If you've tried to research SEO in any way you may have read articles with titles like, "The SEO Basics You Need to Know." You may have subsequently decided to clean up your site so that it's crawlable, start a blog, create some blog posts and start some social media profiles which are now churning out the content you've created. While these are all good basic, foundational actions for a SEO plan, the truth is that good SEO is often not a basic process. With Google's ever-changing algorithms, there are new considerations all the time, so the basics might not bring you the results you seek.
According to Rand Fishkin, from Moz (a leading SEO advisor), SEO is any input that search engines use to rank pages. Moz did a survey and came up with 80 ranking factors that Google takes into account. That's a lot of factors! The truth is that compeitive SEO can require constant maintenance.
If you are simply blogging about relevant topics, there are most likely 10, 20, 50, or even 100 other sites who are doing it as well. According to Fishkin, "good, relevant content is rarely good enough to rank for competitive rankings." But what if you created extra amazing content? Fishkin continues to say, "Content that's remarkable helps...but only if that remarkability also yields a high likelihood of engagement and sharing," which means that coming up with creative ways to encourage people to share your content can play a big role in your ranking.
So, what makes a blog post "good enough to rank competitively"? Google takes into account a variety of signals. Everything from how many times your content has been linked to by other high ranking domains, to how many people have posted your content across social media sites, to what influencers are promoting your content are just some of the signals Google takes into account.
This is why, while SEO is very important for your business's success, SEO basics alone are often not enough. SEO foundations are just part of getting your company in front of those who are interested in your services. Understanding your "next step" can require research, tracking and creativity to find ways to build those relationships and encourage sharing.
Here are some key things to consider:
Personal Branding: Creating and promoting a personal brand can drive traffic to your company's website. Getting links and shares of your content on high ranking sites with high influencing social profile holders can improve your profile and increase traffic to your company site.
- Google authorship. While Google did recently drop author photos from the search results, Google Authorship is a great way to spread your personal brand. Author names still appear in search results and it is widely predicted that Google will incorporate more "Author Rank" signals into its search algorithm in the future. This means that establishing yourself as a trusted authority now could pay off big in the futur
- Writing or creating for an online publications with high ranking domains, such as: The New York Times, Huffington Post, Entrepreneurer can also build your reputation and profile. Not only will your links now exist on high ranking domains, it's likely that your article, video or infographic will be shared across that influencer's social networks.
- Write emails to influencers asking to have some type of partnership. Consider bartering your services for theirs. Show them that the relationship can be mutually beneficial in some way.
- Research and reach out to your current connections. Is there anyone who a current connection could introduce you to?
Taking a look at your website design: Does your site have great navigation? Is it user friendly? Is it well designed? These are all questions you should ask and believe it or not, it can be part of SEO. If someone is clicking on your site and then leaving right away because they don't know what to do or where to go, this can hurt your SEO. When someone leaves your site quickly that tells Google that your site may not be relevant to their search query, hurting your ranking.
To learn more about why SEO basics aren't enough, watch Rand Fishkin's Whiteboard Friday video: