The days of hiring a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company to stuff a few keywords on your pages and hire an army of 3rd world drones to back link to your website and declare SEO victory, are long gone, if those techniques ever worked at all. Attempting to game Google’s algorithms is short sited and risky. Google has more resources and far more expertise than any one company trying to artificially increase their website authority and rank in the search engines. There is only ONE path to SEO greatness and it demands that you treat SEO/keyword ranking as a process—a marathon, not a sprint, and that one path is Inbound Marketing.
Inbound marketing is a marketing process that requires marketers to combine, technical capabilities with creating multiple types of content that readers love. If done well, Inbound builds website authority which Google will reward with keyword ranking and organic traffic.
Keywords, Page Traffic and Content
The number of visitors to any page offering—whether a blog, landing page, graphic, or video—is determined by the number of visitors who can find it. When people search for solutions to their problems, the search engines run algorithms that try to serve up the most relevant and amazing solution to your problem. How they determine what to serve you is buy grading each page and giving it an authority score. The better your page with content relevant to the search being made ranks the more likely a searcher will click through to your page. The ranking scheme is different for each search engine, but in all cases is a complex process that is not clearly defined. If you review Google’s webmaster guidelines, dozens of pages can be summed up in with two simple ideas
- Don’t try to cheat
- Create brilliant content people love so much they share it and return to it
In today’s world, good content is the back bone of SEO. It is what drives the search engines and those websites with most brilliant content that is being shared and visited across the internet are being rewarded with even more traffic.
The Technical Details Will Enhance the Performance of Great Content
Great content does not eliminate the need for paying attention to the technical details of individual webpages. You have to keep in mind, your pages must be easily indexed by the search engines. New webpages do not just magically appear in the search results. They must be found, read, properly interpreted and then ranked by the search engines so that when a relevant search is made they can serve up your content.
Keywords are nothing more than what people type into a search engine to find the answers to their questions and the solutions to their problems. They are also, hopefully relevant to what your company publishes about and are related to your products and services.
For example, “Can-Do Ideas, is an Inbound Marketing agency located in New York and Connecticut.” The previous sentence has four relevant ideas that our agency would like search engines to remember us for when people search: Can-Do Ideas, Inbound Marketing, New York and Connecticut. Taken individually the words may not be particularly relevant but taken as a phrase they point people toward us in a relevant way.
Now when someone searches, our website and this individual page will be ranked against the billions and billions of other websites in the world for relevance and authority. That is why keywords are so important.
Inserted into the “head” area of your web pages, meta tags tell the search engines what each page of your website is about. From your strategically chosen blog title tag, to the description tag and the keywords tag, you must be mindful of these components when writing your blog. In addition, it's important that the keywords you choose for one blog and one page not be repeated exactly on another page. Each piece of content and each page must be laser focused on a particular keyword or keyword phrase. While you can add an “s” to a word or change the words around in a keyword phrase, they should still be different per page. This way, each meta tag will be different and the search engines will not think you are trying to cheat by stuffing the same keywords into multiple pages.
Backlinks are links from other websites to pages on your website. They are a signal to the search engines that your website and an individual webpage is valuable. In years past, some companies attempted to cheat the algorithm by establishing large link farms with dozens of backlinks to websites. You could go out and purchase “high quality” backlinks for a few hundred dollars. Google eventually caught on and flagged multiple link farms and penalized everyone involved. Quality backlinks are still valuable. If your content is valuable enough, other webmasters will reward you with a link to your content. Just as you might link to another valuable tidbit of information with a link from your website.
Another sign of website authority is the amount of traffic to the website from social media sites. Google has recognized that good content is shared across multiple channels such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and many others. To be truly effective, SEO requires you to establish a social media presence. The more activity your content generates from social media the better you will rank. It is a sign of quality. If one person says a piece of content is good it has little authority, but if thousands of people like, share and click on it then it will be recognized as valuable and relevant.
And there you have it. SEO, when done well, can absolutely change the game for your business. And between the use of select content, backlinks, and social media, you’ll be off to the races in no time.
SEO is a complex discipline which takes study and it is a subset of Inbound marketing. To be successful at digital marketing takes discipline and study. A good place to learn more is our super-duper authoritative, SEOed to the max page on the 25 Best Digital Marketing Books of All Time. See what we did there?
If you want to join more than 16,000 of the top marketers Click here: The Quick Start Guide to Inbound marketing.