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What is Search Engine Optimization? Part One

I remember the wave of panic that hit me when I first came across the letters “SEO.” I had no clue what they stood for and no idea why I should care. Even worse, I had a sinking feeling that they were probably Terribly Important. Nobody I talked to at the time knew what those infernal letters meant and so, for a while, I carried blithely on with my writing expecting them to go away. They didn’t. As a writer, I had seen plenty of acronyms along the way. I’ve done a lot of work in the fields of journalism, government and corporate communications and PR, and I was used to the jargon that people familiar with a topic like to throw around in place of clear communication. There’s no point judging it…but acronyms need to be explained.

Young reporters run into a Law in Journalism that says if you don’t spell out an acronym on first reference, and then put the acronym in brackets beside the words the letters represent, then you are going to go to Writer Hell in the form of a good tongue lashing from the editor in charge of editing your story. Once you’ve been taught that rule, you have to follow it or risk the wrath of the Angels of Editorial Vengeance. While I no longer live in fear of an editor, or the angels who do their dirty work for them, this does strike me as a pretty good rule to follow. If you don’t provide people with an explanation for an acronym you are closing the door to a private club you don’t actually want anyone else to join.

I find that digital marketing experts often tend to keep those doors closed. SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization” refers to the art and science of helping your business show up in the search engine results pages when someone searches for what your business offers. When I first ran into the term I had no clue that it was going to change my life. I make no pretense of being an early adopter here, but when you are a marketing copywriter and you sniff something in the air that you think is going to revolutionize how marketing writing is going to be done, it’s a good idea to sit up and pay attention.

So I did.

As a writer focused on building a business in an evolving online universe, I nervously jumped into the oceans of online information available on Search Engine Optimization and tried to learn how to swim in it. And although I’m still surfing the ever-evolving waves of change in this field, I’ve become a huge student of SEO. It’s an incredibly elegant field of study. And it is always changing.

We’ll talk more about SEO in future blogs. Showing up well online is a result of a long-term strategy that is actually relatively complex, and if you would like to get traffic from online searched, you usually need to invest in the project for a while before you see results. Is this something that would serve your business? Drop us a note and let us know!

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