If you are a local business aiming to get to page one of Google, it's important to know a few facts about SEO.
The truth is that SEO is not just about building links. Link building for SEO is just so 2000.
SEO is about keywords, social, site architecture, links and content. Awesome content.
[quote]Content that is so good, useful and helpful to people that they just want to share it with others.[/quote]
Content that is about giving users a balanced view so that they can appreciate your integrity and transparency and trust you for advice.
Why give people a balanced view?
Because the openness of the web means that they will find out anyhow. And if they are going to find out, why not let it be from you. Why not become a trusted and valued source of information.
So the truth is....
SEO is now (and always has been) about consistently producing good quality content that people want to share. It's also about getting the basic website fundamentals right. Without getting into the fundamentals, lets start with a brief history lesson.
In the 1990's and early 2000's, SEO was about keywords.
But because users tried to rort the system and started stuffing their pages with keywords, Google developed a system called Page Rank which meant that links to websites suddenly became important.
So in the 2000's, SEO became about keywords and links.
The trouble was that websites with poor quality content got created for the express purpose of linking to other websites. Suddenly a whole legion of tools appeared to automate the process of link building. Websites with content that didn't make sense but linked to other websites suddenly appeared. Spew! it was horrible.
Suddenly these low grade, poor quality websites started to appear and rank in Google. Google understood that people would stop using Google if the websites they provided did not contain the information people sought. They had to address the problem. And thats how link building for SEO became so 2000.
So now in the 2010's, SEO is about quality content, links and keywords.
A golden triangle of three essential components.
The key here is to develop content. Develop content that is so good and so useful that other businesses (or people) will like it and share it with others. Creating quality content costs. It costs in terms of great design, time, writing skill and technical know how. But creating quality content will not put your business at risk like dodgy link building practices will.
That's why creating good quality content consistently is the most valuable thing you can do to search engine optimise your website. Yes there are also on page factors to contend with - as long as you realise that SEO is not just about link building.
Before you complain and head off to outsource some link building on the cheap, be warned.
Google has advised that websites with low grade content, poor grammar, spelling mistakes (the list goes on), will be penalised. So you need to know not only why an SEO company is good but you also need to see first hand the quality of the content they produce.
For the last 12 months (actually even longer) Google have made countless algorithm updates code named "Panda" and "Penguin" (appropriately named after arctic animals) to rid the world of bad poorly spelt and badly constructed sentences with information that is clearly incorrect.
Thousands of websites have been penalised and have ended up in worse positions than when they started So before you head off to do cheap link building, understand that losing your ranking in Google is not cheap. In fact, cheap link building could turn out to be an expensive exercise - especially if the SEO is poor quality and when you have to pay someone to undo whats been done, fix it and do it right.
Google's frequent algorithm changes mean it is going to be extremely expensive if an algorithmic change renders your website worthless.
So before you start to think about hiring a company to do your SEO (read link building), understand that SEO is more than links. You also need to understand how they go about SEO. Do they just build links, how good is the quality of their content, and are they taking shortcuts. I've seen too many SEO companies ignore these aspects in favour of building links.
There aren't no shortcuts.
Building an audience takes time. If you don't have the time, there are alternatives. However the worst thing you can do is buy link packages, likes, fans or shares.
They key to good SEO is to understand the value of data, analyse it and use it to create awesome share-worthy content.
The future of SEO is about:
- Good site architecture
- Researching and analysing search volumes, trends & competition using the keyword tool
- Looking at Google Analytics and Adwords data to understand conversion rates
- Creating informative content that offers solutions to problems
- Building audiences and relationships (this includes being responsive not only to your readers but also your business partners)
- Getting more followers on social networks naturally
If you don't want to put your business at risk and want help to create quality content that people will value, contact us. We can provide training and guidance to help you on the right path.
If you like this article and want a history lesson on SEO:
If you want a good overview on the future of SEO: