The thing to remember about SEO is that it is long term, so once you're ready to strap in for the long haul get comfortable because it's going to be a forever ride. As an SEO professional I want to help site owners navigate the murky and sometimes confusing waters of their SEO campaign, and a big part of that is making sure you're ready for what's ahead. I've found that getting into the right SEO mindset and knowing what to expect down the road goes a long way in helping you and your website overcome many hurdles and survive for the long haul. Here are 4 pieces of advice for those new to SEO.
Related: Outsource your SEO to an online marketing firm.
1. There is no need to be overwhelmed with information.
A quick search for "SEO blog" in Google tells me that there are 358,000,000 results. That's probably more SEO knowledge than any one person could possibly know (let alone read) so where is a new to SEO site owner or marketer supposed to start? My advice is to start with the Bing and Google Webmaster Guidelines and official webmaster blogs, then work your way through some of the top SEO sites and blogs like Search Engine Land, ClickZ, and the Moz Blog. These are some of the sites that SEO folks rely on and they are a great source for trusted information.
With so many SEO blogs, professionals, companies, consultants and more out there it is hard to know who to trust/listen to, so high-profile industry sites are a great place to start learning who the "gurus" are. Don't expect to learn everything there is to know about SEO in one fell swoop either. I've been doing this for 13 years and still learn new things almost every day!
2. Focus on building a strong SEO foundation before worrying about the "hot" tactic.
If you wanted to build a pyramid, aside from 10,000 or so slaves to do the heavy lifting, you would start from the bottom and work your way up, right? It's kind of hard to start with the cap of the pyramid and work your way down. The same holds true for SEO. Focus on getting a strong foundation and worry first about optimizing your website for your visitors and the search engines, creating content that demonstrates your authority, and building up a quality link profile. Don't fret over the "hot" SEO tactics until you have your feet on solid ground with the basics. Though some tactics may change a lot of the fundamentals of SEO stay true, even in the face of algorithm updates.
3. It's not SEO or social; it's SEO AND social.
It's a positive feedback look with SEO, social media marketing and content marketing. The content you create to propel your SEO forward can also be used to fuel your social media marketing and promotion efforts. Great content gets shared, liked, tweeted, posted and so forth on social networking sites, generating social signals which the search engines factor into their ranking algorithm, helping improve your organic SEO presence. The more active you are in social media the more your content gets seen and the more valuable your website becomes in the eyes of the search engines in time.
4. Slow and steady wins the race (even if it doesn't feel like it).
I've spoken with a lot of site owners that feel like their competition isn't playing by the rules and yet somehow they are still winning! And sometimes they are right. The search algorithm isn't perfect and as that old adage goes; when you build a better mousetrap someone creates a smarter mouse. There will always be people taking advantage of the system and exploiting loopholes but in my experience, sooner or later, those people get caught. Your site, your online brand, and the future of your business are not worth the risk that comes with SEO shortcuts. Stick to the rules as best as you can and you'll earn your organic spot and the traffic that comes with it in time.
Author Bio: Nick Stamoulis is the President of Boston SEM company Brick Marketing. With over 13 years of industry experience Nick Stamoulis shares his SEO knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog and the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 120,000 opt-in subscribers. Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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