How about compressing everything you need to know into a single line? SEO doesn’t work the way you wanted it to.
There, we said it. Now, we’ll explain: today, the demand is for content that pulls, engages, enthralls, captivates, and convinces your readers enough to let them trust you. Search optimization was easy once upon a time when Google was just working to get its bearings and to fill up its unending reservoirs of data.
Google grew up. So did many companies that grew up with it. No matter where you are in the world and no matter what kind of business you run, the probability of showing up in search for keywords that relate to your business isn’t a matter of diligent keyword research, crafty SEO writing, and relentless manipulation of meta information.
All of that, at the time of this writing, is on life support. What lives on then? What works? How do you do SEO optimization with a given situation such as this?
You do SEO, and you don’t. While you primarily write for readers today (and not for bots), you’ll still do well to follow a few SEO strategies that’ll still work. These strategies are Panda proof, Google-proof, and everything else proof. So, here they are:
Develop content like it should be developed
Stop writing blog posts to woo Google. Never write a piece of content for an ever changing, dramatically radical, and highly dynamic set of algorithms.
The rule is simple: you are in business. To sell today, you need customers to trust, like, adore, and respect you. For that, you’ll need content so that you can build your brand donning the role of a publisher (because you are the expert). You know your business – and hence the products, services, and even your industry – better than anyone else.
Customers are looking up to you for information, guidance, and even “eureka moments” – your content should give all of that and more. No, this isn’t a part of SEO strategy in a strict, technical sense, but developing content like this matters.
Search engines will trust your page (and hence show them up in search listings) when they sense that many others also trust your page. The more Internet users read, share, comment, and talk about your content, the more “trust feelers” your content develops.
Search engines like Google need that — their Webmaster guidelines and countless more information on the web points to this.
There are no secret strategies here; there’s just back-bending, soul-sucking, hard work.
Build links – the right way
Developing content for your own website (and other web properties you own) and waiting for others to share and link back to you is the passive approach to marketing. Marketers, however, are anything but passive. You’d need an active – even pro-active – way to build links, don’t you?
Since article marketing is also on life support, you’ll need a far more credible (sometimes expensive, if you choose to streamline and outsource this aspect of marketing) way to build inbound links to your web properties.
Enter Guest Posting: it involves reaching out to other bloggers, pitching ideas, developing great content, and having each of these content pieces published. Now, this isn’t a one-off operation. It’s just as continuous as your business is and it’s indeed an incredibly effective way to not just build links but also credibility, trust, extra-exposure, and trickling good traffic.
Of course, you can also build links in many other ways such as launching contests, deploying sweepstakes, rolling out even more content, giving away free information, creating apps, designing widgets, and much more.
Buying links is out. Trading links is frowned upon. Begging for links is downright cheap. So, the only way left for you is to work hard on creating those inbound links – no matter what it takes.
It’s time for social proof
They say, “Social media is a time suck”, “No one gets social media”, “Social media is such a drain of energy and time” – go ahead and say anything you want. You can believe in anything others are saying or just do a simple search and see what comes up.
Social media is all about social proof – the more you have it, the more you are noticed. Trust grows on socially influential businesses and individuals as easily as weeds.
Social media might or might not work as a viable media to get business. It might not exactly work like newspapers and other mass media. It won’t even work like it does on your website. It’s a far different approach compared to using paid ads routing to landing pages.
Social media is conversations, engagement, trust, light banter, small talk, and then some. Yet, it has “social signals” as all those conversations are about your business, brand, products, or services. Each of those conversations about your business (or the niche your business serves) that’s like a signal that calls for the attention of search engines.
Take Google+ for example: it’s a social network built into search by Google. It’s importance lies in Google’s new “Search Plus My World” rollout which combines results that also have social significance in relevance to your account, network, and shared likes or common interests.
The larger your Google+ network is and the more you publish on Google+, the more likelihood that your web properties (websites or your Google+ pages) will show up in search for that particular user (who might very well be in your network). Search result pages also stretch to include “liked” pages from another users’ extended network.
Social signals are big and they will continue to determine your natural position in search listings. Social signals are so big and critical that Google’s search ecosystem now has Google+ written all over it.
What other ways are you trying to weave SEO into your marketing? Do you think any of the multitude of SEO strategies work or should all businesses just focus on getting their content right, building links, and getting on the social street?
Tell us what you think.
Jeff Davis is living in California and currently associated with Quick Laptop Cash – A place to sell laptops online. He has been in this field for the last 6 years and responsible for troubleshooting issues; interacting to discuss projects and technology solutions. When he is not working, he enjoys hanging out with his beautiful wife.