Search engine optimization, in simple terms, is an Internet marketing strategy that strives to improve rankings and visibility for a company. It is successful when a website is ranked high on a search engine’s first page.
Businesses benefit tremendously from having their websites appear first on a popular search engine such as Google or Yahoo. When this happens, it not only increases user convenience, but also builds a good reputation or image for the company. If you own a business and want to gain more customers, utilizing organic SEO practices is an intelligent decision that will confer an extra layer of legitimacy on your enterprise and improve user experience.
With all of the advantages of SEO, however, some people have taken unnatural approaches to getting their sites ranked high. In 1997, search engine designers noticed that webmasters were attempting to artificially influence the rankings by engaging in a practice known as “keyword stuffing.” This is when webpages are filled with excessive—and sometimes irrelevant—keywords in order to raise that site’s or page’s rankings for those search terms. During that time, very early search engines such as Altavista and Infoseek had to adjust their algorithms to prevent webmasters from abusing keyword stuffing or SEO manipulation.
What happens when a website is overstuffed with unnecessary keywords? For one thing, potential customers can easily see that the content of the website is not organic—or, in other words, natural—which can drive them away. We’re all familiar with spam, and that is how an overstuffed or manipulated website can appear. This is damaging because, despite a business having an excellent product or service, customers don’t want to visit a spammy website.
The alternative to this bad practice is organic search optimization, which is the process of delivering natural search engine placement.
One of the most important parts of organic search engine optimization is doing keyword research to see which terms are ranking the best. The goal is to target relevant keywords that will generate the most hits. Copywriting is another crucial part of SEO, as fresh and original content ranks higher and does not appear as spam, but rather as targeted information for a specific audience. Link building is also important, since having your link published on other websites is another good way to build traffic.
When it comes to generating leads, overstuffing keywords can dramatically lower your chances of SEO success and could even result in a penalty. Organic SEO is the way to go in order to gain customers and keep them, as well.
Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone. I hope you are all enjoying playing pranks as much as I am. I mean, I have already sent the Google Nose BETA to my entire family. And the great thing about the annual Google prank is it doesn’t hurt anyone, but still offers a good chuckle.
Unfortunately, the tricks of poor SEO information on the Internet aren’t revealed to be a joke until they impact the bottom line of your business. Today, we will look at common misconceptions that have as much validity as a bad April Fool’s Day ruse.
1. SEO Your Site and Forget it – “Set it and forget it” may be a great tagline for infomercials selling cooking equipment, but it’s terrible SEO advice. Updating your site once can provide a nice little boost, but it’s optimizing your site continually with fresh, relevant and informative content that will truly produce your results. If your “SEO expert” is preaching a one-step solution to your Internet marketing needs, they should scream, “April Fool’s” at the end of their statement.
2. Google Doesn’t Notice Link Building Strategies – With each new update, Google changes their algorithms to better “understand” the needs of their users. In other words, all SEO work should be done to enhance the experience of visitors on your website. Edgier tactics that we would consider “black hat SEO” will result in penalties that could cause your rankings to plummet.
3. All Links are Good Links – Thinking all links back to your site are created equal may be the biggest SEO joke of them all. As mentioned previously, after the Panda update, many sites that used “black hat” tactics were penalized by Google. Having links back to your website from one of these penalized sites is doing your website more harm than good. There are also link farms and many other sources of useless links. When you work with WebiMax, you will discover that our link building services only utilize links that are worth having, and the proof is in the positive results experienced by our customers.
4. Search Engines Love Keyword Density – Keyword density in your web content is a lot like the pitch count in baseball. Everyone has an opinion on the perfect number, but in the end, if the pitcher is getting outs or the user is getting the information they need, it’s all good. Every page on your website should be sculpted to meet the needs of the end user. When this happens, your keywords will fit in naturally and your links will fall into place.
5. Rankings Are Paramount – This would make for a great April Fool’s joke because it is so believable. After all, isn’t rising up the search engines what it’s all about? In actuality, conversions are what it’s all about. The amount of traffic driven to your site is only as good as the people who are compelled to take actions. If a website isn’t tailored to encourage sales, people will leave without any desire to return.
Keeping these things in mind and working with WebiMax to use proven organic Internet marketing strategies can have an incredible impact for your business, and as our testimonials show, that’s no joke.
Think of the world of content marketing like an aisle in a grocery store. Google is in charge of stocking the shelves, and they place the best products right where the shopper can see them. In the world of supermarkets, companies pay for that prime space. In the world of organic SEO, Google chooses the products that offer their “shoppers” the best value.
So, the question is, how do you offer the most value in a competitive environment? You present your products in a unique and engaging way. By being unique, your website can enjoy the equivalent of a showcase display at the front of the aisle.
Our marketing experts need the answer to two simple questions to get the ball rolling on an exciting and unique content marketing strategy:
1. Who is your target consumer base?
2. What do you offer your customers?
After these questions are answered, your onsite content needs to be reviewed to ensure you are at least providing the essential message your visitors are looking for. Your pages should be set up to offer the maximum convenience to your guest. Keywords and links will naturally find their way into the copy when written with this strategy in mind.
When users are unable to scan your website and determine if you have the information they are looking for within seconds, they are gone. And, if it is clear what you offer, your content better keep their attention with a great hook.
Hook ‘em with Humor
While there are several ways to hook your audience, one of the most overlooked avenues is humor. The Internet is about connectivity–people love to share something interesting or humorous with their friends and family. When your content has your customers saying, “You have to read this!” Google will recognize the value you offer searchers.
Of course, before you ever add humor to your webpages or daily blogs, you need to realize that humor is the seasoning to the informational steak. It’s okay to be funny when your core message is clear. When the two merge, your website can start turning readers into buyers.
Sometimes standing out from the crowd takes courage. Many businesses shy away from humor at the risk of being offensive. This is certainly understandable, but not all humor has to be so blue. For instance, think of Google. They once debuted Gmail Motion on April Fool’s Day. In fact, it doesn’t have to be a special occasion for Google to bring the funny. Think of all the different Google Doodles on their homepage that always provide sharable, buzz-worthy content. As long as humor is geared toward your user base and is sprinkled in with plenty of high-quality and informative copy, it can be a great way to separate your company from your competitors.
Utilizing humor through infographics or instructrographics is another great way to provide fun, sharable content for your social media campaigns. When you create something funny, promote it through your Facebook, Twitter and other social outlets. It will humanize your business and help potential customers build up some trust in your brand.
If humor isn’t an outlet your business can work with, don’t worry. When you inform, instruct, or relate to your audience in creative and valuable ways, it produces a relationship with your customers, and that’s the hook you need. Then, when SEO techniques bring in more traffic, your content can help reel in the sales.