Search Engine Optimization is a Privilege, Not a Right
We have many discussions with business owners and professionals about search engine optimization.
Ultimately, these discussions boil down to one question, “How do I get to the first page of Google?”
There are countless answers to be found.
Everyone seems to have their secret blend of techniques.
Create content. Back links. Create more content. Meta tags. Guest blog. Comment on blogs. Keywords. Alt tags.
You name it.
There are companies out there that promise they’ll get you on the first page of Google for anywhere from $99 per month to $1,000’s of dollars a month.
And even better, some come with guarantees that of performance!
We have a better question to ask. A more important question.
A question one that most business owners or marketer want to ask.
“Do you deserve to be on the first page of Google?”
Take your business owner hat off for a moment.
Pretend you’re a person with a problem and you turn to Google.
You type in your search term and you click on the first entry on the search page.
Sometimes it’s good. But let’s be honest, some times it’s crap.
Why is it crap?
Because someone decided that it was more important to convince a search engine to give them top spot than to do a good job serving you once you show up on their site.
And what do you do when it’s crap?
Why? Because you didn’t get the answer you wanted.
Maybe the content was jumbled. Maybe they didn’t bother being thorough. Maybe their site was awful to look at or hard to navigate.
Whatever the reason, despite being awesome enough to sit atop the mountain, the page turned out to be a mirage.
You thought it was an oasis but it turned out to be more desert.
“Why is there crap?”
Business owners (and marketers) start with the wrong goal in mind.
They think that it’s all about getting visitors to show up.
If you bring them in the door, your visitors will see how marvelous and amazing you are. Right?
This isn’t how it really works. People aren’t going to be lulled into think you’re amazing just because you think you are.
But because business owners and marketers start with this traffic goal in mind, they produce countless reams of flavorless, valueless content.
Mental filler, providing an illusion of substance that is quickly dispelled as soon as they go looking for answers.
And all it happens because business owners and marketers a like don’t think about what happens after visitors find the content. They think about things like calls to action and user experience focused navigation but they fail to see what’s right in front of them.
They fail to see that they didn’t keep their promise to the visitor. And by failing to keep their promise, the visitor bounces out in search of something to help them solve their problem.
#1 on Google Isn’t A Goal, It’s a Responsibility
Once you’re the king of the mountain, you owe it to anyone who clicks there to fulfill the promise you’ve made – that you’re the best, most relevant and knowledgeable source on that topic.
Because even if you rank #1 for a keyword and someone clicks through to your site, if the content is boring, poorly written, or was an afterthought, your audience will feel like you don’t care about them.
And they’ll be right. You don’t care.
If your audience does feel like they’re an afterthought or you just didn’t care enough to spend time to develop the content they wanted to read, you’re in trouble.
At best, they’ll just leave your site and go to the second entry on the list.
At worst, you’ll leave a bad taste in their mouths and they won’t trust your content the next time you show up at the top of one of their searches.
How to Truly Earn the #1 SEO Spot on Google
Earning the #1 spot on Google is more than just getting there.
You have to deliver.
Being #1 comes with it a promise to the person visiting your site.
A promise that your content is valuable, useful, clear, and relevant.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Look at your existing content and if it is…
- An after thought
- Once you’ve gone through your content, you can do the following…
- Remove – If the content is irrelevant (products that no longer exist, research that is no longer true or relevant), remove it. You can archive it but make it clear that it’s not current.
- Elaborate – Maybe your content is just weak, unclear or incomplete. That’s fine. Go back through it and shore it up. Find what key points are missing and add them. Keep your customer in mind – heck, ask their opinion.
- Rewrite – If your content is misleading or just feels like an after thought, you’ll need to rewrite it. Start over and do the job right. You owe it to yourself and your customers. And if the content isn’t important enough for you to rewrite, show some respect to your audience. Remove it from the site because it’s not important enough to have there.
- Commit to doing it right in the future
- Create content standards – The easiest way to make sure that you’re delivering consistent work is to create content standards or guidelines that serve as a check for whether the content is acceptable. This will keep crap from showing up on your site in the future.
- Regular evaluation – It’s easy to get lazy and think you have a handle on everything. Remember that everyone is fallible and it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re delivering on the promises you’re making to your visitors.
Stand Out from the SEO Crowd – Take a Stand for Your Customer
If you want to matter when you hit the #1 spot, show the people visiting your site that they matter to you.
Treat everyone who visits your site as a potential client, not just a visitor.
Give them what they need – good answers and practical solutions to the problems they have.
Only then will you achieve the Holy Grail – not just more traffic, but more clients.