There are a lot of SEO scams out there.
It’s hard to know what is good SEO practice and what entrepreneurs should stay away from. Hopefully that post on SEO scams will help you understand to avoid.
The same day that post went live I got an email from a business manager asking if we had blogs that linked to business homepages in return for payment. All I can do is shake my head that this practice is still seen as SEO best practice.
Don’t do those things.
Here are five SEO secrets you should know and practice on your business website. They aren’t really secrets, but since I still see so much poor practice out there I figure these need to be repeated.
SEO Secrets: Common Sense Approach to Website Traffic
The two best sources of SEO common sense are these guides:
Here are some action items to get you started.
1. Build A Community With Content
Google and other search engines need content to function. Without content from websites there is really no reason for Google to provide results.
So any good SEO strategy will start with a content strategy. These usually involve starting with great website content and keeping it up to date (analysis every 3-6 months). Blogging is becoming more common to keep the site fresh.
You can also create videos, webinars, guides, eBooks and even forums.
One focus of this content is to build a community. These are the subscribers and readers that follow your brand for relevant content. Google understands the value of communities and they take a strong community as a sign that you’re a reliable brand and worthy of high rankings.
2. Brief & Relevant Titles, URLs and Descriptions
There are three attributes that helps Google understand what is on each of your pages. They are the Title, URL and Description. Google does a great job at understanding the content on your page, but these things help them understand even more.
The real secret is that these things also make it easy for your website visitors to understand what your page is about. The title is the test in blue you see in search results. You also see the URL and and Description.
Be brief and to the point with each of these.
Here is a ranking that has done well for me over the last few years:
The title is in blue. The URL is green and the description is in black. They all help the searcher understand what is on a page.
3. Create Fresh, Consistent Content
Google has done tons of research and study on their searchers. They are the best at knowing what people want and a big realization of the last couple years is that people want fresh content.
So Google has invested heavily in being able to find the latest and greatest content on the web and put those at the top of the results.
Blogging is one strategy that works well with this concept. You can make fresh content part of your strategy. An example would be providing a commentary piece on a recent news item in your industry.
Consistent content is also beneficial to your readers. Blogging is an example of doing this. A weekly post is consistent and your readers will appreciate the reliability knowing that you’ll always have something new for them.
4. Improve Design and Experience
The engines want what’s best for searchers and one thing that’s beneficial for searchers is a good website experience. This means having good design and a website that functions well both in organization and speed.
These two areas have been in really high demand. There don’t seem to be enough good web designers and developers out there to keep up. It’s also worthwhile to have project managers to handle your website and someone that can test the different aspects of the site so you can keep tabs on how well it’s doing and keep on improving it.
If you find these people pay them well and hang on to them.
5. Use Ideal Customer Language
This is a big part of our job and we have to take great care to make sure we’re using customer language. There is owner language and there is customer language.
If you don’t know what your customer is searching for it’s difficult to make the site relevant for them.
It happens at GBW. Some of our customers refer to a blog post as a blog, but when we think of a blog we think of the collection of all posts. So it can get confusing sometimes.
You want to find the balance of educating your readers on the proper terms and using their language so you can create relevant content for them to find when they’re using search engines.
Bonus: Focus On Your Customer
The biggest and perhaps most important SEO secret I can tell you is to focus on what your customer wants. The trouble with SEO is that it’s easy to get caught up in what we think Google wants.
Google has stated over and over that they want website owners to focus on the customer. They don’t want people trying to figure out the way rankings are figured.
In the long run it’s best to focus on what is best for your customer. From there we have to trust that Google will do all it can to make sure the best content is served at the top of the search results.