The Only Three SEO Tricks that Actually Work

1. Create quality content.

2. Understand what people type into Google when they look for the stuff you have.

3. Build backlinks.

Of course, there are some smaller tweaks that can have a positive SEO impact, but if you're not doing these three things, nothing else you do will really matter. 

Don't SEO tricks and apps work though?  SEO services fall into three categories:

THE TRICKY TRICKSTERS. These services offer quick results with tricky strategies that conveniently need to be maintained for a "small" monthly fee.  Stay away from anything that sounds too magical to be true.  The downsides of these services are many: they don't create a lasting boost to your search rank (as you'll be told if you try to cancel) and all of them use tricks that the search engines are actively trying to combat.

THE DATA GATHERERS.  If you're experienced at reading charts and graphs, and have the sort of personality that enjoys spreadsheets, there are some great toolsets out there that are basically designed to help you understand which keywords you need to be targeting in your quality content.  These services include paid services like Moz, KWFinder, and SpyFU.  However, the tech savvy can do a lot of this work for free using Google Search Console and Google Analytics. 

THE ACTUAL REAL HUMAN BEINGS. Until we see some improvements in AI,  people are pretty much the only valid way to create quality content.  

Slow and Steady Wins the Race.  Real SEO is a long-game strategy.

As frustrating as it may be, SEO isn't a strategy that'll net you instant results.  However, the long-term benefits of doing everything with an eye towards SEO will be amazing, and you will see your search rank legitimately build over time into a lasting source of traffic and customers.   The upside?  If you build your search rank based on the quality of your content, you'll continue to see results from each effort you made for years to come. 

Here's the Part Where We Tell You What to Do. 

Legitimate SEO efforts can sound like a daunting amount of work, but there are tons of great strategies for biting off a little at a time, or outsourcing content in an inexpensive way. 

 

1. Create Quality Content

By far the most time consuming (but also the most rewarding in the long term) of our strategies, the idea of building content for your website can sound daunting.  However, it can be tackled in small chunks over time.  

FIRST - Review your existing website.   Improving your SEO performance could be as easy as typing in paragraphs instead of bullet points so that you can slide in some slick keywords.  For more ideas, check out our blog on easy SEO fixes.

NEXT - Start a blog.   Do it.  We really can't see any reason for any small business that wants to be found on Google not to have a simple blog that they update twice a month or so.  Blogs offer you an opportunity to talk about all of the great things you do, share information on your local region, or tips related to the products you sell.  And while you're doing that, you can slide in a quick plug or three for your business.  Annnnnd this seems like a super subtle time to mention that we do offer blogging services. 

2. Understand what people type into Google when they look for the stuff you have.

Begin with a brainstorming session. 
Beyond the obvious search terms, think about both who your target audience is and the types of things they might type in while looking for a business like yours.  List the interests, hobbies and qualities of your target audience.  List words about your business type both in layperson and professional terms.  What would someone call your business if they couldn't think of the technical name for it? List all of the different words used to describe your location, beyond just your city and state, including nearby towns, regional landmarks that people might visit, regional nicknames, etc.

 

Next, use tracking tools to see what search terms are working for you.
There are lots of free tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and even your website control panel that give you lists search terms that people have used to find you.  Identify any that are missing.

See where you rank for the important terms.
Google Search console will give you an average rank for any keyword that it has tracked the use of. 

3. Build backlinks. 

Backlinks are links directed to your website from another external website.  These links give Search Engines clues that you're not the only one interested in your website, and can play a major factor in search engine ranking, especially from trusted sources. 

Some strategies for building up backlinks:

Start with who you know: 
Talk to businesses that you commonly work with or recommend.  Take it a step beyond the old school "I'll share your link if you share mine" and make an effort to create content that further develops your relationship.  Be creative - offer to write a guest blog for them or post an interview (that they can then share in their news).  

Reach out to bloggers and journalists in your industry:
See if they'd be interested in content in your area of expertise, or in interviewing you or someone on your staff. 

Share links regularly on Social Media:
There is some debate on how much Social Media can impact your SEO ranking, but our takeaway from reading it all: Share links to your website on social media.  Having your content go viral or reach a broad audience on social media has broad reaching positive impacts, including a possible SEO boost. 

Establish yourself as an Authority.
From answering questions in social media communities to browsing forums and reddit, to creating great informative content on your own blog, any steps you take that establish your knowledge and authority in your area of business have positive SEO implications, including connecting you with people who may recommend a link to something you've written, request an interview with you, or write a blog that cites your information as a source. 

Still lost? We offer SEO services that'll help you get on the right track with the search engines!  

 

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