SEO: A misunderstood Enchilada

“if you want to hide a corpse you should put it on the second page of Google search results”

With the internet being the number one place to search for any product or service and Ecommerce growing an astonishing 43% in 2020, having an effective digital marketing strategy is more important than ever, and SEO forms an absolutely integral part of this. Not being Search Engine Optimized is akin to simply having your proud, passion-owned business sitting in Barcelona’s La Mina or New York’s Brownsville, as opposed to the money-welding, spending-ready crowds and foot-traffic of Passeig de Gracia and Fifth Avenue. Put differently, a wise friend (and proud member of the enchilab team) once told a client; “if you want to hide a corpse you should put it on the second page of Google search results”. Your call.

So what is (safe) SEO?

The goal of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is to ultimately rank as high as possible in organic (unpaid) online searches. The difficulty in achieving this obviously depends on how competitive the market your business trying to rank in is. Your business is focused on selling a relatively unknown Himalayan herb? Your SEO strategy will probably not be as in-depth, and take as long, as the business owner trying to rank high in household insurance provider related searches.

“We at Enchilab like to think of blackcaps as your self-proclaimed and spammy cryptocurrency expert friend who made a couple hundred bucks off bitcoin once, but has consistently made a loss since (though they’ll never admit it)”

Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot more to SEO than simply ‘throwing in a bunch of relevant keywords together on your site’. Typically divided up into Black-hat and White-hat strategies, those fly-by-night, ‘bunch of keywords together’  types generally fall into the former, along with excessive duplicate content (spam), invisible text, and links from sites with non-relevant content. The focus is on short-term returns which will inevitably end up in penalties and being pushed down the rankings. We at Enchilabs like to think of blackcaps as your self-proclaimed and spammy cryptocurrency expert friend who made a couple hundred bucks off bitcoin once, but has consistently made a loss since (though they’ll never admit it). 

Whitecaps, on the other hand, are more like your David Attenborough types, or the type of partner you’d like to take home to your parents in your 30’s type; those that come with a clear and concise long-term plan, and human audience focused strategy. Where your rankings will improve and that rate of improvement will be maintained. This is ideally the direction whoever handling your SEO strategy will take.

SEO nitty gritty

“…ensuring great User Experience which will affect bounce-rate and dwell-time.”

SEO is generally divided into two main categories; on-page and off-page. On-page SEO involves optimizing all those elements that make up your site and its performance; the quality of your sites’ code in ensuring easy crawling by Googlebots in indexing your site, quality content (with the CORRECT use of relevant keywords), and your site’s architecture-ensuring great User Experience which will affect bounce-rate and dwell-time. There’s also ensuring your site is responsive, and in the age of the smartphone, not having your site mobile responsive is essentially the same as attempting to bungee jump without a chord. 

Off-page SEO refers to optimization work done outside of your website, but which still increases its trustworthiness and authority. This is generally achieved by building backlinks (the heart of off-page SEO), social media marketing, guest blogging, and anything else that increases outside engagement with your site. A good SEO strategy will most likely contain a healthy mix of both on-page and off-page.

Another concept of SEO worth considering is Economies of Scale; in competitive industries or markets, a one-place movement (which could easily take months) up the organic rankings could convert to tens of thousands more click-throughs, and depending on your conversion rate, a LOT more business. Compare this to our Himalayan herb example, where a one-place movement will be relatively easy to achieve in a short amount of time, but will not be making all that much difference. The point is, an effective SEO strategy will take time to yield results, but that wait will be oh so worth it.

You’ve made it!

“You have managed to crawl through the trenches of shady SEO advice…and stumbled upon SEO Shangri La..”

The internet is a crazy place, where pretty much anything goes and anything is possible. And while it’s filled with all sorts of goodness like cute cat videos and Bill Gates jumping over a chair, there’s also plenty of not-so-much-goodness (I’m still waiting for my Nigerian prince inheritance after sending money to cover transfer costs). However, the fact that you are reading this post is a good sign. You have managed to crawl through the trenches of shady SEO advice, steered clear of those dodgy blackcap alleyways and stumbled upon SEO Shangri La. Go you! And welcome to Enchilab.

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