It wasn’t that long ago when learning the ins and outs of SEO was comparable to learning an ancient and foreign language. For the average Joe, boosting a site’s organic search rankings was a daunting and near impossible task.
But times have changed. The basic principles of SEO are now available to anyone with an internet connection and a hot pot of coffee.
Keywords, headings, meta titles and descriptions, unique content, backlinks and citations – these are all terms you will come by when researching how to improve your organic search rankings.
Now, nobody will argue against the importance here. But, by focusing all your time and attention on the foundations of SEO, you will overlook the most crucial ingredient required to make great, search engine friendly content.
The secret to making content that speaks the language of SEO is not to focus on the search engines but rather on the potential consumers of your content.
Is your content useful? Is it relevant and readable? Are people interacting and engaging with your content? Is it being shared? Search engines are getting better and better at finding the answers to these questions. Google is continually implementing and refining algorithms that can accurately define what we, as consumers, perceive to be ‘good content’, and rewarding websites accordingly.
Essentially, SEO is becoming less about implementing the appropriate headings and titles, and more about creating really great content.
I own and operate my own fancy dress clothing business. In my area, I have twelve direct competitors. We all have websites of similar quality and are all vying for search engine dominance. All of my competitors are focusing their time and effort optimizing their website with SEO specific techniques.
Meanwhile, I decide that instead of investing any more time and money trying to close the gap on my competition with new keywords, increasing page content length and headings, and obtaining more local backlinks; I’m going to try something different. I offer my next 30 customers a discount in return for them filming or photographing themselves with my attire at their party or event. I then repost the images and videos through my Instagram and Facebook which appear as a feed on my website.
Guess what? My 30 original customers, along with all their friends, family and other event attendees are now spending more time engaged with my social media, and browsing my website. And search engines recognize this.
While I may not have the most effectively optimized website, or even the best costumes, I can now dominate search engines and be the clear choice for fancy dress costumes in the area.
Getting your SEO in order is absolutely essential. Without it, search engines will pass by your content no matter how great it might be.
But once you are confident you have covered the basics of SEO, start thinking of ways you can engage and capture your consumers online. You’re not going to do this by further optimizing your websites headings or keywords, but by providing unique and riveting, awesome content.