Why SEO is crucial for businesses in the 2020s.
What is the importance of SEO? Is SEO really that crucial? If you want to grow your brand, increase searchability, gain new business, or simply stay top-of-mind, the answer is yes.
SEO (search engine optimization) is the art and science of improving your website’s placement in search results without pay-per-click ads. SEO campaigns are long-term efforts that carry a lot of inertia. Think of them like a big container ship that takes a long time to get going. Once it’s moving, it can be turned over time, but not on a dime. With that in mind, it’s important to start your campaign headed in the right direction.
Styles of SEO: Two Main Camps
- Black Hat
The first camp tries to reverse engineer Google’s proprietary algorithm and then design content to try to trick Google into displaying a website higher in search results. Although this can deliver some short-term results, over time Google generally figures out what is being done. Google is known to actively punish sites like this with lower search results.
- White Hat
The second camp tries to build the best possible website while adhering to Google’s published best practices. With this strategy, improvements can come slower, but Google wants to reward the best possible sites with higher search results.
What this means for growth
Of course, the world is rarely black and white; there are always plenty of grey areas. For example, Google is very clear that websites with quality, original, long-form content will be favored over sites with lower-quality content. That being said, if you were to fill up a shopping cart page with a significant amount of good long-form content, it’s possible that Google may downgrade your search results. You are falling into the trap of trying to reverse-engineer Google’s algorithm.
Google’s systems are smart enough to know that the average visitor to a shopping cart page wants to see a few bullet points of information and get on with the purchase. As such, your long-form content would not be adding value to the user experience. It would be better to take that same content and add it to a blog on your website with links between the shopping page and the blog article. When formatted in that way, Google could improve your search results rather than degrade them. To read more about backlink strategy, click here.
Bottom line: The best SEO work is always primarily to improve your visitor’s experience and only secondarily nods to Google’s perceived desires. Learn more about SEO and paid-per-click (PPC) ads here. Generally speaking, if you always have your eye on building the best possible website, you will often exceed Google’s published best practices.
Ready to get started? Give us a call.