If you’ve been frustrated with your SEO team’s lack of results, or you think their results should be better, you are probably right. The problem is not necessarily what they are doing, it could be what they AREN’T doing.
Google’s search engine algorithm has grown very sophisticated. After all, there are lots of very smart people working on it. Over the last decade, they have learned how we use the web, how people link to things on the web, how language looks on the web, and how intent works in the mind of users. With each passing algorithm update, these new bits of knowledge are added to the algorithm mix to ensure a better experience for the user doing a search. While some of these updates go too far, for the most part, the updates have improved search results and users continue to use Google as their default search engine of choice.
Search engine optimization has to be approached with these facts in mind. You aren’t really going to fool Google with the link spam that used to work. You are actually going to have to produce real links that benefit web users. It will take some work, but it’s very do-able.
Before we jump into our three ways to better SEO, I want to address an issue I hear often that I think clouds the minds of website owners and SEO practitioners alike – which is Black Hat vs. White Hat. (“Black Hat” SEO tactics are frowned upon by Google; “White Hat” tactics are those of which they approve.)
Google has made it pretty clear that they don’t appreciate any activity that website owners take to attempt to “manipulate” their search engine rankings. “Manipulate” is a negative way of saying “improve” in this case. Of course, we need to be proactive in improving our search engine rankings, and while Google may encourage website owners to improve their onsite SEO for search engine improvements, they definitely don’t like the idea that you would manually create links with the intent of improving your rankings.
Well, I’m here to tell you that without those links you won’t get rankings.
So if we are going to try to get links to get search engine rankings that makes us all Black Hat. White Hat simply means you think you can get rankings by updating the content on your own website and hoping and praying some good soul will give you a high-value link all on their own. You might get lucky once or twice with that. How long are you willing to wait?
So, let’s get started on learning three ways to better SEO in 90 days or less!
1 – Get Social
Social media has become an integral part of most of our digital lives. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Newsvine, and dozens of other social networks are where we spend more than 25% of our time on the web. It’s also where most user content is generated, and where most engagement occurs.
What this means is that search engines like Google use social data to impact rankings. Businesses who have active followings on the web tend to see improved rankings. However, more important, businesses that have content from their site shared across multiple platforms by active social users tend to see big benefits in their rankings. The content doesn’t need to go viral to produce benefits.
Your SEO team should have a network of active social users who can participate in promoting content they produce across multiple social platforms. Produce content that is interesting (dare I say fun!) and you will find it’s much easier to get the content shared. If your business is plumbing, you can have fun posting images (with a link to your website) of what not to do in plumbing, with a guarantee that this won’t happen with your company. Be creative and remember real people see what you post. Most of all, be consistent and keep your business in the social stream on a weekly basis. And don’t be afraid to get your friends to prime the sharing pump!
2 – Get Backlinks from SEO-Owned Website Assets
Every SEO team should have non-client website assets they have created where they deploy real content that real users read. Some of these sites are content portals, some are informational sites, and some are industry portals. The SEO team will spend time driving social users to these websites to get them engaged. This ultimately gives these websites significant credibility in the eyes of search engines.
When performing SEO for a client, these sites become a valuable source of links that can be given to the client site. Your team doesn’t have to beg or pay for these links, they are owned assets that the SEO providers can use at their discretion and keep in place. Without these assets, your SEO team will struggle to obtain valuable links without paying for them or waiting months to get in place. And since these links are on high-credibility assets they aren’t spammy and can drive traffic as well.
3 – The Need for Speed…..and Security
It’s not news that Google wants your site to be fast. But what we find is that most businesses focus on the speed of their hosting plan and not on the aspects of their website code that can be updated to improve the speed performance that Google appreciates.
One additional item to take on is adding another layer of credibility to your website by adding SSL to it. While it is currently not a requirement for your site to have this, we have seen that this adds a bump to rankings. In its push for a more secure web, Google wants to see more websites move to SSL encryption for users.
Hopefully, you have found a few items you can address with your internal or external SEO team in order to see some immediate improvements in your search engine rankings. If your team starts to feel overwhelmed, be sure to consult a professional SEO team like ours to help get things going in the right direction.
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