This is a funny question to ask because the whole definition of SEO means something different to everyone these days. In our opinion, search engine optimization means being efficient with your digital voice and message while using ingredients the search engines like to see. Whether it is keywords, robust meta data or optimized images it all comes down to having a well rounded efficient approach to your SEO efforts. When done correctly the search engines actually like SEO, it is the bad SEO apples in the industry that really stomp on the loopholes to grow “success” (I use that term loosely). When was the last time a large brand was grown online from pouncing on loopholes? Never.
Here are a few excerpts from Bing’s SEO blog post that pretty much states what we have been saying.
“As with so many things in life, perspective is important. On the surface it’s easy to say Bing likes SEO. But what does this actually mean? Do we actually care whether you have clean URLs, H1 tags and properly written meta descriptions? Sure we do, but the reasons might not be what you’re thinking. At the very core of its work, SEO is about improving a website. In today’s ever-populated SERPs, that’s important. Small things can help your website appear ahead of a competitor in the results, and with so much money online today, every advantage counts, right?”
It is all about improving the stickiness and search friendliness of your website at all times. Many times it just requires getting strategic by writing descriptive meta information, updating content by re-tweaking with keywords and interlinking along with basic developmental clean up.
“It helps them understand what they are about to consume and determine of the content on the page matches their needs. The H1 is more about usability than outright SEO. If you subscribe to the idea that SEO is about usability, then you’re on the right track.”
User experience, user experience and more user experience is the answer to online success these days. Being on the web is not a differentiator, your user experience, branding and website development is. Think about how your website visitors are going to interpret your content when they arrive on your website. Too much SEO could just confuse them if you are just shoveling keywords into your content. It also makes it horrendous to read.
“Think of these as your call to action that gets placed in front of a searcher. The meta description is your chance to expand on the idea or topic noted in the page title, and insert a call to action for the searcher to take. This call to action can be as overt as “click here now” or as subtle as “complete your task with our tools”. The range is nearly limitless. Those roughly 160 or so characters that appear in the SERP are really a chance to sell your site to the searcher. “Dear searcher, you should visit my site, and let me explain why…”
Failure to craft a good meta description is met with our best attempt to fill the void. Blank meta descriptions and poorly constructed ones are skipped over in favor of content we find elsewhere in an attempt to explain relevancy to the searcher in our SERPs.”
The reality is the meta data has been discredited over the years which I still find mind blowing. Meta data will not cause your site to rank but it does act as a steering wheel once your site is ready to move. Search engines catalog individual web pages and the way they catalog this info is by reading content and also individual page meta data. Don’t forget to always have clean robust meta data throughout your site.