Howdy, howdy my SEO heroes! Search Engine Academy gets lots of opportunities to answer the question “what does SEO mean?”

While SEO is still as relevant as ever, it sure as hell doesn’t mean what it used to. There was a time you could schedule your SEO a few times per year and not worry too much about it. Of course, that was way back when there were only a few hundred thousand or million pages on the world wide web, so what the heck, ranking wasn’t too awful hard.

Nowadays…hahahaha. Slow. Clap.

So what does it mean to do search engine optimization, or to be an SEO professional. Come with me; let’s explore the new definition!

SEO means:

  • Constantly researching and refreshing keyword research – yeah, I know, I know we all deal with (not provided) and probably feel like we have just as much chance of ranking by randomly smearing words across a web page as opposed to still figuring out what our target audience uses, but I still see a great deal of value in doing keyword research pretty often. If nothing else, you need to know what phrases are popular with your searchers and what’s trending due to seasons, events, political happenings, etc.
  • Coming up with new content ideas all the time – yeah, it used to be you could add pages a lot less than now and still rank well. Not anymore. There are more and more and still more people coming online all the time, and they want fresh, updated, interesting, relevant timely content. This means you are constantly doing analysis and research into what topics of interest you and your web writing team should be planning pages, articles and posts about.
  • Keeping a sharp, sharp eyeball on linking profiles – thanks to Google Penguin, doing a fairly extensive inbound back link analysis at least monthly is now highly recommended to be sure you’re not dropping in keyword rankings because of a spammy link profile. I am recommending to my clients and students to do this monthly.
  • Looking at website performance through analytics data – there’s no getting around it, troops. We have to look at our web page performance to see what’s weak and what’s working. Pay attention to the numbers and plan your ongoing SEO strategy accordingly.
  • Always being ready for change at a moments’ notice – remember when Google first rolled out Panda, then Penguin? You went to bed the night before, feeling pretty OK about what you optimizing for. You woke up in the morning and it was the equivalent of a Cossack invasion for a lot of web sites. My motto is “Semper Gumby” – always flexible. The same goes for you, umkay?

There’s more than this, but I think I’ve hit the main points. What does SEO mean to you? Let us know in the comments. Until next time, keep it safely between the ditches and at the speed limit, umkay?

All the very best to you,

(Update: Take a look at our tips on keeping your SEO Training up to date.)