In case you missed it, the SEO world has changed. No, not Google’s philosophy. It is the one thing that has held constant throughout the years. Their philosophy has always been to provide the best and most relevant search results possible. However, their ability to sort out good sites from bad is where the real change has occurred.
There used to be a time when you could in essence trick Google. You could stuff your page and meta tags with keywords. You could find the perfect keyword density in your body content (by the way, keyword density is a myth). You could go and buy 100,000 directory links from PR 4 and even PR 5 sites!!! Act now! You could create a robot and get a million blog comment links. You see, in the past, it didn’t matter where the links were placed. It only mattered that you had links. No longer.
In today’s SEO world, you will not only not win with this mentality. You will get royally screwed by Google. Google is better. They are smarter. They are faster. And they can spot a crappy site from a mile away. To win in SEO for the long term, you need to stop trying to beat Google. You need to give them what they want … an amazing website.
What are the elements you should be investing in to win at long term SEO? I’m glad you asked.
- Create an Amazing Content Strategy – This is no secret. “Content is King” has been the rule for ever. But instead of just creating content because your SEO guy told you to, create content that will earn links on its own. Ask yourself, “is this content awesome? Would I share it?” If not, then re-work it until it’s ready. One piece of amazing content is 100x better than 50 mediocre pieces of content.
- Invest in Great Design – Google has a team of Quality Raters, who literally rate the quality of your site. With Google Chrome, Analytics, Webmaster and more, they are able to compare a lot of data for sites in the same space. They then use that data to give you a relevant grade. What are they looking at? Some items include Time on Site, User Bounce Rate, Pages Visited and more. Bottom line is that if you design an amazing user experience on your site, Google will love you for it.
- Be Trustworthy on Social – Everyone knows they need a Facebook and Twitter page, right? Yeah, but no one knows what to do with it. The reason Social is so hard for companies is that people won’t talk about you or share you with their friends if you suck. Why? This is not a place where you can get links and no one will ever see them. This is people’s Social circles. Their friends and the family actually look at where they engage. Are you good enough to have fans? Are you creating a conversation worth following? Add value. Do the things that no one else will do. That’s how you stand out. It’s harder, yes, but it will reap benefits in the end.
These are just a few places to start, but we are working to change everyone’s perception of SEO. To be awesome at SEO, it extends into every component of your company – research, customer service, design, tech, marketing, operations. All of it.
We get clients all the time who just want a band-aid. They just want a $300 fix from a spam master. Sorry. It’s not going to cut it. You will not win in the long run in SEO, and you’ll see all of the brands who are willing to invest in being awesome swallow you whole. Is this harder? Yes. Does it provide for a better search world? Absolutely. So, while this may be some hard medicine to swallow, take a good look at yourself and ask if you are willing to invest in your company’s SEO for the long term. Trust us, the rewards for being there are going to be worth it.