Talking to friends, family, co-workers, and clients, there are four SEO-related questions I’m asked more than others. So, for this month’s blog post, I sat down with myself for an interview to find out the answers!
How much do you know about SEO?
Ah, one of my favourite questions.
It’s almost as if people ask this question expecting to hear “I basically know the entire Google algorithm – I know all there is to know about SEO”.
Do I know everything about SEO? No way.
Anyone that claims to know everything about SEO and how search engines work is only highlighting that they really do not get it. In a way, knowing SEO is a bit like ‘knowing’ Zen. Those that think they know, do not know, and those that know they do not know, know.
It is absolutely impossible to know everything about SEO because it is, essentially, an educated guessing game as no one knows Google’s algorithm. It is an industry that is in a constant state of change – which is one of the things I love most about it!
That said, I do know a lot about SEO and I’ve put the ‘runs on the board’ in achieving some amazing results for some of Australia’s biggest brands as well as smaller, local businesses.
How long have you been doing SEO?
I’ve been doing SEO for three years. Doesn’t sound like a long time, does it?
Well, what was considered ‘SEO’ three years ago is now likely to get you penalised by search engines. Having a long history in SEO certainly doesn’t mean you are better than someone with only a few years’ experience; all it means is that you’ve experienced more changes in the industry.
In the relatively short time I’ve been doing SEO, my results speak for themselves (see 99 Bikes case study).
What sort of SEO education do you have? What qualifications do you have?
I have a Bachelor degree in Science. How the hell does that relate to SEO???
I specialised in performance enhancement for sport and see a lot of similarities in increasing athletic performance and website performance. I believe that my scientific background helps me with taking a more structured and analytical approach to SEO, and really helps with reporting and measuring performance.
I learnt a lot about SEO from Search Factory Director, Nic Blair, but I also consider myself a bit of an autodidact when it comes to SEO. For the last three years, I have lived and breathed SEO and when I get home from working a full day in SEO, I am doing more SEO on my personal websites. To say I’d averaged 12 hours of SEO a day for the last three years (yes, even weekends) wouldn’t be a stretch.
SEO is something that you just have to do. You can’t read a book on SEO and call yourself a good SEO in the same way you can’t read a book on how to play basketball and play like Michael Jordan. You need to practice, practice, and then practice some more. And clients’ websites aren’t the place to be doing your practice!
If you want to learn SEO, there is plenty of great reading material online (but also some pretty bad stuff – be careful!), but I highly recommend setting up your own website and practicing and experimenting on that. You could even make some good money out of it, eventually!
What is the single most important aspect of SEO?
This is probably my favourite question.
People are usually looking for a magic bullet when they ask this question, but ask 10 SEOs what they think is the most important aspect of SEO and you will probably get 10 different answers. Some might say page titles, heading tags, or links, etc.
This question could be answered with another question. What’s the single most important aspect of being alive? Your heart? Your brain? Lungs? Blood?
The answer is, there is no single most important aspect. It all works together.
For your website to be well optimised for search engines, you need everything done well and if you begin to put more importance on one thing you are probably losing focus on another area.
You are basically only as strong as your weakest link. So don’t have any weak links.
(Pardon the pun. And I’m not talking about backlinks when I say “links”!)