So, I know this post will draw the ire of some SEO folks, but that’s alright, some need their ire drawn. SEO can be a complex science and there are those, Aaron Wall and Lee Odden come to mind immediately, that have much to add to the field of SEO when it comes to highly sophisticated implementations.
In my experience however, the typical small business need only focus on three things to greatly improve their chances for showing up in search results for key phases. (There are many, many things that can be done, but get your head around these three first.)
1) Consistently create education based content that is optimized for important keyword phrases – another way of saying this might be write lots of useful information in blog posts and work the phrases that people might use searching for your business or the problems you solve in the title of the posts.
2) Practice good HTML – I won’t go into a tutorial on the technical aspects of HTML coding, (if you want to learn here’s a great HTML site) but simple things like smart use of page title, meta description, alt image descriptions, heading and subheading (h1, h2) attributes, and anchor text in links is important – make sure you or your designer use them effectively.
3) Relevant links back to your site – search engines place a very high level of importance on this factor because they figure you like your site and will tell them how great it is no matter what, but if another site, particularly one they’ve already determined to be useful, likes your site enough to link to it and gives clues about how and why it’s good, then that’s another story. In fact, don’t waste your time, and please don’t waste any money, submitting your site to the search engines, they no longer care. Get another site to link to your site and the search engines will take note.
The subject of backlinks has a long and sordid history in the world of SEO because it’s the place so many what are called “black hat” SEO folks go to get rankings in ways that the search engines eventually ban. The search engines don’t really want you to buy links-that’s not very authentic, they get nervous when you get hundreds of links in a day – that’s not really natural unless you have a long history of it, what they do want is for you to acquire links from sites that also produce lots of useful content and are related to what your site is about.
There are many ways to accomplish the building of backlinks and there are very legitimate companies out there that can do it for you as well. Today, I would also like to greatly recommend a service called LotusJump for those who would like to increase their backlinks naturally and systematically for a fairly low cost.
Disclosure: LotusJump is a Duct Tape Marketing Coach Network strategic partner and we do have an affiliate arrangement with them, but as I hope you’ve gathered, the only folks on that list are companies and services that I use and believe in fully.
The way LotusJump works is that you sign-up your URL and choose a number of keyword phrases you would like to optimize backlinks for (3 or 10 depending on the $24 or $49 mo plan). Then LotusJump delivers a steady stream of link building tasks to help build buzz, get competitive backlinks, submit content, social media links and directories that all make sense for your industry or chosen keywords. The list of tasks is not perfect, there are some that don’t always make sense and some that you’ve already done, but because the list is exhaustive and updates frequently you’ve always got lots to do. As I said, this approach isn’t perfect, but what I love is the exact step-by-step task list that just about anyone in your organization can work on. You can put in a few minutes a day and know you are making some long-term headway. (New features still in beta will also help give tasks for on page elements addressed in step 2 above.)
I had a chance to interview LotusJump’s Tom McConnon for the this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. Have listen as we discuss general SEO topics and specific LotusJump features. (Click to listen or right-click and Save As to download.)