Making Web Promises They Can’t Keep
May 9, 2011
Has your business ever been approached with guaranteed results: first in search engines results or a certain level of increased traffic? Anyone offering guaranteed web results should be someone you don’t want to associate with. Run!
Seems counterintuitive? The web, by its very nature, is very dynamic and ultra-fluid. Anyone who can quickly affect your web site traffic or search engine ranking, can also make it plummet just as fast. Such swift changes can even get your web site banned when search engines catch wind of the exploiting loop holes (the most often used way to make quick jumps in search engine rankings).
There is no magic bullet to making your web site appear well in a search engines, or to spike your traffic. Google has entire teams that see to it that they can’t be gamed. While people may be able to find a loophole today, that hole is likely to be close tomorrow and the nefarious tactics and exploits are likely to be punished—sometimes in your web site being eliminated from organic search results altogether.
Not all search engine experts are out to make a quick buck and a short-lived gain for your web site. Many are there to help you in the long haul make your web site a better entity. But instead of putting all your eggs in a consultant’s basket, split some of that time, money and effort between the Search Engine Optimization guru and in focusing on your content. Take a look at just how that content is delivered.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process or the processes utilized to make your web sites show up better and higher in the results of a given search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) Below are a few common sense tips to make the most of your web site, and not have to worry about doing something shady that may ruin your site down the road for search engines—or more importantly for your audience.
Instead of worrying about organic search results, focus on your content from a customer standpoint. Make the copy relevant to your audience. Answer their questions, concerns and sell to them. If this copy is effective for your audience, it will end up effective for organic search engine results as well.
Both clients and search engines appreciate frequent new content. Whether you’re writing frequent news items, press releases, blog posts, or simply sharing a relevant link, do it often and do it well. Sure times get busy, but on those slow days come up with several pieces of content that can be posted at a later time. Obviously, this doesn’t work for time-sensitive pieces, but there are plenty pieces of content that it doesn’t matter if it’s posted today or next week. A lot of content management systems (CMS) even allow you to schedule the automatic posting of an article on a given date and time. Blogging software WordPress does this, and TweetDeck does this for posting Tweets in the future as well. This is a fairly common feature across both blogging software and Twitter-related software, and is a good way to spread out your broadcasts to the world so as to not overwhelm, nor annoy your audience.
3. Social Networking
Utilizing all the social networking channels available to you and updating them frequently is key. Twitter and Facebook are the minimum channels. Depending on your audience, there’s a whole slew of others to communicate and drum up site visits and linking.
Many people these days gobble up web content through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, through some sort of reading application (like Google Reader. This allows anyone to filter through a lot of content quickly, clicking through on articles that they’re interested in. Once your site has an RSS feed for its content, it’s a nice way to automate getting updated content from your news, blog, etc. out to your social networking channels. Web sites like dlvr.it allow you to insert your RSS feed and have it post new content on your behalf as it’s live on your web site, and also provides you some analytics.
You probably already know that links to your site are a big key to organic search results. The sum of writing good content that speaks to your readers will organically have the consequence of people linking to your site—from their blogs, in their tweets, etc. These links are votes of confidence that search engines value. Don’t try to cheat the system and buy or barter links. Instead, write your content to your audience and give them reason to want to share and discuss it.
This article may not have taught you anything new. You probably already knew content was important. If that’s the case, use this article as a reminder or justification when you take some time out of your day to compose or plan to compose content.
While the web is always changing, it still takes patience to see how the changes and additions you’re making are affecting your site and the buzz around it. Keep doing what you’re doing. Always keep the customer and/or your audience in mind. Do it often and do it right. Your audience and the search engines will thank you for it.