SEO – What It Is and What It Is Not

Search engine optimization is one of the most widespread buzzword used in online marketing. But as widespread as SEO is, it is also one of the most misunderstood. Many people are in the dark about what good SEO practices are and end up being taken advantage of by fly by night marketers. Before even thinking about hiring a SEO firm for your business, you should be well informed about what constitutes search engine optimization and what doesn’t.  So, what is SEO? And what isn’t it?

SEO is not a Form of Paid Advertising

SEO and paid advertising have no relation to each other. Spending tons of money on paid advertising will have absolutely no effect on your site’s positioning with the search engines. Also, you can expect the same kind of results with both methods. In some cases, paid advertising might be the better option and in some cases, you’d be better off focusing your efforts on SEO.

You don’t have to pick one method over the other either. In some cases, starting with pay per click advertising is a great way to get traffic before your SEO efforts start getting results. Since SEO can take months to kick in, starting with PPC is a great way to get immediate traffic.

SEO is the Only Way to Get Free Organic Traffic

Yes, theoretically, SEO allows you to get tons of organic traffic every month without having to pay a red cent for advertising. However, in order to get there, you’ll have to either hire a SEO company or do the legwork yourself.

If you’re comfortable with your SEO knowledge and your niche is not that competitive, you could consider doing it yourself. But this comes with a few caveats. First, you won’t have the same level of expertise as experts in the field. Most SEO companies are abreast of the latest developments in search engine optimization and some techniques that used to work not too long ago could not only be obsolete today, but might actually hurt your search engine rankings.

Content creation demands a lot of effort and expertise and isn’t for everybody. You can’t expect your content to be as good as someone who has been in the business for many years. Also, SEO can be very time consuming, and as you start scaling up, you’ll eventually won’t be able to handle the workload yourself which could end up stifling your growth.

SEO is Not a Set it and Forget it Method

A lot of people who are just starting with SEO think it’s a set it and forget it process. Once you’re on top of the search engines, it’s done! But you have to keep in mind that there are thousands of other people competing for that spot, so you’ll have to constantly put work in order to keep those hard earned results. This means constantly tweaking your site to meet new standards, making sure your content doesn’t become stale, and publishing statuses and staying active on multiple social media platforms to generate interest for your brand and content.


As you can see, search engine optimization isn’t rocket science. However, it still demands a significant amount of expertise and knowledge to be implemented properly. SEO is no simple affair, and unless you feel you are entirely confident in your abilities and expertise, you should leave it to the professionals.

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