Masha asks, “What does it really mean to be an SEO expert? Considering the depth and breadth of SEO, is it even possible to be an expert on all aspects of SEO?”
It depends on how we define SEO itself. SEO, or search engine optimization, is all about optimizing our digital properties to be found in organic, unpaid search. (the companion is SEM, or search engine marketing, for paid search) There are four branches of SEO – technical, onsite, offsite, and content, and each is a profession unto itself.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s episode, Masha asks, what does it really mean to be an SEO expert considering the depth and breadth of SEO? Is it even possible to be an expert in all aspects of SEO? That’s a good question.
But it depends how we define SEO because as Marsha points out, it is a very broad discipline, there’s a lot to it.
Fundamentally, SEO is the process of optimizing our digital properties to be found in organic unpaid search, hence the name SEO or search engine optimization.
The companion piece to this is SEM, which is the ability to to have your paid stuff, rank well.
Now, to be an SEO expert, you’ve got to be able to essentially generate good results in search, right at the end of the day.
If you’re not driving traffic, and leads and conversions and ultimately revenue through organic search, you’re not an expert.
It doesn’t matter how many tricks or how arcane your knowledge is, if you can’t generate results, you’re not an expert.
Now, the question is, which aspects of SEO Do you have specialization in and there’s four major branches of SEO, there’s technical SEO, which is where you’re looking at the server’s themselves, right, the technical infrastructure.
And this, this is almost borders on it.
So caching HTTPS, server side certificates, HTTP two minifying your content using a CDN, all the technical things that go into a website, and how well it runs, how smooth of an experience is the back end architecture.
And there is a tremendous amount that you can do with services, for example, like CloudFlare, that can help improve your server’s performance.
Because one of the things that that is taken to account in SEO is, how quickly does your page load? Google does this for its mobile, first indexing, how fast is a page on a mobile device.
And as of May of 2021, the core web vitals will be a part and parcel of search rankings, how quickly how a web page paints, how long it takes to load stuff, those will function as part of the rankings.
Google made this announcement not too long ago.
So that’s one aspect of SEO.
The second is on site, SEO, and this, we talked about structure of stuff on site.
So proper schema, proper markup, JSON LD, all the technical stuff that you can do on a webpage itself, to make it function correctly understanding how for example, how Google renders a page, and how Google indexes pages and structuring your content to function while making a page is mobile responsive, making them free of errors, you know, no, for forced making sure your internal linking structure is good.
There’s a tremendous amount of stuff that again, goes into on site, technical SEO, using the right plugins and making sure the plugins are configured correctly.
is all part of on site SEO.
The third part is content.
Content is not necessarily the we differentiate it from onsight.
In that onsight is technical stuff content is the content itself.
The topics you’re writing about the words, the phrases, the semantic associations, the the interactivity of content, the media types, the making the stuff, right, How valuable is the stuff, you know, for example, on on, on this show, we’ve got a YouTube video got an audio podcast, we’ve got the blog post that goes with this, got the imagery, all that is the content.
And there are things you can do to optimize your content.
simple stuff, for example, like with YouTube videos, if you’re not uploading a closed captions file, you’re kind of doing it wrong.
If you want your videos to be found on on YouTube itself on your own site, making sure you’ve got transcripts for any kind of rich media to make sure that there’s enough text for Google to crawl, making sure that you’re using words and phrases and topics that are relevant to what people are searching for in the language, they search for it.
So doing a tremendous amount of research into your audience to figure out okay, this is how my audience asks this question.
So I should answer this question in that same language.
And then the fourth branch of SEO is off site SEO.
And this looks a lot like public relations.
This is doing outreach.
Making sure that you’re getting links to your articles, you’re getting links to your website, you’re getting links to all the relevant content.
You spend all that time creating, building relationships with media outlets, influencers, other bloggers, other websites, appearing on podcasts, appearing on people’s YouTube shows and live streams and essentially building a brand around the content that you’ve built.
So that when Google and other search engines index, all the links that are out there, you have a fair number of inbound links headed your way.
Each of these branches of SEO is a profession unto itself, right technical SEO, like set is like it off site.
SEO is like PR, content marketing its own thing.
On site SEO is, you know that a lot of ways the job that we used to call back in the early 2000s, a webmaster right, all four professions? And can you be expert on all four of them? Yes, you can.
You will, you can be proficient at all four are you do have enough time in the day to do all four on a frequent basis, probably not.
Particularly offside, offside is one of the most time consuming parts of SEO, if you do it well.
If you do it poorly, it’s, it’s not so time consuming, but you don’t get good results that way.
And so you will probably have a specialization in one or two of these areas, but not necessarily all for you, you won’t do all four all the time.
Most of the time, though, if you have enough knowledge to be competent, each of the four areas, you can then contract out with agencies, or contractors or partners or whoever to handle aspects that you’re not as proficient at, or you just don’t have time to do.
So for example, with technical I mentioned a service like CloudFlare.
That’s is a great supplement to your technical SEO capability.
So it’s not a replacement for knowing what you’re doing.
But it is something that you can offload some of those tasks.
With off site, if you have a really good public relations team, they can handle an awful lot of that workload, getting you links to your stuff as they pitch the just giving them the guidance.
Hey, as you pitch the story, make sure that you get us a link to back to our website.
When it comes to content marketing, if you know that you need to work on video and video is not your strength, and you work with contractors to help produce videos and stuff.
And then you use transcription software or transcription contractors to build the content for Trent to be transcribed.
But you want that experience, you want that knowledge in each of the four areas so that you can act as a manager act as a project manager or coordinator to help keep your SEO efforts on tracks.
And there’s a fifth area that is not SEO tactics, that is important.
That is Seo management, being able to coordinate to build project plans to keep a team moving in the right direction to broker arrangements with other contractors and agencies, particularly when you have inter agency conflicts.
Those are all skills that are sort of at that fifth, a morphus all encompassing area of SEO and again, like project management a profession of its own.
So an SEO expert has proficiency in at least one of these areas.
They have knowledge of all four, and they have a specialization in at least one.
And can you be expert on all of them? Yes.
If it’s all you ever do day in and day out and you fulfill those different roles for different clients or within a company? Yes, you can be expert in all of it.
But you will still have a strength probably in one area in particular.
That’s a good question.
It’s an important question because a lot of people still 20 years later, are a little fuzzy on SEO.
So important, important stuff to know.
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