Friday, 18 June 2010

A Deadly Sin SEOs Commit

When you hear the words SEO or see any article on SEO, you immediately think it's about how to insert keywords in the right places, keyword density and all the stuff that goes with it. The field of search engine optimisation is much more then that. There is one fundamental you have to bear in mind when creating content for your website and if this is not the basis of your content generation strategies, your content will not rank in the search engines.

Stop writing for Google and start writing for people

You probably feel writing content for people and writing for search engines are two different disciplines. A search engine is looking for keyword-content so you decide to stuff your content with your keywords as often as you can. This leads to black-hat techniques like keyword stuffing.

This is the wrong way to go about optimising your content. Search engines are not looking for "keyword-rich" content, what they look for is "relevant" content. Relevant content is one that solves a problem or answers a question typed into the search field. A piece of content that has your keyword repeated 5 times in every paragraph is not likely to engage a reader and probably not answer a question.

2 Reasons why Relevant Content Will Naturally Rank

Here are two reasons why relevant content will have a sustainable ranking in the search engines.

The back button is a vote against your content

Search engines have become smarter. Research has shown that when a user clicks on your link from a search done in Google and she returns immediately, Google will naturally see that action as the user saying "nope, this is not what I want". If your content is stuffed with keywords and doesn't deliver any value to the reader, they will click the back button. If enough people take this course of action, Google marks your content as irrelevant for that keyword phrase. So although you may have a short period of time where you rank on the first page, your ranking slowly loses traction to other sites with relevant content.

Good content is naturally linked to

A page with lots of links will naturally rank in the search engines. Some SEOs resort to automatic link building strategies which generate links from totally unrelated sources. If the content delivered value and is promoted well on social media networks, the links will come naturally because people love to cite good information. One link from a trusted website is worth hundreds of links from dodgy, low page-rank sites.

I am sure this article has shown you why your SEO efforts should start from providing useful, relevant content and optimising it for the search engines. Write for people, deliver value.

Just as cream rises to the top, your pages will rise to the top of the search engines. Do you have any other ideas on how to rank in the search engines? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

James blogs at Smart Marketing For Small Business. The topics are centred around SEO Milton Keynes, and how small businesses can get more clients from the search engines
Welcome to the SEO For Beginners Blog.
If you're visiting my blog for the first time please sign up to my Rss Feed for regular updates!
And if you're interesting in learning more about SEO, I suggest you start out here. Thanks.