Everyone is looking for the one thing they can do to make their website come up first in organic search results. When I say everyone, I mean everyone. The truth is there IS one Magic Bullet to show up first on the SERP, but it is not the one you think.
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about reputation. In this case, it is all about your website's reputation with Google. Building a reputation online for your website is just like building your reputation in real life (IRL). So step back for a minute and look at SEO from a real-life perspective, a new business partnership, in a new town/country where no one knows who you are, what you do and if you are trustworthy or not.
Your reputation is everything
IRL: You have your name and your business's name. You have a sound business plan, goals, maybe even a partner and staff. When you start off, no one knows who you are, who your company is, what your company does or anything about your brand. To get your brand out there, you create a brand, a strategy, a logo, signs for your business, and a starter website. You do these and other things to begin to tell people you are in business, you are serious about your business and enticing the public work with you or buy your product. Did you notice how many things you needed to do to get your brand out into the world before you even start advertising?
Now think about all the places you need to go and need to advertise with, to get people to know your business. Maybe you are going to social events to hand out your business card, you are calling friends and family to see if they have any leads for you, and placing ads on Google, Facebook and even in the local paper or trade magazine. Maybe you have even started putting out yard signs, or wrapping your car in advertising in hopes of people just coming across your business. All of these advertising spaces are all about building your brand's reputation within your market, in hopes of landing those clients that will hopefully spread the word about your amazing new business, that no one else has heard about.
So how long do you think it will take for this new business, in your town, to gain a positive reputation as a business that people want to buy from or do business with? 1 day? 1 week? Months? Years? When you think of new business, in your town that has recently opened, and you now love, how long did it take for you to try it, and then recommend it to friends for the first time? Was it the first business in the field you recommended? How long until it was the first business you recommended?
SEO: Now let's step back from your perspective as a business and start thinking about ourselves as Google.
As Google Search, you are in the business of providing accurate, reputable and fast search results. You know that your search customer is looking for one thing, accurate information on their phone, computer or tablet. If you, as a search engine, provide the right results, people will start to trust your results, and come back for future equally reputable results.
As Google, we use our search customer's history with websites and the analytics of our searchers' clicks to help determine the most accurate and applicable search results for each user. Doing this ensures that the searcher chooses us over Bing, Yahoo or other search engines and hopefully tells their friends that Google is where they got their information.
Now, as Google, we are building a reputation for where to get good information. Going forward, what kind of information do you think we should provide? The webpages with the exact keywords in the search, right? Wrong! The best search results are the those we, as Google trust, from reputable sources, that have shown a track record of people clicking to their page, and getting the information they need. The newest page to try to rank with Google may have the best information, but if we have never seen it, why should we trust that it will give our users the best information?
IRL: Let's take this scenario offline. So, a new restaurant has just opened in your neighborhood and you have never visited it, or have only looked at the menu. Would you recommend that restaurant to anyone? Why or Why not? What would it take for you to recommend the restaurant to a stranger; what would it take to recommend to your boss or parent? Remember, your reputation for recommending a good place to eat is on the line. If you recommend a bad restaurant, your reputation will take a hit.
THE MAGIC SEO BULLET
So if you think of the Magic Bullet of SEO as getting you to #1 on Google Search Results because you launched your page yesterday, with the best On-Page SEO, best content, pictures with Alt Tag, best Titles and Metas, perfect code and the fastest server, you now know you are wrong. The only Magic Bullet to SEO is "Constant and Never Ending Improvement" (CANI) to your site, over time. That's right, it takes TIME to build your reputation, IRL and online. You have to work to keep your website up to date, with new content. You need to watch your competitors, make adjustments, add fresh content, get others to link to your content and refresh your old content to help make your site stand out again and again.
Now, this may seem like a lot of work, especially because you are running your business, and who has time for all of this online work? That is where a Digital Marketing partner, like SeeMe Media, can help fill in the gaps. A good digital marketing firm will watch your site, help you create content, watch your competitors and give you guidance on how to improve your online reputation. A great digital marketing team will also help you take all of the tools for online reputation creation and translate them into creating a brand that builds your reputation IRL. Usually, for small to medium size companies, you are able to bring an SEO firm on for less than you would pay a full-time employee. You will be getting a specialist, who is looking out for your company's best interest and is focused on your digital reputation. They can keep you focused and on track.