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what is seo

What is SEO and how does SEO Work?

What is SEO? Some SEO History…

what is SEOAnswering the question ‘What is SEO?’ is not easy, however Managed SEO have answers.

Online business has grown immensely during the past decade. So not surprisingly, the SEO industry has grown significantly also.

Some of these players were wiped out after the Panda 4 Google algorithm changes (late 2014). Panda removed a number of significant ‘cheap’ tools. It hasn’t been a bad thing.

The industry was getting shonky and legitimate websites weren’t getting the recognition they deserved. A shake up was needed!

SEO Today

Today, changes continue, and the referees aren’t always clear about how they’re calling the game. Nevertheless, there is an abundance of ’how to do seo’ articles and a range of providers available to you. Some of them are good; some are less so. Let’s consider what will help you navigate the options, take advantage of the opportunities, and avoid the threats.

So, What is SEO?


Hi, I’m Scott Nailon, owner of Managed SEO. We specialise in search engine domination. In this video, I’ll be demystifying What Is SEO for you. So the first thing that you need to understand is that your website is the digital you. And the search engines are kind of like business networking events but on the Internet.

I use this analogy because there’s a number of parallels between real life and digital life. When you go to a business networking event there are certain rules that you need to follow. And if you don’t, you won’t do very well.

Planning For Success

Before you go to the event, you need to plan. What are you going to wear? What’s your hygiene going to be like? Are you going to have aftershave or perfume? There’s a lot of questions you’ve got to ask yourself.

You’ve also got to work out what you’re going to say to people. Are you going to take business cards? How are you going to dress? These are all very important factors to your success at that business networking event. We could also draw a clear parallel here between these things and what’s called on-site SEO.

If you turn up to Google’s business networking event with poor on-site SEO. It’s about the same as turning up to a real networking event in your tracksuit pants smelling like body odour. No one’s going to get near you; and online neither is Google or any of the search engines.

So how do we fix this problem before it happens. Well, first, you have to make sure that the developers of your website have actually conformed it to Googles standards. If you’re not sure about this go to a website called You’ll be able to run a free test. The report from that test will tell you what needs fixing on that website. And if you’re not technical, your web developer should be able to fix it.

Onpage SEO Planning

Then comes the fun part. You need to plan every single page of your website to rank in Google for the right keyword to get you the right clients. You need to think about your customers’ intent: ‘Why did they search this keyword phrase?’. And then make sure, that whatever they’re looking for, when they land on your page, they find it fast. Then to ensure that there is no bounce rate or less of a bounce rate, make sure that the page is engaging, it’s got pictures, and it’s interesting. Ensure that the heading and the sub-headings give the user what they’re looking for fast. Make sure each page has at least 500-1000 words on it.

This is the point where Google gives page authority, and this gives you a lot better chance of ranking that page. While you’re at it, make sure you learn how to do on-page SEO – or we can do it for you! This is going to allow you the best chance of ranking that page for that keyword. Now that your on-page and on-site SEO is done, you’re ready for your business networking event to start.

Constant Content

Now you turn up for a business networking event. You turn up, talk for five minutes and don’t say another thing for the whole night. You’re gonna come across as a bit of a weirdo and you’re not going to have much authority.

That’s about the same as having a website blog, posting two blog articles and never posting anything again. In order to stay relevant to people and the search engines, you need to be constantly publishing good quality information. Information that’s going to help your end users or desired clients in your industry.

Doing this is going to build your authority in the eyes of your clients, as well as the eyes of the search engines. The massive bonus of this is that you get to subconsciously shape your clients’ understanding of your industry. The more they read, the more your authority grows in their mind. So as a business owner, you want to blog as often as possible and you want your blogs to 500-1000 words – or even more like this article!

Offsite Authority through Backlinking

The next concept we need to understand is the concept of backlinking.

A backlink is where somebody else’s website has a link to your website. And in the eyes of the search engines, this is about the same as somebody in the crowd, standing up and pointing directly at you. Then saying that you have authority on a matter.

However, the quality of the website giving you the backlink will determine how much the search engines give that backlink in authority. For example, in real life, if you were standing next to a homeless person. And they are telling everyone that you are the best financial adviser in the world, no one would listen. But if you are in a Robert Kiyosaki event, and he stood you up on the stage in front of everyone in the building. Then he told everyone to see you about financial advice, you’ll probably get a few phone numbers afterwards. Or a few hundred!

A Scenario

Now imagine this scenario.

We go to the networking event but before we get there we arrange for 10 people to be there. People who we know, who know that we provide good service. These people purposefully arrived before you did. Generally, they’re sitting around talking to other business owners, you walk into the room and they all look up. They stop their conversations, and say, “Oh my gosh! That’s such and such! He’s an expert in such and such”. At that point in time, your authority just went up. It grew with everybody who heard those people give a testimonial about how great you are.

