I've had so many people over the years ask what my secret sauce is for SEO and digital marketing. I guess with so many hacks out in the digital marketing landscape and so much dis-information out there about search marketing, companies / businesses have come to look at SEO as grey, or some wizardry behind a curtain.
The search engine optimization industry has gotten a bad rap. Yes, there are hacks. There are a ton of them. There ARE ways to game Google, there are ways to influence rankings that are non-ethical and yes, many companies have been screwed over as Google retaliates and drops them from the rankings.
So, do you want to know my SECRET SEO SAUCE recipe?
Work Hard And Never Stop.
SEO is an ongoing commitment. It's not a one and done. It's not simply playing around with some code and tweaking copy. It's about being dedicated to providing website visitors and customers with an amazing digital experience when they land on one of your digital channels. It's a strategy driven commitment to create remarkable stuff that pulls people to your brand.
Don't Be An Asshole.
As mentioned, yes, there are many ways to screw the system, and yes, screwing the Google system COULD yield some search results, but guess what... Not for long. Practicing in un-ethical practices to hyper-inflate your search rankings is NEVER a good idea. So, don't be an asshole, play by the rules and focus on creating remarkable content and an amazing experience for your site visitors.
Why do you want more website visitors?
Who do you want coming to your website?
How do you want them to feel about your brand?
If you can't answer these questions, you shouldn't even have a website. The whole point of the Internet, the core, is to give people what they are looking for. If your SEO / Digital Marketing strategy is to churn out tons of copy in order to attract Google and be NUMBER 1, you're doing it wrong. Plan and simple.
The way to get to the top is to be noticed. Be noticed by creating amazing 'stuff' that people (your audience) are interested in. Ask them what they want. Feed them what they want, talk to them about how you can constantly improve what you are feeding them. Businesses need to realize this: they need to focus on feeding humans rich, amazing content, and THEN optimize that content so that Google loves it.
Technical Is Important, BUT...
You do need to know the fundamentals of SEO in order to succeed, but, without a strategy to connect, grow and nurture your audience, you may as well hang it up.
- Have a crappy looking, dated website? Why bother optimizing a turd? Build a responsive, beautiful, secure site that people actually WANT to go and experience.
- Obsessed with being number 1 in Google? Stop. Obsess with creating an amazing experience for site visitors and watch what happens.
- Obsessed with H1 tags, Schema markup, ALT tags? Stop. I'm not discounting the technical components, but I am stressing this: Obsess about creating great stuff for that website, obsess about your audience, not about the technical.
Educate Yourself / Trust, But Verify.
I spend hours reading about SEO & Digital Marketing daily. I have to. You have to. It changes every minute which is one of the reasons why I love what I do.
Take the time read about best practices, but do so with caution. Some trusted sources that I visit daily are :
- Learn about marketing, amazing customer service and how to be unique at Seth Godin's blog.
- Educate yourself about how search engines work at Search Engine Watch.com
- You can find some amazing, unique insight into the world of search, social and more at Search Engine Land.com
Thanks for taking the time to read and share this if you found it valuable. The whole point to my rant here, If you want your site to kickass, create kickass. It's all about the strategy and all about the remarkable content that you create for your target audience.