I don’t consider myself a deep SEO expert, and I know many marketers (let alone business owners) feel completely lost when they try to read about title tags, canonical links and more.
But you really don’t need to understand SEO to rank well on Google. Sure, you can employ the latest SEO strategies and hire a great consultant or firm to help you get and stay at the top of Google. But many of Google’s latest, most significant updates boil down to one thing – relevance. And that means by focusing on a few simple, common sense things, you can find your content ranking and staying high on Google (and driving you some great traffic) without knowing much if anything about SEO.
Focus on great content
Produce content regularly that your customers care about. Write, produce videos, get others to guest-create content for you. Make good content and watch what people react to. It’s more complicated than that, of course, but it’s also really that simple.
Don’t worry as much about all the tools
It definitely pays to use tools such as Wordtracker, Optify and others to scientifically choose the right keywords to use in your posts, as well as ensure your “keyword density” is at the right ratios. But if you don’t have time or don’t have access, keep one thing in mind. Focus on topics related to customer pain, problems, outcomes and objectives. Create less content about solutions directly. Most of your competitors are writing content about their solutions and those “most desirable” keywords. Fewer are creating content about the originating context your customers start with, and the outcomes they’re seeking. But these are the keywords your customers use most often.
Listen to your customers
What are they talking about? What topics are showing up more often on the discussion forums and conference agendas? These topics are more likely to be relevant right now. Create content for these topics before others get there, and as search volume increases you’re more likely to get a greater share of the traffic.
Look at your data
Notice any themes? Do you get more traffic or retweets when you write about one theme vs. another? Do certain posts generate a little less traffic but better quality visits and higher conversions via your lead forms? As you produce more and more content, your metrics will be a proxy of what’s working and what you should continue to create more of.
Look at your competitors
There are two ways to approach this. One, use their editorial calendar (implied based on what they’re creating themselves) to draft off of what’s working. Two, based on your insights from the above efforts, hit ’em where they ain’t.
Focus on your social relationships
Social and SEO are becoming more and more intertwined. So it’s more important now than ever before to increase your social activity and following, but also increase interaction between your social networks and your content. Find those with high-influence followers and high Klout scores, and focus on driving more engagement with them.