For years we have been worried about how to increase the ranking of our business (or personal?) website in search engines. Even before Google was around, Yahoo! search results were important. Remember Lycos, Dogpile, Go.com, Ask Jeeves, Excited, or AltaVista? Yeah, those all existed before Google. Incredible how unimportant (or nonexistent) they are today. So, when we realized that Google was dominant in the search engine world, we learned to “follow Google’s rules.” Thus the term “search engine optimization” was born. Or, as we like to call it in the marketing world, SEO.
For years “we” (I say “we” as I’m a marketer, but I’m not talking about me or our company) have tried to keep up with Google by updating our SEO efforts. But, isn’t Google just trying to provide those who search for something, the most relevant and highest quality content? Google wants to remain the #1 search engine. If they started spitting back results that were irrelevant to someone’s keyword search then no one would want to continue using Google. Therefore, we should keep in mind that no matter what Google changes from time to time, there will always be a base for search engine optimization. What are the most stable points about SEO?
1. Search Engine Optimization is not just one tactic.
When you’re talking about SEO, you aren’t talking about one activity. You’re talking about a network of activities that optimize your entire website for search engines. (most likely Google) You want Google (and Bing and Yahoo) to be impressed with your website. You want them to think you are important, organized, timely, relevant, authoritative, creative, real , and impressive. You want to put your best foot forward and do everything you can to show the search engines that people who search for particular keywords need to use your website to find their answers.
2. The best thing you can do for your website…is act natural.
Internet users are smarter these days than about ten years ago. We can recognize when a website was put together for SEO purposes ONLY. Does it have a number of display ads on the side? Pop-ups? Do sentences look and read like English? Anyways, you don’t want your website to look like it was built just to be at the top of the search engines. Research has proven that users do not like when they are presented with advertisements on a website. Duh.
Search engines present your paid ads followed by the natural choice. And, we like the natural choice. Act and sound natural.
3. Search engines are still rulers over social networks.
When we’re looking for information, we generally still go to a search engine. Social networks are great, but they aren’t the be-all, end-all to finding all the information you could possibly need. Not to mention that you can look for images, maps, news articles, blogs, and more on Google. This means that although we need to keep up our appearances on the social networks, your primary focus should be on your website. Social networks wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for search engines and websites, so we should give them respect where they deserve it.
4. Content is [very] important, but there is more to writing new content frequently.
I know, I know, content is king. But, it’s not dictator. You can have great quality content, but unless people actually care about what you are writing about, then no one is going to read it. You have to have the searches. The keywords need to be popular. You have to make sure you do your research. And, your quality content has to be relevant to your website / business. Otherwise, the search engines will wonder what kind of schizophrenic business are you?
Now that you know what the base of search engine optimization really is, is there anything you would change with your own website? Are you still pumping out quality content that no one is reading? Have you done your keyword research? Are you acting natural? Let us know!