The world of Internet marketing is not for the faint of spirit or for those who do not possess a constant desire to learn something new every day.
This strength of spirit, this desire to know and “update” yourself daily will be your most necessary qualities if you decide to be an SEO or search engine marketing professional, because we – the SEOs – have to deal on two fronts:
- That of the users: humans.
- That of search engines, algorithms and their bots.
It is this positioning between “humans” and “bots” that makes SEO the most ambiguous and – at the same time – exciting of all Internet marketing disciplines.
We, the SEOs, are Technical Marketers, this is our distinguishing mark with respect to all the others; Social Media, Content or E-mail Marketing marketers.
SEOs are marketing people and as such, we have the obligation to have a deep understanding of how search engines work, so that companies can better communicate to their audience through their Websites and respond to their real needs.
In other words, we are Don Draper in geek version.
You too can be a Don Draper thanks to this book you have in your hands.
The reason is simple: few people have as much knowledge of real SEO as Fernando Maciá Domene.
What you will read and learn is the fruit of years of work in the trenches, not just a regurgitation of best practices. SEO has evolved a lot, and it is no longer just a matter of keywords and meta tags. Semantic search, Mobile Search, SEO for video marketing, international SEO, local search, digital PR… SEO is present at all stages of a site’s online marketing and influences all of them. All this is the result of an evolution, which is why an updated edition of this book was so necessary.
Dear reader, don’t be scared when you read the table of contents of this second edition of SEO. Técnicas Avanzadas, be brave and go to the first chapter. You will see how Fernando is able to explain even the most complicated technique with clarity.
The SEO’s job, in part, is reminiscent of that of a researcher. SEO researches, analyzes, discovers what an audience needs and the words they use to satisfy that primal need to search.
Searching involves queries, and these queries are made up of words: the famous keywords.
Every search engine marketing project starts with keyword consulting and Fernando, precisely, begins this second edition of SEO. Técnicas Avanzadas with this task, and does so in extreme detail, explaining how to perform it clearly and successfully.
The deeply practical nature of this book is evident from the very first chapter: tools are the protagonists, both those that Google itself offers and some of the best payment instruments.
Understanding the language our audience uses, however, is only the first step of an SEO project. In fact, it may not even be of much use if our Internet presence – our Website – is not optimized so that the engines can index it correctly.
The indexability audit or technical audit, as it is also known, is where the technical nature of search engine marketing professionals predominates, and where SEOs become the ideal connection between the Marketing and IT departments.
If you are an SEO with a background in Information Science, or if you come from the programming world, in this chapter – as well as throughout the book – you will find terms and techniques already known, but from the perspective of search engine marketing.
If, on the other hand, you are one of the many who come to SEO from the world of communication and marketing, thanks to Fernando’s ability to explain seemingly complicated things with ease, you will be able to acquire all the essential technical knowledge to be able to work well as a search engine marketing professional.
But if I have to suggest a part of Fernando Maciá Domene’s book, it would be chapter 5: “The SEO workflow and how to avoid the pitfalls of implementation”.
This chapter is a step-by-step guide to the different production phases of an SEO project, which clearly indicates the questions to ask when implementing an SEO strategy according to different scenarios (new website, domain migration, optimization of existing sites…).
We said before, when we talked about Keyword Consulting, how SEO is similar to the work of a researcher. Such nature of our work is confirmed in many other moments, being everything related to the architecture of a site and its contents the most relevant. “Words” such as taxonomy, folksonomy, thesauri, ontologies and semantic fields are important and, more and more, in common use in the daily work of an SEO. Why? Because Google (and not only Google) has changed a lot, going from being a search engine almost exclusively based on keywords and links, to a very complex system that sees Web semantics as its real engine.
Since Hummingbird, the revolutionary update of its entire search algorithm that took place two years ago, Google has become much smarter at understanding the content published on the Internet and therefore also better able to deliver better results to its users.
Building a Website that can explain to Google, thanks to precise Web architecture and semantic techniques, what it talks about and what needs it responds to, is nowadays mandatory.
If quality has always been important in the work of an SEO, now it is even more so. Achieving success at Google with low-quality tactics, or directly against Mountain View’s guidelines, has become enormously complicated. We could say, in fact, that the SEO world has evolved so fast also because Google has decided – once and for all – to clean its search results of spam.
Penguin or Panda are only the most famous updates that Google has launched over the last four years, and that have given so much work to SEOs.
In SEO – Técnicas Avanzadas you will find the necessary techniques to detect potential problems in this regard and, if necessary, solve them.
The (damn) links, however, are still of great importance in SEO. The concept of Popularity is still with us, but with a renewed nature, so we no longer talk about Link Building, but about Link Earning.
Links are not built; they must be earned. The punishment is, sooner rather than later, a penalty.
It is in this area where the marquetinian nature of SEO has taken control over pure technique, leading SEO to approach disciplines such as Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing, to work synergistically with them, to obtain a common goal for all of them: the success of the client.
SEO does not have the duty to create content or promote a brand on Social Networks, but to inform content marketers about the topics that their common audience is looking for, and to help Social Media professionals to identify those sites and people that can help amplify the promotion of that content… and, by the way, help to get those links that are useful to boost the website’s Popularity.
Fernando also presents two chapters dedicated to two facets of SEO that have become very important:
- International SEO.
- Optimization for mobile devices.
Both are a clear mirror of the times we live in.
In the case of international SEO, it is precisely the need for companies to open up to international markets – partly due to the economic crisis that we are still suffering – that has made it highly topical.
In the case of optimization for mobile devices, the reason is obvious: mobile Internet use is on the verge of surpassing classic desktop PC use in the area of search as well. If we think about it, the aforementioned Hummingbird is largely due to the fact that Google had understood this change in the search habits of its users.
Finally, like all marketing disciplines, SEO must also be measured. The relationship between SEO and Web Analytics has always been very strong, but over the last few years it has become even closer. Everything in SEO must be measured: Visibility, Traffic and Conversions. Without a deep understanding of Web Analytics and its tools, we will not be able to set objectives and KPIs, we will not be able to isolate and identify failures or successes and, above all, we will not be able to inform our clients about our work.
Because SEO has changed, it is no longer a matter of positioning and “being in first position”. SEO has evolved and become even more complex. A complexity that should not scare us, but on the contrary, because we have at our disposal books such as this new edition of SEO. Técnicas Avanzadas by our friend Fernando Maciá Domene, which can help us to improve our daily work.
And to those who tell you that SEO is dead, reply that SEO will only die when people stop looking for answers.
Gianluca Fiorelli (@GFiorelli1)