SEO used to be something we all knew how it worked and how to take advantage with tactics that were good for fast ranking & other methods for prolonged ranking for our own and clients sites. That time is dead. Salesmen and the such would like you to believe otherwise.

I used to have countless conversations with fellow website owners/clients regarding SEO and its importance for businesses to thrive in the world of the web. It’s importance nowadays is somewhat null and void.

BEST APPROACH…GOOGLE WORTH + FEEDING

You now need to keep feeding google new, unique and relevant content to rank well within your chosen niche. You can do this in many ways, I will outline some throughout this post, so keep reading.

Do the basics like having working meta titles, descriptions(not so important), site map, valid text content to your business & keywords. The next step isn’t so much a step but an approach to your prolonged web exposure.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND BLOGGING

From SEO we want the following:

– Drive RELEVANT traffic to the website
– Rank well with our chosen keywords in Google

Why blogging is important

When you create a new blog post you are essentially creating a new page. The blog post will be relevant to your industry and as such Google will rank this new page with its own key words etc, it will essentially be a new place for visitors to land from google. Ergo new traffic.

Along with the fact you will be giving Google more relevant content to your industry it will also tell Google you are actively maintaining your presence on the web.

Google ads is one way to get traffic, but this isn’t where you can get the bulk of relevant traffic from. Other methods such as a well thought out blog that focuses on what KEYWORDS (search terms) your business relates to will bring in ALOT more traffic than a Google ads campaign and will far outweigh google ads performance (conversions) in the long run.

Why social media is important

Social media itself has nothing to do with SEO… it’s more of a thrust to get your site noticed, talked about and in time reviews/articles/blog posts may entail from “fans” of your business.

In the not so distant future social media WILL more than likely have direct impact on your google rankings. So keep at it!

SEO OLDIES – META TAGS, LINK-BACKS, KEYWORDS

Back in the “olden days” it was a simple process to rank well I’m Google. You would place some “meta tags” telling Google what your site was about. The bad points of this were the fact that pornography sites and the such embedded a huge volume of meta tags that were relevant and non-relevant. In effect stealing traffic from every conceivable industry.

Google patched it…

After Google closed that “loophole” they moved onto looking in favour of the keywords that are on the page itself. So… What do you think happened about that?? Shady sites placed a huge amount of keywords in-content. Usually by placing them WAY down the bottom of these sites or making the huge amount of keywords the same colour as the background. Again, drawing traffic from every conceivable industry.

Google patched it…

After that something else became most important in ranking well. Getting link-backs. So shady sites (plus SEO companies) would buy into a link-farm (or a dozen++)

A link-farm is a specially crafted site that contains thousands of links that just link back to your website. Imagine them as just a page FULL to the rim with hyperlinks to thousands of different websites.

Google patched it…

So as you can see from the above, Google (in the end) patches things that “exploit” their algorithm. That’s why Google is the best search engine around. They are ever evolving and weed out irrelevancy. Plenty of people got caught out by Google’s patches with either getting their rank reset or totally penalised out of Google.

Black Hat SEO

That brings us to the world of shady SEO tactics. (Black Hat SEO) Think of it as this: you learn the rules of SEO and then do shady things to manipulate the system to work in your favour.

In effect you could throw in a load of meta tags or hidden keywords on your website pages or get involved with “Mr Shady-SEO” who would then sell your link to a link-farm (or hundreds) and you would get penalised by Google for implementing Black Hat SEO tactics.

For example: You may have been #3 in your niche search results, but now you are ranked #12’736. You have “Mr Shady-SEO” to thank due to the not-so-legit SEO package you purchased. Now it’s going to take ALOT of work to claw your way back to the top!

FROM NOW ON

So, proper use of meta-tags, link-backs and keywords (White Hat SEO) is still somewhat important. But no where near to the level it used to be. Now Google has shifted the “bulk” of their ranking system towards content that is visible to users of your website and its relevancy.

Google can work out it’s relevancy by checking if its visible to the user, from then the user themselves can work out relevancy. Google will know if your users find the content relevant because users will browse your website longer, click through to internal pages and maybe return to your site at a later date.

Other important factors to consider as part of SEO (That aren’t obvious)

Your sites aesthetics
A site that is professionally done might be more trustworthy to a user, leading it to be more appealing and inviting with the potential of them browsing for a longer amount of time.

How fast your site pages load
If content, images & features load fast then a user will deem it a more pleasurable experience. Ergo, they browse for longer and click through different pages more.

Domain registration duration
Are you someone who renews your domain each year? If yes, then that’s not brilliant either. Google might think you are only setting up temporarily. Register your domain for 10 years, then Google will defiantly know you are permanent and not temporary!

Developers

Google is always sending out emails to developers regarding how to enhance and improve your websites search-ability. Read them, take it in and continue with this extra little bit of knowledge. As a web developer the key things you NEED to do for clients/your own website is to have an optimised back-end and front-end architecture to have (from the outset) good standing with search-ability.

GET PEOPLE DISCUSSING YOUR SITE

Then they will visit + refer it to others. But if you don’t stay fresh with new content they’ll disappear slowly… So you need to stay on top of social media… AND you need to keep on blogging so that Google know you are a content-producer.

Definitely get your site optimised by a development company you trust if need be. BUT: avoid Mr Shady-SEO, who will try and hook you with doomsday language like “You are losing customers every single day to competitors! We’ll gain you Ka-Trillion more customers!” Crap like that that is just pure bull and scare tactics.

I’m not saying dont SEO, just stay white, stay safe and STAY RELEVANT! Use social media to your advantage, as well as feeding Google with new content (blogging). The more sort after niches require more feeding than others but don’t copy-paste articles… Unique and relevant content far outweighs copy cat content (And yes, Google can distinguish). Email campaigns, 3rd party review sites, articles etc. Everything above will reap you rewards after time. Without the threat of a patch/de-rank (that will come sooner or later) if you use Black Hat tactics…

SEO is now an ongoing process of interaction, content production and staying relevant

Thanks for reading.

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