What is SEO? Learn SEO basics – MOOC review

My name is Luis Santos and here are my Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business (MOOC) reflections. The topic I was specifically interested to learn about was “What is SEO and SEO basics”.

Some of the crucial SEO components that were mentioned in the MOOC are:

Keyword research & identifying your keyword competitors

During the first stage of this process, it is recommended that you research the keyword that you want to be ranked for in relation to your online presence and business prospects. In other words, you will need to find a combination of the most appropriate keywords in order for search engine users to identify your social networking sites or your business website.

Using my own online presence optimisation as an example, the field that I am interested in is digital marketing, web design, and website content management. In addition there were a number of keyword terms that I considered using for the four criteria of keywords- Relevance, Specificity, Competition and Popularity. These terms were inappropriate to optimise my online presence because: “luis santos” was too popular; “luis seo” was too competitive; “luis digital marketing” was not specific, “luis web” was not specific enough.

As a main recommendation from Aleksej Heinze (search and social media marketing lecturer) realistically your keyword research has to be based on 4 particular elements:

Keyword specificity

(1) Keyword specificity in relation to my prospects and objectives “luis web design” is more specific than “luis web”.  Moreover,  “Long tail” keywords (three+ words) are often considered more useful than “short tail” keywords (one  or two words). Therefore finding the most appropriate keywords for my online presence certainly required some intuition combined with science – i.e. data from Google AdWords keyword suggestions tool.

Keyword relevance

(2) Relevance to desired outcomes and objectives of my online presence. During my keyword research process it was easier to use keywords with high volume of monthly searches in order to get more traffic… but it was inappropriate because they did not match with the objectives of my online presence, therefore these had to be discarded.

Keyword popularity

(3) Popularity levels ensure that the final selected keywords are searched for by others. There is little use spending time and energy optimising for a term that no one ever searches for. There are also country specific variations to these figures; I only searched at UK data during my optimisation because at that moment I was interested to only work in the UK digital industry.

Keyword competition

(4) Regarding keyword competition I tried to consider how simple / difficult it would be to compete in the search engines.  On the other hand, it can become very expensive to compete for particular terms, therefore it was important to consider how essential some keywords would be in relation to my online presence.

Alternatively, after some research regarding different keywords I thought that probably “luis web design” was the most appropriate and reasonable keyword to get more  chances of appearing in the first page of search engines. Subsequently, on my social networking sites it was applied on-page and off-page SEO techniques.

The SEO Results

Now when if you search on Yahoo & Bing for “luis web design” my Facebook page and my blog appear on the first search engine result page.  My LinkedIn and Twitter accounts are on the second page of SERP (see the screenshot below)

“Luis web design” as a keyword on yahoo engine result


When I searched on Google.co.uk for “luis web design” all 4 social networks are on the first page of SERP: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest (see the screenshot below)

“luis web design” as keyword on google search engine result


As you can see the results are completely different. The reason behind this may be due to the fact that, search engine robots track links indexed or interrelated with websites, for that reason the more high quality inbound links the more traffic and visitors you can get (Mediacollege, 2012; TopRank Online Marketing, 2009).

In my opinion Bing and yahoo might have more accurate link building searcher or reader than the Google, or Google is more familiar with reading and finding social media networking sites. Last of all it might also be for the fact that I have not optimised my profiles for the Bing / Yahoo  search crawler.

Ultimately, enrolling on this MOOC will provide you with an insight into how to start developing your online presence.

Thanks for reading, best of luck with your optimisation and do share your thoughts on how you got on selecting a keyword!

Some references you might want to follow up:

TopRank Online Marketing (2009)” 10 link building tools for tracking inbound links”, online marketing blog, Top Rank. Accessed on 17th august 2013 and Available on ; http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/11/1-seo-tools-for-tracking-inbound-links/

Mediacollege, (2012) “Inbound Links (Backlinks)” search engines: Optimization, free educational website, mediacollege.com, accessed on 17th of August 2012, available on: http://www.mediacollege.com/internet/search-engines/seo/backlinks.html