SEO Programs v. SEO Events

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On October - 10 - 2010

One-time search engine optimizations are rarely effective unless they are for a localized “niche” or non-competitive market that is tightly geo-targeted (like a chiropractor doing business in a single town). Just putting your meta-tags into the code is still considered industry best practice, but in actuality has very little influence on how search engines rank you.

Search engines now take a very holistic approach to how they view the significance of a website and how they will rank it. Directory listings, Social media, Customer reviews are all part of the mix now. If I were to list all of the factors on this post it would turn into an eBook, so I want to focus on a few of the “big chunks” that are foundational:

  1. Content: Search engines look for lots of balanced content. Their theory is the more content about a certain subject, the more of an authority you must be. It is not just sheer quantity of copy (although that is a factor), but the quality of the copy which has more impact. The search engines look at “keyword Density” or the ratio of keyword usage to total volume. The content has to be written very specifically and focus on no more than 1-3 keywords maximum.
  2. Internal Linking Structure: Search Engines want to be able to “spider” the entire website by following the links from one page to another. We use a “silo” structure to leverage all the focus onto the Home page or landing page. Although I have to admit that recently even these pages are starting to rank independently (so they have to be more than SEO pages, they have to be marketing pages as well).
  3. External Linking: The theory is “the more people who link to you, the more of an authority you must be”. Each link is essentially a vote for your website. However not all links are factored in. only quality links really move the needle. Quality links are links from other high ranking websites and directories. Reciprocal links (linking back and forth to each other) do not count nearly as much. They don’t hurt, but they don’t help as much as you think.
  4. Consistency: Search engines reward consistency and penalize blatant attempts to manipulate them. This is a major factor in why one-time optimization events are largely ineffective. If you suddenly flooded your website with content and links that appear to come out of nowhere, the search engines will find that unnatural and flag you.

We typically put together a “content blueprint” that actually defines what is to be done and when. How many pages of content, how many blog postings, how many incoming links will be solicited, how many customer reviews we can cultivate, etc.

If you need instant traffic, turn to Pay-Per-Click (PPC), it’s the fastest surest technique for driving traffic. If you want long-term value, be prepared to engage in a Search Engine Optimization program, not just a SEO event.

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