We Don’t Do SEO

September 11, 2012
SEO is less about keywords and more about compelling content

Potential clients often come to us requesting we “do SEO” for them. Search engine optimization is important to doing well online, but the process has changed radically in recent years. Search engines are focusing on content, and so should you.

The good (bad?) ol’ days

It used to be that you could take your keyword, slap it into a few key places in your content (headings, metadata fields, anchor text, etc.), and experience a quick rise in the search results for that keyword.

This made the SEO process black and white, but ultimately more helpful to underhanded businesses and SEO “gurus” who exploited the weaknesses in the system in order to perform well in searches that they really shouldn’t.

Bye, bye black and white

Google’s search algorithm changes routinely, but two recent updates—Panda and Penguin—have fundamentally changed the content optimization process. Keyword stuffing no longer guarantees search engine rankings, and those who use dishonest tactics find themselves in hot water much faster.

Search engines are smart

Great content trumps any keyword strategy, something members of Google’s Search Quality team have been saying since at least 2009:

“...search engines want to return great content...A lot of bad SEO happens because people say “I’ll force my way to the top of Google first, and then everyone will find out about my site.” Putting rankings before the creation of a great site is in many ways putting the cart before the horse...[Google wants] to return what searchers will find useful and love. By chasing a great user experience above search rankings, many sites turn out to be what search engines would want to return anyway.” (source)

On top of this, Google’s algorithm is now much more savvy. For example, it’s a good idea to have your entire keyphrase—such as san antonio web design—included a couple times in your content; but the search engine can look at parts of that phrase—just san antonio or just web design—and still index that content for the full keyphrase. (source)

Consumers are smart, too

No one wants to read your blog post that’s crammed full of your favorite keyword (and is therefore probably too long, too self-promotional, and dull).

What they do want to read—and comment on, share, and link to—is compelling content that shows them how to solve their problems.

We don’t do SEO

Keyword research should be part of any content marketing plan, but it’s compelling content that generates the comments, shares, links, and conversations that Google uses to index and rank your website.

Need help getting started? Download our free Marketing Plan for Growth, a guide that can help you grow your online business with content (or inbound) marketing.

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