SEO Professionals: Now is the Time to Get Coding
Let’s face it. SEO is changing. I’ve been doing SEO since 1998 and boy, have things changed over the years! When I started my first Internet business, I had three different websites with almost the exact same content and products — just different logos and website URLs. I rocked the first page of search engines for huge keywords like “pregnancy,” “baby store,” “breastfeeding products,” and more. (Yep! I sold pregnancy and baby-related products.) My three little websites consistently dominated the first page of the search engines.
Looking back, I wish I would’ve taken screen shots of how my sites showed up multiple time on the first page of the search engines (don’t laugh, but back then screen capturing software wasn’t even around as far as I knew…) My first ecommerce order was a check I received in the mail. Netscape was the dominant browser and great domain names were still relatively easy to get. (At one point I actually owned the domain name GlutenFree.com but for years no one talked about Celiac Disease so I let the domain name go. Talk about regret!)
When I got started with my first website Google was still in beta and Yahoo! and Alta Vista were the search engines of record. The first pay-per-click leader was Goto.com (later renamed Overture), and I remember my husband and I trying to decide if we wanted to bid one or two cents for a keyword. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Keyword stuffing was acceptable. People put keywords on their page and hid them with the color of the site’s background. Ranking was a lot less competitive.
Over the years I have seen SEO evolve as search engines got more sophisticated with how they rank websites. Now content is a major factor in ranking high on the search engines. Creating a sales funnel is important. Social media now impacts search engine rankings. Reputation and online reviews are valued by not only the people that do research on a product or service but also shows Google and the other search engines which businesses have good quality products or services.
One change that has been coming for a while is technical SEO. Technical SEO is a crossover and is a little bit SEO and a little bit coding. (“I’m a little bit country. I’m a little bit rock and roll.” Donnie and Marie anyone?) To traditional SEO professionals, “coding” can be a scary word. (I know it is to me and I’m not ashamed to admit it.) I’m not a coder and have never pretended to be, but I am coming to realize that as an SEO professional I have to change with the times and that means learning how to use schema, structured markup language, HTML and other code that impacts how the search engines index a web page.
Since code really does impact search engine optimization results, it can get overwhelming and confusing quickly unless you’re organized. Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to better manage the code you put on a website. To help understand the basics of Google Tag Manager, check out my latest guest blog post on SEMrush — Google Tag Manager: The Essential Guide to Managing and Tracking Your Marketing Efforts: