Before we start getting into what SEO is let’s take a moment to set out what it’s not. So much of what has been written about SEO is simply out of date at this point, it’s important to rule a few things out and set off on a firm footing. Let’s jump in.
It’s not About Cheating Google
Many people have sought to game the Google ranking over the years. And through various means have even had some success in getting their pages to rank well. Throughout the various Google updates, they have strived to stay one step ahead until the dreaded day when Google finally catches up with them, then there rankings disappear in a puff of smoke.
The true irony is they would have reached more people by playing within the rules and directing those efforts to delivering a quality website. If you’re wondering how I can make such a statement there is a simple answer, people who click onto a poor quality site that does not have what there searching for simply click back and move on to the next one. If you look at the reason Google spend all that time on algorithms and updates it boils down to relevance.
Is your site what people are looking for when they search a certain phrase. If it’s not then even if you manage to rank it the site will be a very poor at converting those visits into anything concrete. Rather than this approach, making a site relevant will not only help it rank but also help it to reach the people you’re trying to connect with. Make those algorithms work for you not against you!
It’s not About a Great Looking Site
There are some beautiful websites out there with whistles and bells and great visual designs. Chances are you will never see most of them though. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that Google is not looking at your website it is reading it. So if all your effort goes into stunning visuals at the expense of your content then this will lead to problems for your site.
The other is people. They tend to want to achieve their goal as quickly as possible, that means whatever information or service they wish to access has got to be right in front of them or they will disappear. Great visuals don’t help you rank because Google can’t see them.
They dont get people onto your site for the same reason. And when they do get there those great visuals might convey a professional image, but without the relevant information or service people will quickly turn off and resume their search elsewhere.
It’s not About Mountains of Content
Content is king. That is the mantra of modern SEO service and it is as true now as ever. This has led to many people agonizing over word counts and keyword densities. The days of keyword stuffing being long gone, we try and churn out content that search engines will like by inserting x number of keyword phrases and y number of words with z number of headings.
The problem is that if you write for search engines you tend to generate content for robots. But the audience your really trying to reach are people and they want relevant natural content. Sometimes even in SEO less is more. Keep it relevant, keep it interesting and it will be far more effective.
It’s not About Link Spamming
There was a time when all you needed was a million spam links and you were good to go! There was also a time when Tyrannosaurus Rex ruled the earth. Like the.dinosaur link spamming is long dead as a useful SEO tool.Not only that, but if attempted your website will most likely follow good old Rex into extinction.
Link development is still a big part of SEO currently but looking at a site and throwing random low quality links at it will only take it one way and that way is not up.
It’s not About a one Size Fits all Approach
If you’re anything like me you like things to be easy. I will do a plus b plus c and my website will magically fly up the rankings. The problem is that every site is different. It’s in a different online space with different goals customers and online competition.
A site aimed at children for example will need to be vastly different from a business website. While there may be some good basic principles that can be applied to every website, time patience and testing are required to produce the best user experience and make your great website.
SEO is about far more then following a few simple rules. It’s about putting together a great site, making it better and better, trying new ways to help your users find what they’re looking for and maintaining those standards over time. One size fits all simply won’t cut it.