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I've kept quiet.
I can't any longer.
I see too many affiliate marketers and website owners fussing about SEO, site ranking, key words, wasting time, energy and money.
I want to be on the 1st page at Google they demand! Guess what ? So do a few million other site owners.
Just stop already!
Here's the goods on SEO, what matters, what doesn't.
1. Don't think for 1 minute you can outsmart Google's indexing algorithms and search bots by being devious.
If you think you can BOOST your ranking by using an Article Spinner, think again.
Spinning articles written by other people is a waste of time and if you've bought software to do it you've wasted your money too.
Don't try and be clever and change the dates on your articles and posts then repost, not effective.
Don't steal articles and content from other people, do I really need to say that? Yup. I know that happens, I have seen it.
Someone is probably copying my work right now and trying to "spin it" within moments of my posting.
The folks at Google are smart, the software they use to index sites even smarter.
Just when you think you have figured out how to move up in the ranking, Google changes their site ranking criteria and their famous mystery algorithms that seem to curiously always favor the big companies with the oodles of advertising dollars.
Take control of your own indexing by doing what IS within your control - write and post your own content on a regular basis. Write about what you know for best results, it will flow and you can use your keywords within your content naturally.
If you can't write your own content, then hire someone to write unique content for you.
For a small fee, you can provide writers your points and key words and let them write UNIQUE content for your site or blog.
2. Stop stuffing!
I am not talking about twinkies and turkey.
I'm referring to the practice of overloading your website or blog postings stuffing it with excessive key words to the point that it is obviously ridiculous and virtually unreadable. There is no advantage to this.
Instead, use the keywords that are relevant to your niche for search purposes but do it as a natural copywriting process. Consider adding a Resource Box, or Author section and include there your most important key words. Remember it's not just Google bots visiting your website and blog, hopefully your customers are too. Meet the needs of both with content of good value, interesting and relevant.
Title tags remain important so make them relevant and key word rich. Other Metatags forget about those.
3. Submission Myth.
25 years ago when we started our company, we had to manually submit our site URL to Open Text, AltaVista, Lycos, Yahoo, there was no automation. Google didn't even exist at that time. Then along came the AUTO Submitters where you could enter your URL, key words, category and website title to get your site submitted to 25 search engines and directories, then it was 50, 100, 1000, the claims got bigger and the cost more outrageous as the trend caught on.
Thankfully today it is no longer required that website owners submit their site to Google or any other search site.
Each search engine has their spider bots that scour the web for new content, new sites, updated content, niche content etc.
So if you are approached or get an email offering to submit your site to all the major search engines for a fee, it is not necessary.
Back in the day, SEO Experts promised to get your site in the Top 10 on Google, or to move you up in the rankings. That may be easier if you are the only person (or one of 10) in the entire world that offers X, but if your brand or product has a very common key word, you will find the competition is stiff. If you are an affiliate marketer your key words might be TRAFFIC, or MAKE MONEY. Good luck getting on the 1st page of Google with either of those, unless you've got un-ending deep pockets to pay for it to edge out your hefty growing competition.
The SEO expert has now been replaced with the Social Media Expert, or Social Media Manager. These are people who are hired to write unique content, post to your blog, post and share videos, post to your social media accounts, create buzz, increase shares, generate interest even controversy about your product, business or service. You can if you are on a budget, hire yourself to be a content provider. You can have one or many blogs just know that MORE blogs means more work and MORE unique content to publish. Be your own unabashed self promoter, get your LinkedIn account, Twitter, Facebook Page, and so forth. If you are in a specific niche industry try to find sites where you can post content relevant to members, or your target audience. Better yet, get really good at this and offer your social media content services to others.
For the sake of all those hard working website designers and developers out there, please don't demand they get you on the first page of Google. Your site developer can provide you with some concrete, practical ways to get higher ranking but be realistic, if you want page 1, get out your wallet (hope it's a fat one) and buy your preferred search words from Google. Beyond that pay close attention to what I say in this article about content and social media.
4. Google Ad Words
At one time, getting an Ad Words account helped get Google's attention to your site. Guess what? They caught on to that, it now offers no significant advantage. If you want to spend money on advertising, then book your Ad Words account, get ready to pay lots, and adhere to Google's strict advertising requirements. If you can't afford that or your type of business would be rejected by Google that means its back to creating good, unique content of value to the world.
5. Back Links
A few years ago the trend was to BUY 5,000 backlinks. For a fee, various services would post your URL to a bunch of websites for you. The vendors promise was that Google would think your site was super popular as it had so links to it. The thought was that the more popular your site was the more links there would be coming from other sites. The truth is that popularity of a site does factor into site ranking but only if the links are natural and not contrived on these very obvious backlink sites that have zero content value. Some of these backlinks sites still exist and charge a fee for the backlinks, keep your money in your pocket. There's a better way. Here we are again back where we started, if you want better ranking and links to your site, create good, unique content of value.
Final Words of advice about SEO for website owners, and affiliate marketers.
- When it comes to SEO, natural is best.
- Let those 3 words be your guide for all things related to your efforts to get better page ranking not just at Google but Bing and the other major players.
- Do post regular updates to your website including service updates, customer reviews, product reviews, videos, photos, news, press releases, special events. Integrate your social media links to your website and blog.
- Get a SSL certificate. Security is a major concern, sites that are secure with SSL are viewed as less of a threat to the growing number of security issues plaguing the internet.
- Do get a YouTube Channel and post videos on a regular basis. They don't have to be professionally created, remember, natural is best. Search bots like to gobble up video.
- Do make your site mobile friendly, that does give you a wee bit of an advantage over non mobile friendly sites. Don't think you have to pay a web professional a lot of money to make your site mobile friendly it is easy to do and inexpensive.
- Do post regularly to social media but understand Facebook postings and Twitter posting does not give you any advantage in terms of SEO.
- Do be patient. getting higher site ranking is a process. Work at it as often as you can but if your time is limited your effort is better spent focusing on promotion. When you promote YOU are in control, you know your target market best, you also likely know who your competitors are. When YOU promote you are actively building your email marketing list, you generate leads and grow your traffic - ALL of which leads to SALES. Don't put all your faith and hope into waiting for search engines to rank your site higher so you can get sales. Offer services of value, take care iof your customers, rely on referral marketing. Search engines rely on AD REVENUE, and who has the most spending bucks? BIG companies, not the little business owner. For the little guy and gal without the advertising budget you will have far better results building your sales by doing what is within your control. Promote within your market to safelists, exchanges, classified ad sites, solo ads, banner ads, email advertising, do guest posts to well known related topic / industry blogs, use your signature file.
Author: Sandi Hunter, President, Co-Founder, Worldprofit Inc.