I know that a lot of companies are playing the keep-up game with their search engine optimization. I also know of a lot of experts, strategists, consultants or whatever they call themselves, who are still pushing cheap tactics that quickly boost page rank but inevitably get spanked by Google. Twitter is chirping with SEO Jedis that can't figure out why their keyword-stuffed landing pages dropped in rank. But the problem is simple.
Search engines are constantly improving their algorithms to provide searchers with better quality information. Websites that stuff keywords or links and don't provide useful information get demoted, blacklisted and even called out publicly by the search engine police.
When you create great content and make it easy to find, your SEO grows constantly and exponentially.
Give Google What They Want
Don't fear, search engines want to give buyers the best information about products and prices, and you should absolutely be targeting people at all points along the buying process.
You've got to give them the information in the way they want it though. This means using highly relevant keyword phrases that mirror the language people are using when they're searching and make sure you're sending people exactly where they need to be according to their search term. When I'm looking for prices for contractors or services, I love landing on a price-sheet page with a phone number for a quick connection.
The more search engines see that people are finding what they're searching for, the more authority your site receives.
Stop Playing Catch-Up And Lead With Killer Content
When you try to exploit the search algorithms, you're playing a permanent game of catch-up. When you lead by creating useful content, you're creating the ideal that Google and Bing and the rest are striving for. Make your business the invaluable resource that search engines want to deliver and your page rank will improve and endure.
Collect, create and curate the right kind of content and you'll always be at the top of the pile.
Make Lots of Friends
Search engines love links from sites that also produce a lot of killer content. You should be beginning to see how positioning yourself as a reliable resources earns you a lot of cred. Make friends with others who are on a mission to solve problems and give great answers and you'll be part of a large network that is very appealing to potential customers.
Every link from a trustworthy source is like a real-life referral and search engines reward sites accordingly. Imagine if you went to a networking party and everyone in the room recommended the same CPA. Would you have any doubt who to call at tax time?
But link optimization doesn't stop there. Search engines also give you points for the number of links to a specific page. This means that when you create something truly outstanding, your page rank climbs even higher.
It's Not Really That Easy...Is It?
There's a lot I didn't cover, like internal links, optimum words-per-page, and the number of monkey jokes on your contact page.
These things are important. Especially the monkey jokes.
But what's most important is producing quality information in the form of white papers, newsletters, blogs, or cat videos. Practice creating content with the relevant keywords and reliable information and then get busy telling everyone about it.
What do you think are the most important components of good SEO? Let's talk about it in the comment section.
A bit of self-promotion...we implemented this exact strategy with the Washington Hyperbaric Therapy Center's new website. We optimized their site with great content, loads of links and valuable information. They are #1 for their keywords and visitors have been streaming in. All without paid search results, Adwords or cheap SEO tactics.