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What Is SEO? A Blue Collar Explanation

What is SEO - A blue collar explanation.

Here we go, Another SEO Blog Article.

Why should you read this article when there are millions on the topic?

First, let’s address the elephant in the room—another blog “explaining” or answering the question of what SEO is. I write explaining in quotation because I find that particular question is never answered in layman’s terms. We want to change that in this article.

SEO Articles Are Written For Google, Not For Readers…

Why does every article written about SEO seem generic and overly complicated? This is because you found those articles through a Google Search. Why does this matter? Well, these articles are written by the professionals themselves. Consequently, those SEO specialists have written their articles in a way that guarantees they will be displayed in Google’s top 3 results.

Google’s Helpful Content Update… Not So Helpful.

One of the most important aspects of Google’s Algorithm is its “helpful content rule.” Basically, If you want to rank, you have to sound the most professional and write your content using specific terms and jargon. These “keywords” may be familiar to the professionals in the industry but not those who need SEO services the most. Furthermore, these optimized articles fail to do what they are supposed to do in the first place! Explain search engine optimization clearly and concisely.

Lack of Communication hurts SEO Specialists and potential Clients Who Need Help.

In my opinion, this causes such a massive disconnect between the industry and its consumers. Moreover, it has been a colossal failure to the detriment of the digital marketing industry. This leaves awareness of its necessity very low among self-employed professionals, who are the backbone of our market.

Alright, So What Is SEO, Get To The Point Stupid.

SEO is like free advertising in Simple Terms if you rank high in the SERP.

SEO is the manipulation of search engine algorithms in order to show your website first when someone searches a specific term. SEO itself is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. For example, some punk breaks your living room window. So naturally, you search “window replacement services near me.” Statistically speaking, you will contact the first three businesses that you see in Google, get quotes, and choose the cheapest, most reliable option. Everyone else below the top three loses their opportunity to pitch their services to you, through their website. Thus missing out on potential revenue. That is in simple terms the essence of search engine optimization.

So, where does the free part come in?

Some well-known, well-connected businesses appear in the top three “organically.” This means that without hiring an SEO specialist, they are naturally ranked high on Google’s results page due to several factors. These factors include the age of the registered domain (www.example.com), the quality of the content (maybe they hired a professional web designer), and the monthly traffic (well-known businesses have customers accessing their website directly through word of mouth). With 90% of all Canadians using Google to search for goods and services, these well-established businesses are getting 90% of the exposure in their niche for free! 

Well, I have a new business. How do I compete with that?

There are only two options for start-ups or small businesses that need more affordable marketing solutions than social media or conventional advertising. These two options are paying for Google AdWords or hiring an SEO specialist. What’s the difference? SERP specialists cost more upfront but significantly affect your bottom line in the long run. Google AdWords can initially be cheaper, but it’s a costly long-term endeavor. 

Why is this? This is because search engine technicians work to move your website organically up the ranks in search engines. Once you arrive at the top three, your website could stay there for years. Moreover, digital marketing agencies generally charge a flat rate, meaning no matter how many people click on your ad, your bill stays the same.

Google Adwords, on the other hand, charges per click. However, your traffic and clicks come right away. In contrast, in our experience, organic ranking takes about three to six months to see a significant turnaround. However, after three months, you could be off the hook and now off to the races, getting loads of traffic without paying an extra cent. As stated before, AdWords is per click, so if your monthly budget is $750, your website disappears once you stop paying that fee. Also, as the competition in your industry increases, so does the cost of each click. We have seen some clients pay as much as $25 per click and get a maximum of 50 visitors for the price previously given. In contrast our clients who pay $750 through organic services gain as many as 1000 clicks per month. Moreover, some these clients continue to reap the rewards up to 2 years after we parted ways with no monthly costs!

Roofing Case Study All Pro Inc
Google Search Console results after 3 months with our technicians,
%57 more clicks %254 More exposure

Ok, well I run a Small Business Whats my Best option?

What does Front Page SEO Recommend for Your first Marketing campaign?

This answer depends on many variables such as level of competition, size of your target demographic, size of your target area, and, finally, your budget. 

