What I’ve Learned About SEO this Summer

I have a confession. Before working at SERPs.com the acronym ‘SEO’ meant nothing to me. And don’t get me started on SEM, SMM, PPC, ROI, and SERP. I didn’t even know there was an algorithmic science behind search engines. If someone would have mentioned Panda or Penguin, I wouldn’t have thought twice. If someone would have said “frontend” or “backend” I would have told him to wash his mouth out with soap. ¬†And now I can hardly write a blog post or an email without using the three-letter-acronym a dozen times. Working at SERPs.com, and navigating through literally thousands of SEO agencies’ websites, has taught me a lot about search engine optimization. And not just that it’s necessary but that it’s about marketing your website in a way so that the right people will find it. I’ve provided a few things I’ve learned about SEO, some useful and some that are just true.

SEO agencies love using SEO puns and wordplay.

We all know it’s true, and a little cheesy. Keep ’em coming.

Nothing beats great content. Or at least it shouldn’t.

Thanks to constant search engine updates, black hat SEOs can’t cut corners. It’s clear that SEO is about effective marketing–using techniques on the frontend and backend–which includes having quality content on a website.

And now a little thought on human nature…

We are full of needs and questions. How do I change my car’s oil? Where is the best place to get thai food in Seattle? Play “New Slang” by The Shins. Go to the homepage for Voo Doo Doughnuts. There are several kinds of search queries used to find the information we are looking for, and search engines provide the answers. This blows my mind, and worries me a little too, because search engines are the ultimate instant-gratification machines. What happened to the yellow pages and dialing “411?” Yeah, Google is definitely better…

I’m only going to trust your web design company if you have a sleek web design…

I came across more than a few agencies who offered web development services including web design, but their site’s presentation was mediocre at best. Not all SEO agencies are reliable and honest.

SEO requires reading people’s minds.

Understanding what keywords people use to search for your website’s services is necessary. This calls for either telepathy or some hardcore brainstorming.

And last but not least, the average search engine user doesn’t have enough time for second page results.

Thanks to a Quora post I know that the average user views only the first page of search engine results. With this knowledge, I have started intentionally going to the second and third page results just to give the other guys some encouragement.

Most of what I’ve learned this summer has taught me about search engine user patterns and the competition of businesses and companies online. A business’s success these days is based on their online presence, and without that it seems as though one cannot compete.



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