What is SEO?

1st page rankings… we all want it!! But we can’t all have it!


It is no secret that getting on the first page of search engines like Google can make or break a company, but how do you do you get on the first page, and what should you know before going for it?


SEO or Search Engine Optimization refers to the process of managing your online presence so that you are found by searchers and ranked at the top by search engines, like Google and Bing.
Being on the first page for an exact match keyword is every owners dream ( or if it is not, it should be), but just like most things in life, it can be an easier to talk about as a concept than accomplish it in reality.
By reading this beginners guide to SEO you will learn about the key principles of SEO and how you can make it work for you!



By reading this beginners guide to SEO you will learn about the key principles of SEO and how you can make it work for you!

Google’s Algorithm

In typical fashion, Google, has dictated how we SEO’ers go about managing you and your companies SERP positioning (Search Engine Results Page).


In 2012, Google introduced Penguin to the world. Penguin is the name of Google’s algorithm, and it decides a company’s relevancy and worth based on what we call domain authority (more on this later).


Many different things are accounted for in this algorithm and the truth is no one (alive to speak of that is) knows the secret. Instead there are hundreds of developers and engineers who have developed ways of testing and comparing different tactics and their effectiveness, providing SEO’ers like us the valuable data we need to provide you with a service that works!

On and Off Page SEO

When the geeks get together funny things are said, and rather than keeping SEO simple by referring to it as website and link optimization the industry has calls it “on and off page SEO”.


Off Page SEO refers to links that go both to and from your site. Examples of ways you can develop off page SEO is to register with a link generation programs, buy or affiliate with links and by creating content and keeping active on social media.


On page SEO refers to the keywords, design code, descriptions, tags, meta data and internal links on your website.


Google says there are only a few ways to tell a relevant source from crap online, and the best and most undisputed way is to focus in on keywords.


Keywords may be at the center of everything you do, publish and think about once you start to stress the importance of optimization, but that doesn’t mean that they are difficult to understand.


The best keywords for you to use are determine by analyzing your industry, common searches, direct and indirect competitors and understanding your services.


Keywords can be more than one word. In fact, last year Google announced that search phrases have risen by almost 1000% since 2010, meaning that keywords such as “doggy daycare” may now be “the best place to leave your dog”.


Do not choose your keywords based on what you think your audience is searching for especially since the resources exist ( cough…cough…Social Slingshot) that will guarantee you are targeting the audience that is most likely to convert with you!

Link Building

Building links is easy, but building quality links that work for you are not! Aka Off page SEO, Link building is a powerful way to guarantee that you are seen by Google as a company that is both important and relevant to a particular industry or keyword.


Enough qualified links will inevitable place you high on Googles SERP. But links alone are not enough to get you past page 2, you have to worry about all the other pieces to the puzzle to get to and say at page 1.


Not all links are created equal. While it may seem thrilling to see hundreds of off page links coming back your way these links may be doing you more harm than good. A good link is referred to as an authority, meaning that the link contains information and links that are relevant to what you do, or the community you are in.


An example of a bad link when you are linked to a page known for spam or creating false re-directs. Unfortunately, it is common for many SEO agencies to create their own linking world. This tactic involves a type of linking that is commonly referred to as a link farm. This type of link sits in the middle of ok and not. It all depends on how it is working out, and whether the ‘link farm’ has enough good standing links to create positive linking juice. Note: this is sometimes referred to as purchasing links.


Citations are commonly found as directories and public content sharing sites.


You must place yourself on all the relevant directories such as Yelp, Google maps, Local Finds, etc. These citations will allow people using third party sites to find you, all while showing the search engines that you exist and are what the word…. relevant!


Create and distribute materials on Public content sharing sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, Slidshare etc. Not only is this something you will want to do anyways (discussed more in the content section), but for the purposes of citations you are literally putting your hand in the air and saying. ‘Google, pick me!’ every time someone searches for a topic that pertains to content you produced.

Local vs Regional Vs National SEO

Managing SEO is very similar to managing a political campaign. Just like in Politics you have the party you run for or in this case your industry or service, and the people who you need to vote for you.


When you look at SEO on a local scale you will more than likely notice that the competition is doing so-so. Typically local companies struggle at managing content creation on a regular basis and this leads to static local markets where there just isn’t a whole lot to compete with. This is great news for you, but doesn’t not mean that it will be easy to get to page 1 and once your there you will have others nipping at your heels to get there too!


Regional SEO is a lot of fun because it presents a challenge, but is totally do able. When you look at running a regional SEO campaign be aware of keywords and competitors.


The keywords in one region will almost surely be different from one place to the next forcing you to select the ones that you feel will best perform. Now with this said a regional campaign is typically in the range of 1,500-4,000k a month proving you with enough resources to target multiple keywords.


Regional and national competition can find themselves in brutal battles for online authority and first page results, which is why it is rare to see a new company appear in a market that is fed by giants. An example of a market that is dominated is the home improvement, fast food, sports, and many others which is why it can be good to serve a niche. Now with this said Google has shown the smaller fish in the sea mercy by acknowledging geo-demographics as more important to consumers than only being able to find large chains which means that local competition always has a chance to stay in top!


Content is everything, and the best SEO advise we can give you is to treat it as such. Being online is not enough to create results, you have to show your audience who you are by telling them why you are the best and giving them the resources to succeed.


There are so many forms of content that it is mind boggling. There are videos, articles, blogs, social media and even this pdf you are reading now, aka an e-book are all considered viable content!


Unfortunately content creation is the most tedious work you can do on the SEO spectrum so making sure that it is working for you rather than wasting time is necessary. Social Slingshot professionals are experts at creating meaningful and compelling content that does more than just brand, it sells!