What is SEO? Don’t you think 2019 is the year to reposition it…

What is SEO? Don’t you think 2019 is the year to reposition it…

What is SEO? Time to reposition it in 2019

What is SEO? – Maybe 2019 is the year to reposition SEO

The reason I decided to write this article is because I believe that SEO is not positioned in the proper way. I believe that SEO in 2019 is much more or can become much more than what many definitions that have been written about it present. Not to mention and make also comparison with articles that have been written about the future of SEO and fears for this industry. Going back to the SEO definitions, I will continue by presenting some of the most popular ones. Popular defined as the ones that are ranking in the 1st page of Google search results for the keyword ‘What is SEO’. I will then continue by commenting on these popular SEO definitions and my idea of repositioning SEO. I think that at least some of you will be surprised with the way I think we need to position SEO. I think I am not ready to present the new definition but this is an article to be used as food for thought and maybe we can all together in the near future try to redefine SEO.

Popular SEO definitions

Let’s start with the definitions.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to activity that attempts to improve search engine rankings.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of increasing the number and quality of visitors to a website by improving rankings in the algorithmic search engine results.

I must admit that I liked this article which is written by Rebekah Bek very much! I really like the idea behind it. It presents the opinions of many SEO professionals about what SEO is and it groups them in terms of their main focus. According to Rebekah Bek findings, the main groupings as regards to the main focus of each definition mentioned in this article are:
SEO is about optimizing websites for search engines
SEO is about matching searchers’ needs to content
SEO as a strategy
What is my personal favorable from these three is the last one. SEO as a strategy! But I will analyze this as we move on. Here are some more definitions about what is SEO which I should mention as they also appear in Google’s 1st page results and also come from very popular websites and SEO professionals.

SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. It’s the practice of optimizing websites to make them reach a high position in Google’s – or other search engines’ – search results. SEO focuses on rankings in the organic (non-paid) search results. In this post, I’ll answer the question “What is SEO?” and I’ll explain our approach to SEO here at Yoast.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.
Ofcourse there are more and if you visit Rebekah’s Bek article you will see what I mean but I believe as RebeKah has done already they can be grouped in regards to their main focus. ..
Let’s make a joke here… Sorry, where is my definition of SEO??? Why is it still not appearing in the top 10 list???? Hmm okay some time Google is also wrong.. 🙂 So, please allow me to present also my definition of SEO.. I assure you I am humble SEO consultant..

My attempt to define what is SEO

And here is my latest attempt to define SEO as shown in my article for SEO for small businesses.

SEO is the practice of first understanding the online users’ behavior and intent, then adjusting the products and services to fulfill the needs of the targeted audience and adjusting the website’s content as needed to increase the quantity and quality of organic traffic to achieve better conversion rates and user satisfaction.

Looking at it again … hmm I must say I am not 100% happy. I believe it is a bit technical for someone who is not aware of this terminology and at the same time it is missing something important. And I am more unhappy with what it is missing than its technical part or my poor language skills in trying to explain my thoughts.

So what I believe is missing from the SEO definition?

I think they are missing the broader picture of what a business can achieve using SEO. Because SEO is not only a set of tools and techniques combined to help a business website increase its traffic and its conversions. This is too small as definition infront of what SEO can really do. Why? Because I believe that SEO can become and merely is already the marketing research tool of the future. And as a marketing research tool it cannot only be restricted to the borders of a website. What if a company does not have a website? You will tell me all companies have websites in our days. I will agree. All the professional companies have websites in our days…

BUT…. but what else can we state about the definition of SEO??

  • What about the entrepreneurs who are getting ready to built their new businesses or their startups? What about the companies that are thinking to expand their businesses and they are not sure how to do it?
  • What about companies who are thinking to create new products and they do not know if there is demand for their products?
  • What about companies who want to understand who is the leader in their market but do not know from where to get the data?
  • What about companies that need consultation to grow their business and they need to base their decisions on accurate data?

And many more such WHAT questions..

I believe that every SEO professional knows that our research can provide accurate data. It is possible with an SEO full marketing research to give answers, ideas, actual data to all these business needs no matter if a business has a website or not.  No matter if they want to rank high or not. SEO initially was developed for Search Engine Optimization BUT it has developed so much that it can be considered as a skill that can be used to provide business consultation based on online marketing research and help businesses grow by understanding the markets in which they operate. All business needs to understand:

– which are their competitors,

– how big their competitors are,

– which are the popular products or services in their markets

– but also the which are the products or services that are not so popular but exist

– how their target audience is thinking

In general everything that the traditional marketing research has to provide is something that can be enhanced with SEO and in some cases also be replaced. The greater the market share of the online sales & leads becomes versus the traditional physical/in store sales the more accurate and close to reality the data we can gather with our SEO tools and knowledge are becoming. And I believe we have already passed the stage were these data was a small representation of reality. But for many business decision makers they do not even need to be something more to help them make decisions. These data are already valuable indicators of the reality and can help them make decisions with less risk.

The power of AI in SEO

As an SEO professional myself I see on a daily basis how important is my SEO research for my clients. But, in order to implement all my technical SEO proposals, the navigation proposals, the content SEO proposals and even the back linking proposals I have first to convince my clients that my ideas are valuable. And how I do this? By studying there industries, their businesses with my SEO marketing research. And just like a miracle I start seeing and describing their market and their audiences in ways that they have never thought of before. I am not a magician to do this… and you are not either. It is the power of SEO techniques and the SEO tools that we use and ofcourse the creativity in thinking that help me find ways to prove to them what is needed. And the more we will enter in the artificial intelligence age the more powerful tools we will have to study our customers’ markets. Data these days are everywhere but businesses need people who can study these data and interpret them. Our job starts by first studying these data to find interesting correlations and business information. Then we translate these data to valuable business proposals which we use mainly for SEO optimizing websites. But to implement them we need to give consultation to our clients to understand why… And I believe many of us do this consultation but we still position SEO as something related to keywords and websites… It is something much more than this and I believe there is a lot of future in our industry if we reposition it!

Hope you like the article and I would like to hear your comments about it. Let’s start to reposition our industry in a way that it will solve our customers problems and hazards than just bringing traffic to their websites. Is my attempt to try to position SEO in such a way too optimistic?? What do you think?

Sofia Tsenekidou
Sofia Tsenekidou
Twitter: @st0255 ||| SEO & Digital Marketing Consultant who loves to help businesses grow! More about me.

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