SEO efforts are meant to improve the visibility of your website on search engines. There are about a pajilion different ways to do this; some a little more sketchy than others. But, the fact is, with Google constantly changing/improving – depending on how your rankings go – their algorithm, the more sketchy tactics don’t work anymore.
Content is King
I’m kind of sick of hearing this, but it’s true.
The latest trend: quality content. I agree with this wholeheartedly, and not just because I am, in fact, a content writer. Content is how you’re found online and Google is a lot smarter in the way it ranks good content.
Most people are only thinking about what they’re putting up on their own site. Then you have those who occasionally tweet or Facebook, which is also good. But what else are you doing? There are a lot of other conversations taking place on forums, blogs, discussion boards, Twitter, Facebook, etc., and you should be a part of them.
Finding Conversations/Web Outreach
K, it’s super simple. Set up Google Alerts and do some Twitter Searches. Done. Well, I guess you still have to do some other stuff. Set up Google Alerts for: competitors, industry keywords, your brand, your product, related products or services, etc.
Make sure you’re checking Alerts and Twitter Search regularly, otherwise they are going to accumulate real fast. Join relevant conversations or comment on related posts in a meaningful and personal way. If people think you’re spamming, it’s over.
Each time you join a thread, make sure you sign your name with a link to your site. And there you have it; backlinks from relevant sites. But again, don’t be annoying about it.
Once you’ve made contact within the blogosphere and twitterverse, make friends and believers. There’s nothing better than making fans and watching them spread the word for you. And consumers are way more credible than you. Nobody wants to hear what the company has to say about themselves; they want to hear from the people who have had real contact with the company, both good and bad.
This brings me to my next point. Start some online PR and get involved in both positive and negative conversations. If anything, negative comments are what you should be tackling first. If someone is talking trash about you, find out why and try to fix the problem. Just be real and transparent. Even if you don’t make a fan out of them, they will appreciate the fact that you took time to respond.
As you can imagine, this type of work can be very time consuming and tedious. But it needs to be done. There are companies that provide these services. However, most of them are pretty expensive and for most start-ups, that kind of cost is not in the cards.
For those who have the budget, here are some SEO/buzz marketing services: