How to Become an SEO Jedi Master

We know some of you are confused when it comes to fine tuning your SEO campaign. You’ve just been making it more complicated than it really is. In fact, we all have. That’s why we really appreciate a recent thread (though now no longer live) by a newbie Search Engine Watch forum member that breaks SEO down into all its integral steps.

  1. Create a website
  2. Add lots and lots of keywords
  3. Submit to 100 search engines and directories
  4. Get loads and loads of links
  5. Use Meta tags (just in case some search engines still bother with them).

And that’s it! According to the member, whose goal is to become ‘an SEO Jedi master’ that’s all you need to know to become successful at SEO. Excuse me while I go bang my head against a wall.

I’m sorry, but what? This list hurts my brain. I hate to kill a man’s dream, but there’s just so much missing. Skipping his pivotal first step of creating an actual website (it hurts too much), he’s only listed four criteria for search engine ranking. The search engines base its rankings on over 100 variables. My elementary math skills tell me he’s missing at least 96 other variables. That’s virtually all of them.

What’s worse is that the four that he actually does list, they aren’t even that accurate. Are you going to use “lots and lots” of keywords, or are you going to perform keyword research and select a handful of the most relevant to target? Are you going to get “loads and loads” of links, or are you going to be picky about your links and only link to related, expert sites? The newbie’s rules may get you into the top 500, maybe, but do you know anyone that goes 50 pages deep into the SERP? What about writing content? We believe that content is key, and yet the SEO Jedi Master-wannabe doesn’t even mention it.

SEOis hard. That’s why people are able to make careers out of doing it. This member got all of his information from reading books about SEO and says his next step is to start creating sites. While we encourage his enthusiasm and understand the importance of practical experience, we would recommend he visit a few more SEO sites before launching right into his design phase.

As a more skilled forum member pointed out, search engine optimization is one area where book experience differs greatly from real world experience. It’s about mastering methodologies. A good lesson in creating dynamic content, targeting keywords, establishing a link campaign, tracking results and SEO site architecture is definitely in order. And those are just links to our site. There’s plenty of other expert content out there. You just have to take the time to find it. We think it’s essential reading, especially before this Jedi in training can take his initial steps in becoming an SEO Jedi Master.

Right now, we deem him at Youngling status.

Lisa Barone is a writer, content marketer & VP of strategy at Overit Media. She's also a very active Twitterer, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

See Lisa's author page for links to connect on social media.

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