SEO de-mystified

By Kashif Nasir

Every time you go in for an interview, the first thing they are going to ask you is: “what do you know about SEO?”

Let’s face it you are never going to be able to talk through it because the subject is just too complicated. So let me simplify it.

SEO and Grocery store analogy

SEO is online stores fighting for shelf space in Google’s search results. Yes, you heard it right. Bear with me for a minute; you have been to a grocery store. You see all these products on shelves, you cart your Malt drinks and favorite snacks come back home, and don’t think about it.

But the products on shelves didn’t magically appear there. They are carefully, selected, placed, and cataloged by the staff.

Similarly, a user enters some keywords into a search engine; Google’s search bots run through the available internet pages and bring the user the closest possible search result.

In this analogy, the user is the customer, the grocery store is the world-wide-web, the staff is Google’s search bots and SEO content is the product on the shelf.

So how does one product sells more than the other? How does one product gets listed above the other?

Simply, the product that meets the needs and wants of the customer. This is where good SEO content writers come in. The better SEO content we write, the more we raise our chances of getting into Google’s top search results.

On writing good SEO content    

Writing good SEO content is, understanding the mentality, needs, and wants of the search engine users. But it’s far more complicated than it sounds. It takes intelligence. It takes your ability to put yourself in Google user’s head and there are billions of heads out there sir. 

Will “key-words” get you there?

Most writers use “keywords” thinking it will rank their article. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you have an online clothing store. So there are several types of customers you are going to have.

Customer number 1: He is an old customer, he already knows your store, so what he is usually going to do is run a navigational query. He is just going to Google the store name and he will be redirected to your website, so far so good? Wrong! Using your store name as a keyword only gets you customers that already know about your store. Meaning you are going to lose the rest of the new potential customers.

Customer number 2: Knows the cloth he wants but doesn’t know where to buy them from.

Customer number 3: Doesn’t exactly know what he wants but is browsing to see what’s out there. (This is an ideal target; you can sell him whatever you have).

And it doesn’t stop here; there are Google users with different budgets, different emotional motivations, different levels of education, different levels of familiarity with using search engines, different tastes, and different previous experiences with online shopping.   

Conclusion

Your SEO content should be tailored for all the above top three customers.  Here is my advice: write less. Yes doing less is the backbone of IT, why write longer code when you gain the same benefits with writing less?

Google is not looking for lengthy posts. Nowadays Google even doesn’t redirect to a website. It just shows highlighted text right on the search page. So write precise, concise, in other words, write less.  Understand your potential customer, anticipate his or her needs. Learn and adapt. 

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