Our world is full of jargon. SEO is yet another three letter acronym that people throw around and they don’t even always know what SEO even means. So, what does SEO mean?

SEO is a three letter acronym short for Search Engine Optimization.

Search engine optimization about trying to rank higher in search engines. To rank higher you make changes to your website that make it easier for search engines to understand your content. Also, it can mean getting links from other websites.

3 Simple SEO Rules

You don’t need to get caught up in all that complexity. The basics are simple enough that if you follow a few simple rules you will be fine.

Write For Humans

First, write for humans. It’s not robots that you care about getting to your website and influencing, it’s people. So, you have to write for them. That means, you write like you talk to people and you write about what people want to know. If someone in real life were to ask you a question, you would answer it right? Well, on the internet, it’s the same deal. So, write down the questions people might have, and then answer them.

I’ve seen this work over and over for businesses. For example, Marcus Sheridon built his fiberglass pool company using SEO and inbound marketing. His company went from being just another local pool company to the #1 website on the internet for fiberglass pools. He did it by simply answering customer questions on the company website.

He has made millions of dollars in sales from the leads his website generates. It all starts with the simple idea “they ask, you answer”. If a customer asks a question, he writes it down and creates a page on his website to answer that question.

It’s not any more complicated than that.

Think Like A Human

Second, think like a human. User intent is the biggest driver of action on the internet, just like in real life. What do I mean by user intent? Well, I’ll give you an example.

I once stepped foot on a used car lot because I wanted to see what cars were available and what the prices were. I wasn’t looking to buy, I didn’t have a lot of time to spend at the car lot. I just wanted to look.

The salesman decided he would focus on getting his commission. He thought that he could shove us into a vehicle we weren’t too sure about he would make more money. He did not consider our wants and needs

A couple unpleasant hours later, we finally got the heck out of there and no we didn’t buy a vehicle. In fact, I would tell people never to shop there because they are very shady and they treated us like junk.

If the salesman was smart, he would have understood where we were in the buying process. We were not in the buying mode that evening. We were looking for buying information and if he provided that, we probably would have bought a car there. Instead, we purchased a vehicle from a dealer who found us exactly what we wanted, even if it took him a month or two to find the right vehicle.

That is what I mean when I say user intent. Our intent was information, not purchase.

When someone comes to your website, they have an intent. Maybe it’s information, maybe it’s to buy, maybe it’s something news related or some promotion you are running. Create content that matches that intent and helps solve their problem.

Not every page will lead to a sale, lead, or conversion. However, each page that solves a problem helps support the overall online marketing process.

Have A Measurable SEO Goal

Third, and maybe most important, your SEO efforts need to support a measurable goal. This is not part of search engine optimization directly, but it allows you to continue to invest in it. Every page on your site should have some kind of call to action that fits the user intent and supports your business’ goals.

You can use different tools to track this, but what I like to do is to setup some kind of lead capture form. We do this all over the place on the Growlight Network. Every page has some kind of sign up button or other call to action. I look at those leads compared to our effort in building content for this site and search engine optimization.

It is easy to see what is working if you are tracking it. It is easy to invest in what is working.

So, start with a simple lead gen form. It doesn’t have to be fancy and it only needs fields as simple as name, email address, and phone number. Just enough to get in contact with your perspective customers.

If you are a blogger or are running a content site, maybe instead of a lead gen form, you might want to go with a email newsletter sign up.

So what does SEO mean?

Yes, SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. However, it is really about more than just a bunch of dumb rules that people made up to show up higher on Google. It’s about reaching out to and commmunicating with people who are using Google to solve their problems. If you write for humans, not robots, you will find success in your SEO efforts.



Article posted on February 11, 2014
Top image by: SEOPlanter


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