While most people have a solid idea of what SEO is, what is SEO really? In plain terms, so people that have a minimal grasp of the concept can understand it, SEO is fairly easy to wrap your mind around in the broad sense, but far trickier in the micro environment. For anyone that needs a refresher, or a primary course, let’s start looking at things from the beginning.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a skill trade that focuses on increasing site traffic by improving external and internal factors that influence search results. SEO is more than just backlinks. While a significant portion of SEO is technical in nature, there are hundreds of variables that make up good SEO including solid copywriting and aggressive SMM (Social Media Management).
What has to be understood from the beginning is that your SEO cannot work miracles. SERPs have their preferences for what type of content rises to the top and not all SERPs agree on what is most important. For the most part, the aim is to please Google which means that no matter how good a job your SEO does, there are certain ranking factors built into the algorithm that come back solely on you, the webmaster. Factors like site speed and the use of flash are algorithm components you SEO cannot fix for you..
Your SEO is not in the business of reinventing your site – at least in terms of trying to make an apple into a hunk of gold. Think of the role of an SEO as more of making that apple into a golden apple. An SEO can re-engineer, but reinvention is a role to be taken on by an entirely different type of animal. Understanding what is and is not reasonably possible is one of the biggest things to understand regarding what SEO is.
You need to understand that SEO is a continual process. Rankings change week to week and in order to stay at or near the top it is essential to make an effort to stay competitive by monitoring your keywords, providing new quality optimized content and monitoring the functionality of your site from an operational standpoint. When these factors along with dozens if not hundreds of lesser factors are combined as a whole, that is SEO. The next time you think of SEO, go beyond the links and beyond the directory submissions on their own and think of the full pie rather than an individual slice.