Too often, I see good, well meaning business owners lull themselves into thinking that improving their online visibility on search engines like Google is all but impossible, or so overly cost prohibitive that they throw the idea out of their minds especially if they've had a negative experience. Sadly, SEO has taken a bad rap especially in light of what I like to call 'search engine sharks' who notoriously cold call businesses soliciting their services with grandiose claims, leaving the business owner high and dry.
Having had enough conversations with company owners and presidents who have shared one horror story after another, it makes sense to shed some light on SEO and in general de-bunk the myth once and for all. The reality is that search engine optimization (SEO) has been around for almost as long as the internet has, though full blown SEO companies have been actively offering it as a service for closer to 14-16 years.
Mainstream SEO can be summarized like this: "creating relevant content for both search engines to see (i.e. having a robust website jammed packed full of great content and valuable information), and creating a series of 'popularity votes' (back links) from other websites back to your website to effectively increase your search engine ranking online". While SEO can be extremely complex (it does have many moving parts), it is not impossible to successfully do as long as you keep these 3 points in mind:
3 Keys To SEO Success:
1) Create a winning UX Your website should be all about a positive user experience. That means you offer great information about your product or service. Make it engaging, educational, and informative with a clear and concise call to action.
2) The Power Of Back Linking Quality back links over quantity generally win the race. Many times, I see a website with tens of thousands of back links which came from junk sources like link farms, or foreign link sources that have absolutely nothing to do with their product or service. It's all about relevance!
3) Competitive Intelligence Spy on your top competitors' links and see what they are up to. You can use some free tools like Majestic SEO to glean valuable SEO insight and see where their links are coming from effectively giving you a power strategy to out rank them (beat them at their own game).
When it's all said and done, SEO takes time, patience, a good tool set and solid understanding of SEO best practices in light of the most recent Google ranking updates of the past year.