After many years in the industry I have learned 3 truths about best SEO practices:
- Your site can’t suck
- You content can’t suck
- People must like and share your content
- Once you think you figured it out, Google will change the rules
As someone who got their start selling a Marketing Automation Platform and currently spends his days with a former (reformed) agency guy, I learn more every day about how these two sides (agencies and Automation Platforms) muddy the digital waters for the average marketer who wants to learn how to do their job effectively and hopefully generate some leads.
So here is my interpretation of the 2 sides of the arguments:
- SEO Agency Explanation of digital marketing: Numbers, data, numbers, H1 tags, H2 tags, sourcery = success (at a rate of $300 per hour)
- Marketing Automation Platforms explanation: Buy platform, post stuff on your Facebook and Twitter at the same time with a magic button, friends share with friends, content goes viral, you win Google popularity contest, landing page = fame and riches.
Now I may be over simplifying the two positions (barely), but it not hard to come to the conclusion that the truth must be somewhere in between those two worlds. So I don’t pretend that I know more than others or even as much as most, but I would love to see a bit more clarity and transparency in the industry. But as I sift through the noise, I try to make sure I teach the few who know less than me the 4 truths I stated above.
- Make sure your site works well. User receives a positive experience and leave as few unappetizing errors for the almighty google crawler.
- Know what your audience wants to read/ consume. Than sit down, create it and publish it properly.
- Please share your content with people. Don’t worry, no matter how weird, someone will like it (well maybe, don’t quote me). Either way, it will do you much more good in the hands of a few people who find it interesting than collecting dust on your site with no visitors. Preferably share it with people with a lot of digital friends!
- Listen to the all mighty Google. If they say rules are changing, learn how to adapt and move on with your life. Or be a good little marketer and give them more money for PPC. They own you, accept it.
Though I know these suggestions are about as elementary as it gets, I find that more often than not, people lose sight of them as they start chasing new rabbits down the SEO holes. Only thing that agencies do better than you is research. They have better tools in place that let them know what kind of content to create, who to promote it to, and they use crawlers to make sure they can find any onsite issues they can bill you for. So if you are committed to doing the hard work, go out there, or call us ( shameless plug) and find the tools that will give you the data you need to find digital success.