15th May, 2013

This article will give you the absolute best approach for SEO.

It won’t give you a quick fix, but it will give you good, honest value for money… Which is exactly what Google wants you to give your website visitors!!!

So how do I know that what we’re about to talk about is the absolute best approach to SEO?  Well, with 20 years experience of building systems and websites, as well as being an SEO consultant for 10 years, I feel suitably equipped to point you in the right direction.

Why a technical approach to SEO usually fails

If you’re learning SEO from the ground up it can be quite daunting.  There are many aspects to learn and it’s like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle that all needs slotting into place.  However, unlike a jigsaw puzzle, there isn’t a picture to show you where all the pieces go.

The other main problem of learning SEO from a technical point of view is that you don’t know what you don’t know.  Which usually means going through lots of iterations and a certain amount of trial and error. The problem with this is that these ups and downs can have a massive effect on the business.

The winning SEO approach

Google is very open in telling us what they want us to give users:

If you watch this video by Matt Cutts, you will see that Google wants you to build a fantastic website that users love, that they keep coming back to, that they bookmark, that they tell their friends about, and which is just generally a great experience for them.

Why is this?

If you were to use Google as a search engine and got a page full of irrelevant, useless, badly designed websites that were hard to navigate and didn’t really answer your question… Would you carry on using Google? I am sure it wouldn’t take long for you to stop using it if it only ever returned irrelevant websites for all of your search queries.

So what’s the alternative?

Google wants the best websites to be returned when people perform a search. They want the top, most authoritative websites, that best answer people’s questions to be on page 1 of all search results!

So the winning approach to take when you build a website is: how do you give the absolute best experience to your customers? If you abide by this method Google will want your website to be first in its search results… Because you’ll make Google itself look good!

The best SEO approach is to consider your users

To keep it simple, the best SEO approach is to offer the most effective experience to your users.

This starts with content. What are the questions that your customers ask? When you build your website make sure you answer all of these questions in as much detail as possible.

You may hear SEO experts talking about keywords… Well, these should actually be the questions that people ask you, because they are the search terms that people will use in Google to look for you.

If you are in any doubt…. to find out what all the best questions are, just go into Google and do a search for “keyword”. The first result will be Google’s keyword research tool

Build a website that answers questions

If you build a website that answers people’s questions and doesn’t hold back any information whatsoever, what do you think will happen?

  • People will love it – they will be delighted to off-end a genuine source of quality information
  • People will link to it -people like to show other people what they have found if it is genuinely useful
  • People will share it – people like to help their friends, so they share good things

As these things happen, Google starts to notice that your website is becoming an authority on its subject, as well as becoming very popular because of all the links that are being generated.

So not only does your website have good content that answers people’s questions, people are starting to show Google that they like the website by sharing it in social media and linking to it from normal websites.

What comes first?

We have all heard of the analogy of what comes first, the chicken or the egg?  Well, getting a website to number one in Google for a chosen keyword could generate a similar debate.

There are two aspects to a website that Google considers:

  1. What’s on the website itself? i.e. the quality of its content.
  2. Do other people think it’s good? i.e. Do other people link to it from their website?

SEO agencies sometimes do it backwards

Imagine you go to an SEO agency and you ask for them to get your website to number one in Google for the keyword “blue widget”. The SEO agency will link build from lots of other websites to your website in order to promote your page about blue widgets. By doing this, they are effectively saying to Google that your website is very popular for this keyword and should be number one in its search results.

However, the agency will also have a look at your website’s written content. Perhaps, in this case, they’ll find you only have one 100 word article about “blue widgets”. Unfortunately, regardless of how many back links you have, 100 words doesn’t suggest you are any kind of authority on this subject.

What should happen?

If you are a great “blue widgets” supplier, you should be able to write lots more great content that really helps customers understand how good you are.

Then, with all of your great content about blue widgets, people will naturally link to that content and thus you will rise to number one in Google for the keyword “blue widgets”.

To conclude your online SEO Training Online

The message of this training is: provide the best service for your customers by giving the most information and best experience possible through your website.

Too many people spend thousands on design, so that it looks nice and are then disappointed when it doesn’t rank number one in Google.

Although it’s nice to have a good-looking website, Google is not judging a beauty parade…. It is judging who is the best authority (great content) on a chosen subject and who has the highest levels of credibility (high quality back links).

When you’re making any decision about your website, it must be from the point of view of: what’s best for your users. What will give them the most value? What will get them to keep coming back? What can you give them that they can share with their friends? etc, etc.  By following this advice, you will be well aligned with Google’s principles and in the long-term, are far more likely to have a strong and stable website that performs very well in Google’s search engine!

This video by Maile Ohye, Google’s Developer Programs Tech Lead, gives you all the SEO principles in just 10 minutes:


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