By: Tim Lyons, ProFit Marketing Solutions
The world of digital marketing fitness is filled with an array of unique terms, abbreviations and acronyms that can be confusing and off-putting to the novice marketer and make the rest of us sound a lot smarter than we really are. But, there is one term that nearly everyone who has ever created a website or done a search in Google has heard and that is Search Engine Optimization or SEO Marketing. But, do you know what it means or how to take advantage of it?
As a business owner, your number one priority is to make sure that people know you exist. You may have the best product in the marketplace, but if people can’t find you, it really doesn’t matter. So, how do you go about making sure that your website and your blogs can be found by a search engine when someone types in a keyword?
Let me backtrack a little bit for a moment. It used to be really easy. Several years ago, as search engines were still evolving, marketers discovered it was easy to manipulate their SERP, search engine results page, and force their website or blogs to rank higher on a list of sites brought up by a keyword search. But, search engines have learned to filter out the “noise” and focus more on content quality as it relates to the keyword search and have made many practices that fell into the ethical gray area obsolete. In fact, if you do employ any of the following practices, a search engine is likely to rank you lower on the list than other similar sites and blogs based on low content value.
Here are a few examples of what NOT to do to boost your page rank:
- Using Automated content: If you’re using software to create basic content filled with keywords, search engines will recognize this and bury your blogs and websites due to lack of unique content.
- Unrelated Link Sharing: It used to be standard practice to get as many sites, regardless of their relevance to point back to your site or blogs as possible to try to build an audience. If you’re trying to link to unrelated sources though, search engines will essentially block both sides of the link.
- Keyword stuffing: This is the process wherein blogs and websites are so full of keywords for search engines to find that there is no actual information on the page that can be of use to anyone. Keywords are important, for sure, but do not go overboard. It will tell search engines to keep moving because there isn’t any true content on the page.
- Cloaking: This is used to trick search engine users into visiting a site that is substantially different than the search engine subscription.
- Clickbait: Headlines that make someone want to click on a link without delivering on the promise.
All of these ways to boost page rank were common practice throughout the early 2000’s, but are now useless. In fact, they can hurt you more than help you now.
Today, because search engines have evolved and have learned to look for and block sites and blogs that employ less than savory techniques to boost page rank, marketers have adapted their styles as well to include the following:
- Produce Unique and Valuable Content – don’t know how many times I can say it, but CONTENT IS KING. You want to become the go-to guru for clients and potential clients, so give them worthwhile information that they can use.
- Optimize Your Content – This one has also come up time and again. You may have great content, but you need to make sure they can read it regardless if it’s on a desktop, iPad or mobile device
- Update your website and remove low quality content.
- Take advantage of Social Media – Post your blog to your website, your company Facebook Page, Twitter Account, LinkedIn, Instagram … wherever you can. Blanket the web with your content and it will help raise your rank.
When it comes down to it, producing valuable content is at the center of every marketing campaign. It may take you an extra hour or two a week, but if the end result is a steady stream of loyal clients, isn’t it worth it?