For every client who comes our way, we start by explaining the two main types of search engine optimization: Local and Organic. Now, like some words in the English language, certain optimization terms have dual meanings. 

What is The Organic Search Listing?

In this case, organic SEO not only refers to the process of ranking your website in the top 3 results outside of buying ads. It can also refer to search results outside of Google Maps. Which looks like this:

Organic Search Listings
Organic Search Listings
The second kind of Search optimization is local SEO

Local SEO primarily consists of promoting your business in Google Maps. You may wonder who visits the Maps section to look for goods or services. The answer would be almost nobody. However, when searching for local goods or services, a small portion of the maps shows up first and looks like this:

What Is Local SEO?
Local Search Results

What Kind Of Article Is this? Clickbait? Answer the Question Already!

Ok, Lets Determine What Services are Right For You starting with your target area.

Local Area; if you run a service based industry such as trades, local transportation, food delivery or cleaning, you need both forms of Search Engine Optimization.
Why do local Companies need to rank in Google Maps and The organic Results?
The reason for this is because Google does not always show the map results in the top Three. Sometimes the top Three organic listings show first; and then the GMB(maps) profiles show. This is due to recent changes in Google’s algorithm, causing a high degree in volatility. High volatility means the webpages Google presents for each search query is changing on a daily basis and even showing different search structure. Sometimes, displaying images first, Google Maps or organic search results on the first page.
Do i need a GMB profile if i’m not targeting my local area?
Not necessarily. If you are; for instance running an ecommerce store, a local tourist company, or maybe your priority spans across provinces, Canada, or even internationally, then probably not. For those who are more interested in garnering attention across a large area as previously described, your priority must be Organic Search Listings. However, having GMB is still a good idea as it gives your audience a feel of legitimacy and provides a solid platform for your client to leave reliable & trustworthy reviews.
In order to give solid digital marketing advice we need to know more about you & your goals.

Search engine marketing is a multifaceted industry, with Google categorizing every industry, website, business and social topic individually. This is important to understand because you need to know how Google views your website to reach the top of the charts. For every niche, we utilize specific techniques and strategies. So, to give reliable advice and accurate quotes, we need to know more about your business. Talk to us and get a quote today.

Website SEO Audit
Back End Optimization With Front Page SEO

Sounds all fine and dandy. But how do you know who to trust.

You need to know three main Optimization strategies to choose the right marketing tech.

There are three main types of SEO specialists. Black hatters, white hatters and then there rarely mentioned… gray hatters. Now, almost every company you look at or talk to will rave about their white hat strategies and how they “comply with Google’s guidelines.” Buyers should beware; this may not necessarily be true. Often, these same marketers utilize black hat strategies for quick gains that consequently have long-term consequences. So, where does the gray hat come in? Gray hat methods are not necessarily against Google’s guidelines but push the limits. So, let’s dive in with a more detailed explanation.

White hat SEO, What is it, Does it Work.

White hat techniques work; however, they take a long time and can cost a large amount money. White hat optimization could take upwards of a year and cost a minimum of $2000 a month. What!? Why!? This is because this particular strategy is mainly conducted through your website. For white hatters to be successful, they must show a very active presence on your website. They do this by regularly writing well-thought-out blogs with fantastic content. Or by constantly updating your website to reflect seasonal changes, promotions or discounts. As you can imagine, hiring a professional writer costs money and probably will not work for you for minimum wage. 

White Hat Backlinks: Another major part of search manipulation is gathering backlinks from other websites. White hatters accomplish this by reaching out to various kinds of websites and asking for cross-promotions. Sometimes, it may be contacting bloggers who write about your industry and asking them to review your company. Or even writing press articles and submitting them to the legacy media for exposure. As you can imagine, this takes time and is very costly.

 Black Hat SEO, Often Illegal and Extremely shady

Black hat methods often utilize techniques that, in my opinion (I’m not a lawyer), are just downright illegal. What are these unlawful methods? There are various methods black hatters use that are unethical. They include the following.

