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What is SEO?

I'm often contacted by business owners who say, “I want to increase my SEO, whatever that is.” “Great,” I say, and I briefly map out ways in which I can help. “But wait, can you just program some keywords and get us in the top of Google search?”

Many clients tend to have an outdated idea of what SEO means today. In the past, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, referred to the use of keywords and tags as well as paid search optimization. In the minds of many business owners, “good SEO,” means, “what code can I implement and what can I pay to increase my search results or rankings?”

Today, the idea of SEO has evolved with the rest of the web and the use of social media. While it’s still helpful to consider keywords and metadata, search algorithms change regularly, and solely relying on them can have negative consequences. Successful, intentional marketing should include relevant, timely and sharable content to create organic SEO results outlasting search trends.

If you’re an online business, which in 2015 you should be, how do you differentiate yourself? One answer is content. Just as Hansel & Gretel left breadcrumbs to find their way home, online businesses should leave breadcrumbs for people to find their way to you.

A quick Google search will give you a never-ending list of ways to increase SEO and develop content. You can also hire a content or marketing strategist. I can suggest one! Your marketing calendar and business plan will bring to light industry topics, events, etc. where you can add in content via various tools to various channels.

To get your creative juices flowing, consider these forms of content and how they might apply to your business:

- Blogs & newsletters

- Case studies or white papers

- Videos

- Podcasts

- Guest posts or partnering efforts

- Infographics

- Webcasts

- Resource Roundups

- eBooks

This is not a comprehensive list, and new ideas can and should pop up for you. Try to implement at least 5 of these ideas and/or a few of your own to your marketing calendar this year.

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