Q: Do you know the best place to bury a body?
A: Page 2 of a Google search.
“Does Element 47 do SEO?” is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. The short answer: yes!
But that comes with a caveat. What do YOU think SEO actually is?
The many perceptions of what SEO is reminds me of politicians talking about “the rich.” They never define rich in terms of actual numbers or concrete concepts. They leave the listener to create their own definition in their mind, and everyone walks around with a different picture of “rich” in their head.
So, what is SEO?
There may be as many definitions of SEO as there are of rich.
SEO is short for “search engine optimization.” The search engine part you understand. We all know Google, Bing (email me if you are actually using it), and the rest. The “optimization” part is where things get tricky.
Let me break it to you gently. SEO isn’t just one thing. It’s a lot of work, and the work never ends.
I’ll give you an analogy that might help you better understand. Have you seen Instagram fitness influencers with six-pack abs?
They didn’t get that way by working out occasionally and eating whatever they desire. They’re in the gym every day, doing every core and weight training exercise they can discover to keep their body in peak condition. They have their nutritional intake precisely dialed, eating only the foods that support their goals. There is no eating a gallon of rocky road ice cream occasionally.
Achieving excellent “page one” results on Google isn’t easy either. In fact, it’s harder. Theoretically, everyone in the world could have six-pack abs. Not everyone in the world can be on page 1 of Google for every search term they want to rank for. It’s simply impossible. And even getting there for some terms isn’t easy.
Every time another company starts working on SEO, your chances of ranking on page 1 are in jeopardy. If they work harder and smarter than you, your chance of getting on page 1 are also in jeopardy.
Okay, so what does the work look like?
A client recently asked me this SEO question. I sent him several “SEO best practice” resources. The best of the two are listed below. They’re comprehensive enough to be legitimate yet understandable to beginners.
- SEO Basics: How to Do SEO for Beginners (semrush.com)
- SEO Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO | WordStream
My client’s unedited response?
“Thanks, Eric. Just looking at the first one I can see I have a lot of thinking to do, and then a lot of work after that. Crap.”
Yes, SEO is a lot of work. SEO, much like six-pack abs, requires a ton of work. You can’t just pay for them…someone must do the work.