If you are new to SEO, then while you may be a bit behind, you’re not alone. According to Wikipedia, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is “the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site.” For the most part, SEO originated when website owners realized that if they put a big glob of text at the bottom of their websites with all sorts of keywords. the search engines like Google, Yahoo and so on would think that the site was relevent to said keywords.
This trick lasted for a while, until the search engines began to penalize the text glob practice, and became more sophisticated. They started to look more at tags, page titles, and other things to provide more relevant results to their users. Then, it was game on. Now, you had to be an expert in SEO in order to properly trick the search engines into putting your site on the front page. People started to get paid for this stuff. Message board spamming, hyper blogging, redirecting and all sorts of other techniques were developed, and for a while, those worked too.
The key word in that last paragraph is “trick.” One used to be able to trick the search engines, but now, that’s game over. These days, website SEO mostly consists of making sure that a site is properly formatted so that the search engines can easily find their way around when they get there. Tricks only work for a very short period of time before the search engines catch on, and penalties ensue. In other words, you’re wasting your time and money with tricks.
Think about it for a second… Search engines have a customer base, and they are the people out there performing searches. When someone performs a search on say Google, they expect to get relevant results, not spam. Google and the others know this of course, and if the customers are not finding what they need, they won’t come back. You can bet that they are working harder at providing relevant results to their customers by closing the trick loopholes than you are working on tricking them.
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So now what? Well, the not so obvious answer is to stop trying to trick the search engines and actually work harder to provide relevent content. What a concept! Give the people what they want! You see, eventually, people will find the experts they seek, and if you are one of those experts, you’re in a pretty good spot to tell them more about what you offer as a product or service, that is, as long as you make it relatively easy for them to find you.
No, SEO is not dead. You still have to structure your website so that there is a big fat welcome mat out front for the search engines to find their way around your site. However, to entice them to visit your home in the first place, you need to have quality content scattered everywhere for your potential customers to pick up on. You need Content Optimization (CO).
It’s easier than you think.
Try things like creating blog posts with actual, useful information on WordPress, TypePad or Blogger. Join discussions and groups on LinkedIn or Facebook. Create multimedia content with easy to use sites like IgniteCAST.com and broadcast your valuable information. Go ahead, give Twitter a try. These sites are all combed over pretty much every second of every day by the search engines looking for quality content to show in search results.
Once you have become respected in online communities, you have earned the right to talk about your products and services. You can even link to your site right in the content you create, and people will begin to think of you as a problem solver, not an internet marketing trickster. They may even start to post links to your content (and therefore to your site) for you. That’s a referral folks, and it doesn’t get any better than that.
Content Optimization will always work! No tricks here, just honest to goodness honesty and quality.
Eventually in life, most of us learn that honesty is the best policy. And for those of you that have not learned that yet, trust me, over the long haul, it’s a lot easier, and much less expensive than the alternative.