  • Reverse SEO: this method is exactly how it sounds. Reverse SEO is when a black hat tech goes after your competitors by hacking their websites, using dirty backlinks or funnelling negative reviews. In other words, they commit cybercrime and fraud on your behalf to push your competitors down and cause you to rise.
  • Cheap Backlinking: this method isn’t illegal; however, you will be directly contravening Google’s guidelines. They accomplish this by using spam software such as Xrumer, Scrapebox or even GSA Search Ranker. This software automatically crawls the web, looking for unsecured, poorly built blogs or websites to spam with backlinks and articles.
  • Hacking: In many instances, black hatters will hack websites for several reasons. This could be to inject a backlink into a high-value blog or news release. They also take over competitors’ websites to redirect traffic to their websites. Or even wholly steal websites to inject articles into them, turning them into link farms.
  • Plagiarism is another popular and illegal method used by the dark side. This involves scraping the content of high-ranking websites and running them through AI to change slightly. This provides cheap spam content ranks off the bat but will quickly find your website de-indexed once search engines catch on.

Why do people use black hat SEO? Many people fall for black hat persuasion because it is very cheap, can provide immediate gains, and because the marketers themselves know it is a short-term fix. This means after a few months of riding high in the ranking; your website could either be penalized or start to fall off. This is where they make their money, keeping you in a perpetual state of ups and downs and further allowing them to leach off of you indefinitely or leave you to face the consequences of the permanent ban in the search results.

Where does gray hat SEO fit in?

Grey hatters operate in the vague (the grey area, if you will). These specialists understand the algorithm better than anyone. This is because they need to get the best results for the lowest cost without crossing any redlines. They accomplish this by fully understanding the search algorithms and constantly keeping up to date with Google’s best practices. However, Google continually updates their platform and changes the rules (Google had three major updates in 2023). This means specific strategies your grey hatters are using could be within the guidelines one minute and outside the rules the next. It is vital to understand that grey hat SEOs will only conduct themselves in a legal and ethical manner.

Strategies we employ are: 

  • For data analysis, grey hatters use black hat tools to collect data and track the algorithms. This means they may use a tool like Scrapebox to crawl websites but not touch them. This is entirely within the rules as you are following the timeless ethics you may look but can not touch. They do this to understand how search algorithms operate outside of what search engines are willing to tell you. Remember that Google’s algorithm is their secret formula and is not open source to the public.
  • Paid Backlinks: Although it may be stated that paid backlinks are against the guidelines in general, in specific instances, it’s fair play. For example, paid advertising is not considered “backlinking” even though, in almost every instance, they provide a backlink to your website. Another form of paid backlinking is through press releases. All major companies with large budgets conduct press releases on news organizations. They pay for these articles to be published and always get a do-follow backlink out of the deal.
  • Competitor Analysis & Keyword Manipulation: Why is this a Grey Hat technique? This is a grey hat technique because instead of writing original content about your company, they steal ideas from other well-built websites. However, a grey hat professional will always be very careful to avoid plagiarism. They do this by using AI software to crawl the web, ensuring your content is unique. Furthermore, they carefully replace specific keywords, keyword variations & LSI terms (Latent Semantic Indexing, words closely related to your target terms, ex, cooking & food) with unique or rarely used synonyms. This makes the article look unique but still follows the general subject matter of the high-ranking content it was inspired by.

Conclusion and Post Script

I am painfully aware this article is very long, and therefore, I must conclude my ramblings. Furthermore, one could not hope to fully explain and provide a deep understanding of what search engine optimization is in a short 3000-word essay. However, I do hope we accomplished our mission here today: to explain the basics to you in a way that makes sense. I hope that, in a rudimentary way, you now understand the following:

  1. Why search engine marketing is important.
  2. In simple terms, what to expect when running a search marketing campaign.
  3. The basic kinds of search promotion.
  4. And the kinds of SEO techniques you can expect to encounter in the Internet marketing industry.

I also understand that you may still have some questions specific to your business and needs. This is why I would also like to extend an invitation to expand this conversation personally. Please Email us at [email protected] or call us at 1 250 713 4597. With Front Page SEO, we can propel your business into the stratosphere.

Also, fill out the form below for a quick and easy way to contact us with a simple question or free estimate.

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