So you want your website to be number one on Google? At minimal you’d like your website showing up on page one of the top search queries for your niche or industry. Right? Who wouldn’t want this?
Well I’m about to rock the boat here a bit by advising that you don’t spend money on aggressive search engine optimization (SEO). Yeah, I know that advice sounds crazy. Just hang in there throughout this article and I’ll bet that the suggestion makes a lot more sense when you’ve given all of this a full read-through with an open mind.
The problem nowadays is that website owners or site managers typically view search engine optimization as the answer to their website ranking woes. The reality however is that their situation is much more complex than that. As a matter of fact it’s considerably more complex.
The hard truth is that the best people to improve your search engine rankings are closer at hand than you might think. It’s you. It’s you and your organization’s internal team (if you have content creators and writers). The solution can’t be found in simply hiring an SEO company to boost your website rankings for Google and other search engines.
Time, consistency and commitment are the allies of great search engine optimization. It’s going to take time and an unwavering commitment on your part. You’re going to have to commit to owning and fixing the real issues that keep your website from ranking well in the search results for your niche or industry terms.
SEO is not the shrouded mystery that some in the SEO community would like you to believe.
SEO – A Sleazy Little 3 letter Word?
The crux of the issue seems to start with the term itself “search engine optimization”. So many half-truths and misconceptions surround it. SEO is not the shrouded mystery that some in the SEO community would like you to believe. Search Engine Optimization jargon and terms like “keyword density” and “back-link strategy” leave most feeling that SEO is a feat only to be undertaken by the experts.
Adding to the confusion is the contradicting fact that many complex SEO techniques do in fact work to some extent initially. Despite Google’s improved search algorithms and it’s ongoing efforts to crack down on SEO manipulation it’s still within the realm of possibility to improve placement through system manipulation. That’s not healthy SEO though and eventually those methods will only serve to hurt or even worse penalize your rankings when discovered.
Most of the tactics touted by SEO’s can only have short term benefits. They simply won’t last without renewed financial investment. Why won’t they last? Simply stated it’s because the entire objective and premise behind it is innately flawed.
Good SEO can’t and should never be solely focused on getting to the top of search engine results for particular phrases or “keywords”. Realistically you shouldn’t even be primarily optimizing your website content for search engines at all. Cover the SEO basics, sure. However if you really want to optimize your website then optimize it for people. Optimize your website for your visitors first and foremost. If you want to invest into something worthwhile and lasting it should be into creating unique and relevant content for your site’s visitors. That may sound a bit too cliche’ but that’s the real truth about long term, good SEO.
It’s a well know fact that Google’s primary objective when returning search results is to consistently return the most relevant and quality laden content based on the search query. Don’t make the critical mistake of placing more emphasis on ranking than what you place on providing unique, relevant, high quality content for your site’s visitors. Once you make that mistake you might as well go ahead and get ready for a never-ending, uphill struggle with your site’s SEO.
Your primary objective should always be better content for your audience, not higher rankings.
You should also note that when you hire an SEO company or individual to improve your placement in the rankings (without first ensuring you have great content in place), you’re not in alignment with what Google and other major search engines are always working diligently to achieve. That is to deliver the most relevant and highest quality content in the search results for its users.
Your primary objective should always be better content, not higher rankings. SEO companies can use every trick in the book to get your website better rankings in the short term. However long term they will always fall short if you don’t have relevant, high quality content in place. Why? Simply because Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving and updating. It’s not just Google either. Most search engines are getting better and better at returning relevant, quality content based on the query.
Basic SEO Is The Best SEO
Google makes no secret of how to achieve better rankings in search results. Within it’s very own Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide can be found pointers and gems like:
- Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
- Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.
Absolutely nothing trumps creating great, unique, relevant content and resources to serve up to your website visitors. That list of content could include:
- Industry White Papers
- In-depth Articles
- Detailed Case Studies
- Short Q&A Videos or Articles
In summary the goal is to create, present and curate useful, unique content for your website’s visitors. Taking a basic yet thorough SEO approach with your website’s search engine optimization is more about doing the right things, doing them well and doing them with consistency over a period of time. Try it. You’ll be rewarded!
Mark D. Hulett is the Senior eCommerce Website Developer & Designer at Georgia Web Development. His experience and working knowledge of eCommerce, website development, website design and SEO spans more than a decade.