Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – those were the days my friends – do you remember when Search Engine Optimization success was a simple matter of keyword frequency, placement and density on-page and innumerable irrelevant links off-page?
Do you remember reading keyword-stuffed rubbishy and nonsensical content on websites that was less than mind-numbing waffle?
Today, it is hard to believe those ‘’factors’’ were all you required for top search engine rankings.
There is no doubt that optimisation is necessary for Google to collect, analyse, index and store webpages for later retrieval.
Today, I tell my clients that many factors determine ranking other than words on a page. Natural links and other signals measured by Google and other search engines are of critical importance to Search Engine Optimization success.
In fact, I intend to modernize my approach, practice what I preach and from now on talk Search Marketing.
Writing for your audience over SEO
Much of what determines ranking has a great deal to do with what is on-page. Now you think I am about to contradict myself. Nope. It is a fact, but it has little to do with keyword frequency and location.
Achieving high quality and natural links to your webpage, recommendations, social sharing and other signals such as ”Likes” and ”Follows” are all major factors that Google weights favorably when ranking a webpage.
Successful Search and Content Marketing require high quality and relevant content that your audience is going to like. Building social networks of like-minded folk who will link, like, follow and share your content is what search marketers call natural signals.
There is little doubt that Google values these natural links and signals. Unfortunately, as many of you know by now, achieving these natural signals is the hardest part of Search Marketing. Fudge, cheat, and you WILL damage your medium and long term online success.
Building networks, finding customers should be your goal
Optimizing webpages conservatively and with care to tell Google and other search engines what a page is about is still important.
However, not as important as writing engaging content that your target audience will value. Total reliance on organic traffic is a fool’s errand. Putting all your eggs in Google’s basket is a poor decision for any business.
The future of Online Marketing is about breadth and finding potential customers through Social Media and Content Marketing.
If you want to avoid finding yourself caught on the wrong side of search engine updates then hard work is your only recourse – read more about my views on 360 degree search marketing.
Write as if Search Engines did not exist
I always start by writing an article as if Search Engines did not exist. If search marketers write for their audience paying some attention to what Google and other search engines need to glean what a webpage is all about, you are in a win-win situation.
A socially and customer driven approach to Search Marketing should be your focus. Very simply, I advise cultivating profitable social networks. There is no doubt that your Search and Content Marketing will help you build Organic Search Traffic by improving ranking
Your content marketing must say ‘’AUTHORITY’’
If your content is poor and has no authority whatsoever, it will not attract quality natural links and signals essential to ranking. Going back to where we started:
Think audience over SEO
Write for your customers, solve their problems and share your expertise with authority. Concentrate your effort on cultivating networks of like-minded folk who want to hear what you have to say.
Inspire your ‘’Followers’’ to ‘’Like’’ and ‘’Share’’ your content – ‘’that’s not subtle hint!’’.