No two ways about it… Search Engine Optimisation is a specialty, but there are a couple of easy things you can do which will definitely help whether you use a specialist firm or not.
Thee major search engines are constantly adjusting their algorithms to provide users with the most relevant results so staying on top of SEO takes a serious commitment. If you’re serious about being number one (and staying there legitimately) we’re all for using a specialist SEO firm. But there are a few things that you just need to keep in mind anyway…
First, find an SEO firm that specialises in whitehat SEO. If anyone tells you they can get you on page 1 in under 6 months, be very suspicious. Blackhat strategies are on the search engines hit list and they utilise the oldest, most archaic methods like meaningless links and keyword loading. The difference between a good site and a bad site as far as SEO goes is the quality and relevance of the content.
Understanding all the factors that go into getting your site ranked would be like taking on a law degree to learn how to write a contract – leave it to the professionals – but there are a couple of things that matter a lot (and will matter all the more) as Google’s Penguin and Panda become more evolved…
1. Quality Content
Google and other search engines are interested in delivering the best search results for their users. As a result, they are constantly adjusting their search algorithms. Once upon a time you could load a page with search terms (keywords) and the search engines would reward you. Now, they’re not so easily fooled.
Search engines consider how recent your content is (they like new stuff), and how well it answers people’s questions. Longer keywords and phrases are becoming more recognised and of course, unique content is essential.
Google now pays a lot of attention to your authority. This is established whenever people ‘endorse you’ by sharing, liking or linking to your content.
It makes sense… if people are visiting your pages and sharing them, you could make the reasonable assumption there’s something useful there. That’s exactly the assumption the search engines make and the more your content is linked to or shared by relevant sources, the better.
Rumour also has it that google is beginning to favour long content. The more (relevant and useful stuff) you write, the more SEO love you’ll get… as long as it’s useful.
So, forget trying to trick the search engines and completely blacklist blackhat…. make your site truly add value to readers and you’ll benefit long term in the SEO space.