Geek Speak: What is SEO?

Categories: Geek Speak

***We are the first to admit that we're not SEO experts.  There are fantastic specialists in SEO out there, and if SEO is a big point for you and your business, then we recommend looking for and hiring one of those brilliant people to play the SEO game for you or teach you how to play it yourself.  We only deal in SEO basics.***

What in the heck is this thing called SEO?

Don't worry.  Once upon a time, we didn't know what it was either.  SEO stands for search engine optimization.

So first, let's start with the search engine part.  Search engines include such Internet detectives as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.  They are what you use when you want to find something on the Internet.  We use them so much now, that we even say things like "Go Google it."  They've become their own verbs.  But, alas, I digress into my linguistic interests...

Now let's look at optimization.  Search engines run according to certain parameters.  Optimizing your website means that you are trying your darndest to make your website easier for search engines to find and crawl/index according to their parameters, so that your website appears as high as possible in the search results for categories related to your business.  So maybe you want your website to get to the top of the list for "your profession in your town."  You would use SEO methods to increase the likelihood of your good self and your good business showing up in the top results for that specific search.

SEO plug-ins for WordPress

Now that you know what it is, what do you do about it?  Well, if you have a WordPress website, there's a plug-in for that.  In fact, there are many plug-ins you can choose from.

Yoast SEO is all the rage right now and spoken of very highly.  We actually don't use Yoast and so can't comment on it's functionality very much beyond the fact that we know people who love it and achieve excellent results with it.  We use All in One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert, which a friend clued us in on.  And ya know what?!  We like it!  It's simple to use and has A LOT of functionality at the free level.  And yes, there are other good SEO plug-ins out there, too.  The point is that you need to get an SEO plug-in on your website, make sure you like it, and then, well...use it.

Play the game

At this point, you get to play the game by using that SEO plug-in.  You'll do things like enter descriptions and keywords for your website pages, make sure you have an XML sitemap, use the alt tags on your images, set up backlinks, learn how to make keyword rich titles, etc.  As we already stated, we aren't experts in this game, so here is where we recommend you start doing research about what the experts say or hire one of them to work directly on your site.  But at least now you'll have an idea about what they're doing and why it's important.

And that's all we have to say about that, Forrest Gump-style.