive, player in any niche or vertical market. People launch businesses every day on the Internet and, thanks to the egalitarian nature of most of Google’s organic search requirements, they are fighting on a level(ish) playing field.
In this book, I’m going to teach how you can improve both the volume and the quality of your website traffic using free tools and without spending a penny on advertising. You’ll do everything yourself, building an understanding of both your own website and Search Engine Optimisation along the way.
Ready? Good, let’s go…