And that’s kind of like how a backlink works. The more backlinks from good quality places in your niche that you get, the better your off-site SEO is going to be.

Domain Authority

Now as your off-site SEO climbs, and as your on-site SEO climbs, your overall domain authority climbs as well. Read more about domain authority at

Domain authority is like a rising tide, and your keywords are like all the boats in the marina. As the tide goes up, all the keywords go up with it.

A Recap on What is SEO

So let’s recap. You’ve planned your site. Planned every page in your website to actually rank for a certain keyword which you know gets searches. You’re giving your blog constant content. This keeps your customer or potential customers coming back for more information. You’re then getting regular backlinks from other websites. Hopefully Websites within your niche that have domain authority higher than yourself.

And then there you have it, all of a sudden you start seeing more visitors on your website. You start seeing more high quality sales leads, and hopefully you convert those leads into paying customers.

And there it is, guys. SEO demystified. It’s honestly that easy, plan for success, give quality and watch the returns come in. 

SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation. Essentially, SEO is the pursuit of the ‘optimum mix’. Permit me to explain.

Like chemists optimising the fuel mix of an F1 racing car, achieving SEO success is an art and science of testing, reviewing and adjusting in pursuit of the perfect mix. Your site, your industry and your marketplace has a mix of onsite and offsite strategies, design elements and content used in your website. Just as each different F1 racing track may call for slight adjustments to a fuel mix, each website and industry has its own specific challenges. Nevertheless, there are certain consistent items worth understanding.

With online business becoming increasingly important, search engine performance has become a key factor – some would say THE key factor – in modern marketing success. Yet there are still thousands of people per month searching ‘what is seo?’ 

SEO Works When You Avoid Extremes

These extreme SEO beliefs are particularly dangerous. Beware and test these assumptions:

  1. Believing middle and top shelf SEO is financially beyond your reach.
  2. That bottom shelf SEO strategies will bring lasting results.
  3. Believing SEO is so straightforward you can easily go solo.
  4. And that SEO is too complex to understand.
  5. Believing a page 1 placing is guaranteed
  6. Thinking SEO is all a crock of ‘effluent’.

None of these beliefs are true, so what is seo?

SEO Pricing

We believe when you explore the tools, options and strategies available, and assess them with a view to return-on-investment, there will be something available that suits you and helps you.

This is why ‘Extreme Beliefs’ 1 and 2 are not true.

The simple fact is that bottom shelf won’t work, and higher shelves ARE available to you.


Can you DIY your SEO? The short answer is, “Yes!”, but why would you go solo?

  1. You’re likely to have a better return on expense letting a specialist do the work.
  2. Too much ‘blog’ advice is out-of-date by the time you read it,
  3. Specialist have access to technologies you don’t have,
  4. SEO outsourcing has many options (or at least it does with us),
  5. We can measure and analyse not only your performance but also your competitors,
  6. When the algorithm is adjusted you want someone who knows what they’re doing responding quickly to that change. And as Google informs us, this typically happens up to 400 times a year.
  7. A good SEO service will keep you informed and aid your understanding.

Extreme Beliefs 3 and 4 are not true either. You can’t easily go solo, but with the right support, you can understand it.

Guarantees and Scary Tales

Every industry has its shonks; let’s be real about this. We’ve heard some horror stories and seen the back-end of few client’s websites; the horror stories can be true. So be careful.

Don’t deny yourself the genuine through fear of the fake.

Yes, it would be nice to believe SEO was a sham. If true, business owners could reduce outgoings –  and feel good about it too. However, the evidence is in the success enjoyed by those who employ SEO. Success stories should be learnt from, and so should business horror stories.

Here’s a simple tip for becoming avoiding the horror: If a provider tells you they can guarantee a first page position, RUN. They can’t, they dont own Google and you shouldn’t trust them. They are not the referee, they don’t know what your competitors are doing, they don’t know the algorithm and they don’t control the market.

Here’s another: Don’t look for people offering secrets, just experienced, informed and clever practitioners.

Extreme Beliefs 5 and 6 are not true. Yes, SEO cannot guarantee you a page 1 position, but it is still legitimate and effective in improving your position if done correctly. Don’t forget though: someone has to win page 1!

SEO Works When You Embrace Strategy

We’ll break down more specifics in other articles, but weigh these 5 SEO strategy steps. Almost every strategy falls within these major groupings, and thinking in these terms will empower you no matter what packages or strategies you choose to invest in.

What is SEO

What is SEO

Below is a small list of links which will help you in your journey into search engine success, these articles will offer insight and valuable tools to help you leverage the web to its potential.

[ What is SEO? | What is a Rank Tracker | Google Change History | Shopify SEO ]