Is an SEO strategy link building? Is it content creation? Is it social media spread? Or is it somehow something completely new that no one’s even thought of yet?
Over the past few years, the SEO industry has really been turned on its head. And for a lot of folks, both digital marketers and consumers alike, a lot of questions are surfacing about what an SEO strategy really is.
SEO Strategy: SEO Myths vs. SEO Facts
Well, the truth in the matter when it comes to an SEO strategy is that what was relevant yesterday can quickly become irrelevant today—and sometimes even downright dangerous to your website’s well being. So trust me, if you rely heavily on your website for business leads—as most of us do in the digital age—then you don’t want to mess anything up. But how do you know what to invest in and what can be tossed aside?
Don’t despair, today’s your lucky day. I’m going to use links, content, social media, and a bit of common SEO street speak to dispel some of the most major SEO myths, bring to light a few of the foremost SEO faux pas and unearth some game-changing “secrets” to help you find an SEO strategy (or a digital marketing agency) that can—and will—actually help you.
Without further ado:
Links are a critical component of any SEO strategy, but not everyone understands how they work or how to leverage them correctly.
Here’s how they work: Part of Google’s search algorithm determines your site’s value by counting the number of incoming links. And each link has its own value based on how many links are going to that site, too, and so on. What this means, for example, is that a link to your site from Harvard.edu is weighted much more heavily than a link from Dr. Spink at spinkdentistry.com. (Although, maybe you’re a dentist, and if you are, then a link from the Spink is just fine). But the point remains the same: There is a complex system of determining factors that make one link more valuable than another.
But don’t be fooled, if you search for “SEO link building,” you’ll see tons of companies offering seemingly easy solutions, things like:
- Blog commenting
- Article marketing
- Press releases
- Business profile creation
- Directory links
These services are supposed to build you links, but unfortunately many of these solicitations are merely well-disguised hack techniques or outdated strategies that will damage your site, not help it… and they come from a combination of both known scumbag overseas companies and reputable companies alike, so stay on your toes.
Case in point: Matt Cutts (head of Google’s web spam team) flat out says press release links from syndication sites are now discounted. And to be fair, as a digital marketing agency, we used to practice this, and it was even considered a best practice at the time, but now it’s a complete waste of money to do any press releases for the sake of getting an inbound link; directories and business profiles have been devalued so long ago that I can’t even dig up a good blog post or link about it; and blog commenting is considered a link scheme in most cases and will actually get your site penalized! Since, we’ve become enlightened and have adapted and responded to the evolution of link building to help you move up in the rankings the right way instead of going backwards.
Don’t get the wool pulled over your eyes by agencies still using antiquated tactics—implement a link building strategy that is current, effective, and gets the nod from Google every time.
All content is good… Right? Nope, it’s not. As a matter of fact, one of the key roles of an SEO and a quality digital marketing agency is to identify content that is hurting your site and make recommendations for improving it, up to and including removing it completely.
So, how can content be bad? It’s a somewhat complicated topic, but the issue is user engagement. Part of Google’s search algorithm determines how relevant your site is by its clickthrough and bounces rates. In other words, are people actually clicking your link in the search results, and when they do, do they immediately hit the back button, or do they move further into the site? Are they spending time on your site? What does your site content look like and how is it structured? These are all questions that are answered by Google’s Panda update that rolled out in early 2011, and has been hammering down on crappy sites ever since.
So, you need good content. Period. Anything else will lower your site in the search rankings. Don’t let get caught in a content crapshoot—implement a content strategy that an SEO has researched and approved.