Nowadays, website owners and their teams of developers and marketers are not alone when it comes to ensuring the success of their website and their business. This global economy we are all in is thick with resources and support for almost everything you might need for your business and the way you operate. SEO or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is one of them.
According to an article on the website Moz, SEO is “…the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” While searchengineland.com defines SEO as “…the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial, or natural search results on search engines.” The aim is to rank highly on SERP (Search Engine Results Page) to get as much exposure and click-throughs. SEO helps website developers meet the criteria that search engine algorithms look for as they find the best match to users’ search intent.
These factors are ever-changing, however. Google, the top search engine to date, has more than 200 algorithm factors in determining SERP rankings. It would be an impossible task to make sure your website gets considered as high-quality without SEO.
Some have blazed a way for us to succeed in SEO today. We don’t have to wander unnecessarily or keep wondering what to do. These SEO pioneers have made it so much easier for us today to use this marketing marvel without getting overwhelmed or lost.
Here are some excellent SEO quotes from experts and how you can apply them to your marketing strategies.
- “It’s not the job of search engine optimization to make a pig fly. It’s the job of SEO to genetically re-engineer the website so that it becomes an eagle.” – Bruce Clay, the Father of SEO
SEO is not just about tinkering different parts of a website, hoping that something, anything works. A site needs to function technically well and must have relevant content SEO to work. If those elements are missing, Bruce Clay gives an image that SEO would be like putting lipstick on a pig and trying to make a pig fly. SEO cannot make the impossible happen.
Creating a website should be strategic so that it involves so much more than just tags, keywords, content writing, links, or speed. It needs to be maintained well. The goal of your website should be to provide an excellent experience to your users and achieve high rankings on search engines through organic searches. Maintaining organic SEO is not made by chance. It requires much work, monitoring, and producing consistent high-value content. But staying at par, even on top of the competition, is an excellent reward for all your SEO efforts.
Bruce Clay also says that SEO should be about beating the competition, not the algorithm. Since algorithms are ever-changing, to always run after these changes will be overwhelming. It is better to focus on how you can be a cut above the rest of your competition.
- “The content you share with the world needs to offer a distinct benefit; otherwise, no one will care.” – Rand Fishkin, CEO/Co-Founder, Moz
The objective of SEO is to get your website found. What use is your website if you never get found online? According to Fishkin, your content needs to be “exceptional, unique, and useful,” essential to gaining excellent links and rankings for your site.
Fishkin also suggests that you focus on building your network of links and strategize on building better relationships. Keep your users happy; keep improving their experience. All these, according to Fishkin, help you long term in Google.
- “Do not allude to the story. Tell the story.” – Kindra Hall helps individuals and companies advance their brand and business through intentional storytelling. She is behind the best-seller book, “Stories that Stick.”
People support or follow a brand more when the story behind the brand resonates with them well. You may have the most amazing products or services, but so do other companies. The competition is stiff, so what can set you and your brand apart from the others? Your story. Your story is what will sustain your following. People don’t just want to follow your company just for the name you carry. The humanity behind your brand is what they follow, and express this human element with the story you bring in every content you produce.
The strength of your website is how well the customers connect to your brand’s story. How well do people remember you? How relevant are you to their lives? Be straightforward with who you are as a company. It builds trust better when customers do not feel you are hiding something from them, or that all you are doing is so that you can market to them. Be authentic and heartfelt in what you do as a brand, as that would bid well for your brand’s success in the long run.
Hall says that the biggest storytelling mistake is alluding to the story, but not telling it. Even if you are explaining something so technical, the story needs to remain clear, complete, and concise. Even functional elements should be shaped into your account, not lost in translation. Even tricky aspects of your story need to be as relevant as can be to your readers and target market.
- “Users will be the best judge of which search engine is the most appropriate.” – Danny Sullivan, journalist, founding editor of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land; COO and Owner of Third Door Media
Traditional marketing seemed like creators were writing for rankings and just to put their content in front of a passive, potentially uninterested audience. You are not making content for bots, though. You are creating content for people. You need to have your users in mind whenever you are putting out content. Are you meeting the needs of your target market well? The better you add value to the lives of your users, the better you’ll rank in SERP.
Sullivan suggests that web developers and content creators focus on SEO to target the millions of people actively searching. SEO strategies need to be strategically used to bolster your online presence. Your SEO needs to be linked with other business activities and forward-thinking by being in tune with upcoming technologies and trends. The more you put your users’ needs first in everything you do as a company or brand, the more you gain authority in your market niche, which causes your ratings to perform even more excellently.
- Design is marketing, and if your design sucks, and it’s not usable, then no one is really going to stick around.” – Neil Patel, Influencer, Co-founder of Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics, UberSuggest, Hello Bar, Neil Patel Digital, and other websites
Neil Patel helps different big-name brands to grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal & Forbes calls him a top influencer on the web, and his company is part of 100 most brilliant companies in the world.
Your design should be straightforward and timeless. Busy designs become dated quickly. And because 58% of users skim articles, simple designs allow for easy scanning by your readers. On average, users spend about 10 seconds on a page to determine if it contains what they need. Also, time-construed users have about 15 minutes to consume content entirely.
Your website then, should not only be good-looking but also can convert quickly. Value the role of web design in your business’s profitability.
- “Optimise for what would happen if you ranked, do not optimise to rank.” – Will Critchlow, Founder, and CEO of Distilled
Most SEO marketers make the mistake of being too rank-focused. If you do get your brand to rank, what happens when our content doesn’t provide the solutions needed by search intent? Then people will just leave our website immediately, and you put your brand credibility at risk. Your goal is not only to rank but engage your readers.
Critchlow suggests you put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Would you stay on your website if you were a customer? Check the trending search intent of your market. Is your website providing any solutions for any of them?
Also, make sure that you have proper tagging on your page, like updated meta descriptions, inbound links, and valid backlinks. Provide appropriate tracking like a contacts page when they do respond to your CTAs (Call-to-Action). Also, provide social share buttons so users can easily share your content.
Critchlow also emphasized the importance of being a mobile-friendly site. Content needs to be responsive and should quickly load on a mobile device. If it’s on mobile, it’s also more shareable.
The key is to remain innovative. Critchlow advises, “Don’t build things differently, build different things.”
- “Content is a commitment, not a campaign.” – Joanna Lord, VP of Marketing at Porch, CMO at Skyscanner
Starting a high-value website or social media account is not a one-time thing. It takes commitment to build a long-lasting content strategy that makes relationships and brings in revenue.
We should think beyond campaigns. We need to think of how our marketing strategies will play out in the long run to building our brand.
What is the story thread that will run along with every campaign from now and into the future? What’s your identity as a brand that will keep resonating with every content and campaign you put out? How will your content continue nurturing your networks and relationships?
Joanna also recommends contributing content to other publications as part of your marketing efforts. It’s a powerful business development integration method that also provides your brand with free promotion.
Conclusion: SEO is for the Long-Haul
What we can learn from these SEO pioneers and the many others like them is that whatever strategy you choose, build it well and be patient, because SEO is for the long-haul, and not for one-hit wonders. So, develop your plan and be patient. Ranking high isn’t the only thing that matters. You are selling your brand’s narrative through high-quality content for your users. Continue to help solve problems. Stay creative and fresh, and no matter what challenges you’ll face along your SEO journey, stay on course.
John Ocampos is an Opera Singer by profession and a member of the Philippine Tenors. Ever since, Digital Marketing has always been his forte. He is the Founder of SEO-Guru, and the Managing Director of Tech Hacker. John is also the Strategic SEO and Influencer Marketing Manager of Softvire Australia – the leading software eCommerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand.