What I’ll try to do, is tell you how SEO really works, in simple terms. And it’s the way I’ve been working as a freelance SEO consultant for the past 2 years – and got bloody good results as well!
SEO has been given bad press by people who are doing things the wrong way (i.e. Black hat way). I’m not saying it doesn’t get results (it sometimes does) – but how long lasting and ethical is it?
SEO the way you may know it, is usually described with the view you need to “manipulate” Google or somehow “trick” it into pushing your rankings. As you may well know, aside from optimising your on-page SEO, the next stage is the food of the search engine’s – BACKLINKS.
And the way people usually achieve more links, is by building a load of blogs, posting a bunch of crappy articles on them and using the anchor text of their keyword to link to their site. In a fancy-dancy way, they may even interlink them, mix in some PBN links or whatever. The point being, they will make artificial sites themselves (or buy links) and then eventually try to divert the link-juice to their money site.
Now, as I said, it can work. But I’ve seen people hit the top spot in Google within weeks, but then once they take the foot off the gas (or get hit by a google update) they came crashing down to the bottom with a massive penalty.
Here’s the real number one strategy to do white hat SEO, and it’s pretty much the easiest one I’ve seen and is the only strategy I implement to this day.
1. Do your on-page SEO (no need to over-optimize, we want the site to look natural)
2. Create the best content of your subject you can think of. Either from your own expertise, or hire a writer. Example: if you have a carpet cleaning company, write a big article (500-1000 words+) about how someone would clean their own carpets effectively.
Very key – do not over-optimize or include a lot of keywords. That seems strange I know, but Google can tell when you’re trying to manipulate their algorithm, so your best bet is to just keep it natural and make the content interesting and useful.
3. Create a list of websites who would be interested in your content. In the carpet cleaning example, you would contact mom blogs, cleaning blogs, womens lifestyle sites,etc. Just any site where real users would probably find your content useful.
4. Find the contact emails of the owners/writers and write a simple email to them telling them about your content and if they’d like to link to you.
5. If they like it enough, they will link and if they don’t, they won’t. Simple as that.
And of course, these links are the best of all and hold much, much more weight than any artificially created link. Real websites, with real readers and who are really interested in your content. You’ll get both referral traffic from the link and since Google can tell that you have related websites linking to you (not just rubbish SEO-purposed sites) it will push your rankings up. Believe me, as a link building company, we’ve tried and tested everything!
Now, it’s a very simplified version of the strategy. But I find, the best things in life are usually the simplest as well..