Elevated is quite involved with SDX, the professional organization for marketing and advertising in San Diego. Throughout the year, SDX hosts a series of workshops called the “Inspire” series that focus on different skills within the industry. Their workshop levels can range anywhere from beginner to advanced, and a few have even been hosted at our workspace. Recently, our SEO team had the honor of collaborating on one of these workshops. Jasmine, our Director of SEO, represented the team at SDX’s Intro to SEO workshop, where she gave a three-hour interactive presentation on the foundations of SEO. While mainly comprised of beginners, every audience member had something to learn or refresh their knowledge of in regards to SEO. Here are the five main topics discussed for those who missed out:
- SEO is more than a one-sentence definition.
Although SEO can be summarized into one sentence, that definition wouldn’t encompass all of the behind the scenes work that makes SEO such a magical profession. Yes, the purpose of SEO is to improve search engine rankings and increase traffic via search engines, but how do we accomplish this? There are a variety of avenues, browsers, and tools that can be utilized.
- There are multiple ways to navigate web traffic.
Direct. Referral. Paid. Organic. Maybe you’ve heard of one of these, all of these, or even none of these terms before. There are a variety of ways that users can navigate the web, and not all of them fall under SEO’s domain. Other professions, such as a paid media specialist or team, have their own strategy to increase their relevant sources of traffic. When it comes to SEO, however, we’re mainly focused on organic.
- You can’t rank for every keyword on the internet.
If you have no prior knowledge of SEO, then you might assume that search engines work by adding you to the results page of any keyword mentioned on your website. This is simply not the case; it would be impossible to do so as the internet has too many domains. Yours would easily get lost if you didn’t know how to properly market yourself. This is why one of the first steps in any SEO campaign is to identify the keywords most relevant to your brand that also have the lowest competition.
- Pursue non-branded keywords for the best results.
A non-branded keyword is one that doesn’t include any mention of a brand. For example, “Kleenex” is a branded keyword whereas “tissue” is non-branded. Both will generate similar results, but Kleenex would only give you pages about or from the Kleenex brand. Pursuing non-branded keywords is important because it extends your reach. Oftentimes, people don’t have a specific brand in mind when they are conducting a generic search. They’ll type in phrases such as “pizza delivery” or “dog collars,” which is great if your brand has been optimized for these non-branded keywords. Only optimizing for your brand name will exclude anyone who has not previously heard of your business.
- Sometimes, we learn best by example.
Perhaps the most valuable portion of this workshop was getting to deconstruct a website with Jasmine. She pulled up the simple website format of a successful San Diego business and had attendees work with her to identify its relevant keywords, both branded and non-branded. It’s one thing to have something explained to you, but in the case of SEO, visual learning is often most effective. Attendees were able to conduct their own preliminary keyword research and better understand how to translate this process to their own businesses.
For those of you who missed out or simply felt too advanced to attend, don’t worry! We will be back next month with our full SEO team for the advanced portion of this workshop. Find more info, actionable downloads from the presentation and register for the intermediate/advanced course on technical SEO factors on Elevated’s website.