Good SEO Isn't About Sleight of Hand

October 1, 2009

"We'll make you number one on Google in 48 hours!!!" "Our techniques will drive 100X more traffic to your site!!"

We see the wild claims all the time. Chances are, they're bogus; if they're not, then the techniques are suspect. Legitimate search engine optimization practitioners refrain from making such wild claims, leaving them to those who are less reputable. Besides, you should never trust someone who wantonly uses multiple exclamation points.

Ok, then. What Is Digett's approach to SEO?

Every situation is unique, to be honest, so we don't offer blanket solutions; we prefer to take a good look at your existing website and what SEO efforts, opportunities, and challenges exist before making recommendations. Moreover, there are some things we can't always do much about. Disclaimers aside, we generally focus SEO efforts in three areas:

Website Architecture

When we build a website, we place great emphasis on proper information architecture, for a number of reasons. Architecture plays a major role in making a site usable, but it's equally important in making it findable and searchable. A well-architected site can be crawled and indexed with ease by major search engines.

Existing sites, especially those constructed with Flash or other search-engine-invisible techniques, may be facing an uphill battle. There may be work-arounds, in some cases, but you may just end up throwing a bunch of money at the symptom, not the illness. This is just another reason why we strongly recommend Drupal-based sites.

Site Content

In this case, we're talking primarily about the use of solid landing pages and keywords. The goal is to align your objectives with your landing pages through the use of high-value keywords. Our approach is to run client-supplied keywords through tools such as AdWords to determine effectiveness and discover new directions.

From there, we identify 3-5 keyword groups and look at the client's site to determine if they are being addressed. Our analysis will help us create a roadmap for improving keyword and landing page performance. This may include a recommendation for a pay-per-click campaign to help bridge the gap between campaign execution and organic search success.

We also emphasize making an effort to keep site content updated and fresh. As Mark previously noted, new doesn't necessarily equal better, but you have to change with the times.

Link Building

Granted, we could write several posts just on this topic, but the short of it is that you have to network. Providing good outbound links to your readers helps boost your credibility—not to mention the likelihood that someone will link back to your site. Good inbound links boost your page ranking. The circle is complete, and the force is in balance.

All that's just for starters. One important point to remember is that effective SEO efforts are ongoing. You can set benchmarks, but your work will never really be done—and there's isn't any kind of magic bullet that will fix all with one shot. Interested in seeing how we'd apply these principles to your site? Let us know.