Mar 8, 2012
Some Basic SEO Practices for 2012
SEO Techniques | Your Instrumental Ensemble
All this morning, I’ve been reading some great articles written by some great SEOs. They have all given their two cents and outlined what they believe will be the most critical SEO practices of 2012.
I like to compare search engine optimization to an orchestra. The members of an orchestra are like the different SEO techniques we utilize every single day. Our violinists are the unique articles we write and post to our websites in order to keep things fresh and interesting. Our trumpet players are the attention-grabbing social media posts we create on a daily basis to make sure people know we exist and that we have an eye out for the latest and greatest information.
For the other gazillion SEO tactics we use, the other members of the orchestra come to step in. But we can’t forget the maestro. He or she is in charge of making sure each instrument is tuned correctly and performs to the best of its ability, ultimately working in unison with the other instruments to create a masterpiece that people will remember forever. As an SEO, you’re the maestro, and your job is getting more and more interesting as search engines are giving you more and more resources in order to prove yourself worthy of their ear.
Your Guide for Creating a Masterpiece
I’m not going to be as eloquent as the other articles I’ve read, but rather create a simple list of general SEO practices that you should take advantage of in 2012. Along with each method in this list, I’ll briefly explain how to tune your instruments so that search engines will come back wanting more.
- Work!: Starting out in SEO, I was under the impression that I could simply build a link here, post an article there and the world would be at me feet. Once I realized the clients in whose campaigns I was managing were seeing no improvement and asking me what the heck I was doing for them, I reevaluated my approach to SEO. It is WORK. It is HARD work. Sometimes I feel like someone is opening up my skull, grabbing my brain, and twisting it until I cry. I’ve come to accept that feeling as a sign that I’m actually doing my job right and worrying about putting food on the tables of my clients’ families.
- Please Be Unique: If this isn’t reiterated in every blog post I read from an SEO with common sense! If you aren’t writing and posting content that people will actually take a second glance at, you’re wasting your time. I am 100% guilty of producing content that I even hate proofreading. I’ve learned that if it reads like C-3PO wrote it, it deserves to be thrown in the trash (no offense to droids). Study your market. What do they like reading? What do they like commenting on? What do they like sharing with their friends? What will give them the information they want in order to move on with their lives? That is the content you need to produce FOREVER.
- Tell the Truth: Search engines are all about making us users happier. If I search for “Who is the voice of Big Bird” in Google, I better get something at the top of those search results that gives me the answer I’m looking for. If not, I lose faith in Google. Fortunately, Google is quite awesome at ranking the most relevant content at the top and pushing everything else down. Let me talk about Google as if it were a real person for a moment. He reads the content on your website. He sees your links. He knows where you’re blogging and what you’re blogging about. He looks at your social media pages and sees how active you are and what you’re sharing with your fans, followers, and circles. It is becoming harder and harder to fool Google. Your best bet is to not even try. Tell the truth. Live up to what you let Google see, and you’ll be rewarded. If you want to write an article for cave diving enthusiasts about what helmet brands to buy, go and write the best darn article in the world about that helmet brand.
- Social, Social, Social: Make sure you start filling up your SEO bucket with social media activities. We all know how search engines are becoming more and more personalized, ranking human opinions higher than they ever have before. Get on Facebook. Get on Twitter. GET ON GOOGLE+. Be vigilant about a social media strategy for your target market. Make sure you go about this the right way. Optimize your social media outlets according to their specific rules, and don’t break those rules. Use those outlets frequently. Write and post about popular topics that will draw crowds. If you’re targeting a specific keyword, tie that keyword into interesting information. Use photos, videos, and other forms of media. GET INVOLVED with social media now.
Human to Human
If you haven’t noticed yet, each one of these principles helps us become more human. SEOs tend to veer towards a robotic schedule of activities. Now I think we’re beginning to see the light and understand that real people want to interact with real people; real ideas, real feelings, real information.
It’s less about becoming #1 the fastest and more about taking the time to establish a meaningful relationship with the consumer, getting to know them and how they think over a long period of time. Yes, having those #1 rankings is sweet. But having those #1 rankings along with a billion followers and fans at your feet is even better. Think about that the next time you try to hide keywords in your content by making them the same color as the background.