Back in the day – maybe five or ten years ago – SEO mainly consisted of loading a website full of keywords and hoping they stuck with the Google search engine.
But just as you can’t get along with just a website today, you can’t depend only on a search engine to get SEO results. “A lot of website owners see search engine optimization as the answer to their search ranking woes, when things are considerably more complex,” notes Paul Boag in Smashing Magazine.
Search engines, and their users, have gotten more sophisticated, which means SEO services are evolving to meet the needs of small businesses.
So what’s the key to building rank in this evolving environment?
Users expect great content, and search engines “crawl” it to rank every page. So optimizing for a search engine is no longer the goal – optimizing for the reader is. Your SEO company should be on top of this trend; if their primary strategy is keyword-stuffing a web page, then you’ve got the wrong company.
Lots of people associate content with blogs, but it goes much deeper than that. Your valuable, credibility-building content can come in the form of research reports, original interviews, whitepapers and case studies. Notice what’s missing from that list: ads, press releases and other obviously self-promotional material.
Getting to the next phase of SEO
Don’t obsess over your Google ranking. Yes, that sounds contrary to what everyone’s been saying for several years, but in today’s evolving SEO service environment, it’s the quality of your content, not the quantity of keywords in it. If you focus on truly valuable content, your SEO service will help you create it, and Google will help people find it.
Recruit your experts. Your SEO service provider can write, edit and publish outstanding material, but its value will only be increased if your company’s biggest experts have a hand in the content creation. No one knows your business as well – so make it a part of each expert’s goal-setting to participate in content creation by contributing ideas and perspectives that speak directly to other experts.
Create new ideas (and the words to describe them). Competition for the most popular keywords is intense, but some clever marketers have decided that if you can’t out-SEO your competitors … outsmart them at their own game. “Some of the best thought leadership and strategy firms have been using this approach successfully for years,” says Search Engine Watch in January 2013. “They come up with a new concept or phrase, publicize it with original content, become the expert and own the discussion – at least for a while.” But a while may be all that’s needed to gain some important new traction.
SEO isn’t “evolving to death” …
But the way you work with SEO consultants and create things real people – not search engines – want to see, you’ll find that search engines work in your favor. “Good content breeds links,” says EmpowerInc. “People will always want information and content. As long as there’s human involvement and this human intends to spend money, webmasters will always want the better content on their website.”
Need more info? You may want to read these additional articles on SEO: