Over the past decade, we have seen search engine optimization move first from a set of interesting ideas, then to a web marketing cornerstone, and finally a multi-billion-dollar art and science all rolled into one. But as the stakes and competition continue to grow, and SEO becomes more studied and analyzed, there are some things that truly never change.
And so, if you want to maximize your search engine ranking, there are three enduring SEO truths you should keep in mind.
1. Customers and search engines both are getting more specific. The massive proliferation of business websites means that customers are getting more specific with what they want to find. The major search engines, in turn, are getting better at sorting through results and factoring in more complicated keywords, geographic location, and other factors. The net result is that it’s important for most small and medium-sized businesses that your search campaign be geared towards a smaller group of targeted customers.
2. Too much optimization is almost as bad as none at all. This wasn’t always the truth, but it’s becoming more and more apparent with each passing day. Google and the other major search engines are devising algorithms that weed out sites designed to game the system, and customers tend to stay away from them, anyway. Finding the right balance between pages with strong marketing messages and sites with lots of links and keywords should be one of your top priorities.
3. Every business needs to have other forms of traffic and marketing. As wonderful as it is to have a winning search engine optimization campaign in place, it should never be your only source of traffic or customers. Mix in a bit of paid advertising, direct marketing, or social media from time to time, even if you have a fantastic Google ranking. The last thing you want is to suddenly lose your prime position – and most of your customers – overnight because of a search algorithm change.
Search engine optimization changes every month, but these three principles are constant. Are you factoring them into your online marketing efforts?