Every marketer wants to know the secrets of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is the mysterious holy grail of website marketing. To experience its treasure is a challenge each of us face for clients, our companies and even ourselves.
I will let you in on a little secret:
SEO is all about content. Passionate, enthusiastic and focused content. Content that comes from a human voice and exudes trust. Content that is relevant, informative and current. Without content, SEO cannot exist. “Are you looking for a site that deployed every SEO tip and trick to game their way to the top of the list? Or a site that has relevant, reliable, authoritative content?” asks Andrew Edwards in his latest Clikz article, Are We Coming to the End of SEO?.
SEO is an essential component to website visibility. Good SEO planning, ensures a website will be shown in the organic (or unpaid) listings. The organic rankings are seen as more authentic by visitors searching for information. When I began working in emerging media, there were plenty of SEO tricks to get a website higher on the organic listing. Loading keywords as text in the same color as the background hid them from the visitor, but showed them to the search engines. Putting keywords in text over and over again was redundant and hard to read, but ranked well on search engines. Today, those are seen as spam techniques and should not be done.
Google’s mission is to provide relevant results for people who are searching. If those results are not relevant, but just spammed with keywords, Google’s credibility is questioned. Google wants to ensure a valuable searching experience for their users. It’s the core of their brand. Once companies like Google caught on to these SEO tricks that threatened their brand, they began developing very complex algorithms to combat them.
Marketers should stop worrying about SEO tricks, and think about the content they create. The content needs to be valuable to the reader, and relevant to the topic. Blogs rank high in SEO because they are usually fresh, informative and comprehensive. Identifying an editorial calendar for a website can not only increase stickiness for a website, but impact SEO rankings as well. If you really want to become an expert, SEO guru Heather Lloyd-Martin of SuccessWorks has a search engine optimization blog that will keep you up to date on the latest in best practices for generating content through search engine optimized copy writing techniques.