The One Thing You Need To Know About SEO
With all the hype surrounding Search Engine Optimization it is important to listen to the experts and keep up with all the trends and updates that continue to take place on the internet. If you are trying to keep your website fresh and current you can understand how challenging it can be for you and your staff to do just that.
I have been a web designer for over 10 years and have seen a lot of trends and changes over the years. Back in the day AOL Banner Ads is where everyone wanted to be so they could be found. Today, not much as changed other than the venues.
Searching online you will find no shortage of offers, tips and advice but from time to time you can find sound, honest and yes harsh realities regarding what it really takes to optimize your website.
Looking around I found this article on Forbes that actually and truly explains what it really takes in time, money and most importantly planning to really accomplish getting your website inline as far as SEO.
How To Plan And Budget For SEO – Thank You Joshua for your insight.
- How Long Does SEO Take
- SEO Metrics
- SEO Planning and Cost
- The One Thing You Need To Know About SEO
- What Does SEO Cost
You’re busy. You’re overworked. You’re not doing half the things you already know you should be doing. And yet you’re supposed to be taking care of search engine optimization (SEO) for your company. You start looking for some sort of beginner’s guide to SEO and stumble onto Moz’s free Beginner’s Guide to SEO. You start reading and everything is easy to understand, even interesting, and then you run into these lines:
Make sure that your elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate. Use keywords to create descriptive, human friendly URLs. Provide one version of a URL to reach a document, using 301 redirects or the rel=”canonical” element to address duplicate content.
Suddenly you feel overwhelmed, stupid, and in need of a nap. Most of all you want to give up. Can’t the IT guy take care of this stuff?
There’s no shame in how you feel. I’ve been there as recently as yesterday, and I’m supposed to be an SEO expert. The truth is there is so much information and knowledge coming out daily about SEO that even we experts don’t know the half of what we’re supposed to know, and we end up feeling stupid on a regular basis. So relax, you’re not stupid, you’re normal. I’m right there with you. But you still need to get this SEO work done, and empathy isn’t going to get you there.
I could give you a list of 10 SEO tips. But I know how 10 tips can still be overwhelming. Even 5 tips can be too many. So let’s start with a single tip. If you asked me what is the single most important thing you can be doing to improve SEO for your company, what would my answer be? There is one clear answer, and it’s one you can implement without too much stress–create lots of high quality content.
Forget keywords. Forget HTML. Forget tags. Focus on creating lots of high quality content and you’ll have 90% of the puzzle solved. Now let’s dig into the words I used in that advice, because every word in the sentence “create lots of high quality content” matters.
Content. We’ll start with the last word first. What’s on your website? Most likely a bunch of images and text. That’s content. But content doesn’t stop at your website. If your company gets some coverage in the news, that’s content. If you have a Twitter account for your business, your tweets are content. Your Facebook and Google+ pages are also full of content. All text and images that somehow lead people back to your website, whether directly or indirectly, is content and has SEO value.
Create. Copying is not creating, although emulation can be. If you create content, that means someone else hasn’t already created it. Copyright law isn’t what we’re concerned about here, but rather duplicate content. Simply put, if you copy content from another website and put it on your website, Google is going to either ignore or penalize it. So don’t copy. But if you see that your competitors who are ranking high in the search engines have a certain type of content on their site, such as infographics or a blog, then by all means put infographics and a blog on your website too.
Lots. “Lots” can be relative. If your competition hasn’t added new content to their websites in three years, then posting once a month is a lot. If your competition generates 50 pages of new content each week then 10 new pages per week is not enough, all other things being equal. A few new pages of content each month is good. A few new pages per week is better. A few new pages per day is fantastic. Setting up a corporate blog on your website can make this easier, if not easy.
High Quality. If nobody is reacting to the content you’re producing then either they don’t know about it, or it’s low quality. If you need writing tips then check out CopyBlogger, for starters. Or if you don’t have time for that, take a few minutes to think about your target audience and what they want to know about you and your company, or what they might find interesting. Then write about that. Value doesn’t come from correct grammar or great sentence structure, although those things help prevent distraction. Value means your readers find the content inspiring, intellectually stimulating, or useful. That’s quality.
If people don’t know about your content then you’ll have to tell them. Post links to it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Find ways to get your content published or linked to from as many places as possible. Set up an email newsletter with MailChimp and put a subscription box on your website so you can keep in touch with people who care about what you do.
What will happen if you focus exclusively on creating lots of high quality content is that you’ll start attracting attention. People will start sharing your content on social networks, linking to it from their websites, and passing it around by email. Some of this won’t have a direct impact from an SEO standpoint, and some of it will. And as you work on this you’ll start to refine your skills. You’ll pick up something here, something there, and over time you’ll find you’re becoming an SEO expert. But it all starts with the content. Focus on that first, and you’ll be on your way.