On-Site SEO

On-Site Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Beats Link Building

I simply do not trust link building. On site SEO is critical to your site doing well, not linking.

While I do realize that this statement is contrary to what 99% of "Search Engine Optimization" (SEO) companies may be telling you right now, it is simply true. Given you are on this page I am guessing you are being smart and doing a bit of research regarding SEO so let me try to explain my statement.

Yes, link building is a powerful tool, but like with any tool it must be used as intended by the manufacturer. You would not use a drill as a hammer, nor would you use a crow bar to flip your morning pancakes. Link building is the same way. You would not want to try to build links to your site when your content is all messed up. It does no good to attempt to drive traffic (mostly junk, more on that in a minute) to your site if isn’t ready to capture the audience. To expand on the tools analogy for the non-tool people. You would not invite a new friend and their family to your home without first cleaning it would you?

The way site linking was designed to work is simple. Google wants to see people come to your page, find interesting content or products and then tell their friends about it via a link or Social Media. While this statement seems simple it is not because there are several elements involved. First you must get people to your site, then you must capture their attention, and finally you need to get them to comment or link to you via social media or directly. Now before you start, I know many of you are already thinking “if I buy 10,000 links I will get traffic which will only grow into more links and traffic!” Not really, because the 10,000 links are just junk.

Why are my links considered junk? Let’s take a look at this exact question. Let’s say my friend Sam owns a company (let’s call it Sam’s Shoe Strings) and he is wanting to get some Search Engine Optimization (aka SEO) done so like many he pays someone to get 10,000 links in a week. Now, here is the problem with Sam’s link building plan. Sam’s incoming links are going to be junk because most of his links are going to be from places like let’s say Bob’s Burger Barn or a link farm. Chances are that anyone who would be on Bob’s site wanting to buy an online burger would not really be interested in buying shoe strings. You are basically wasting your money trying to get exposure from the wrong market group. Thus, junk links, they have no value.

“Well sure I may not get relevant traffic but I will have links and Google likes that!” Yes, Google likes good links but what you have is a time bomb waiting to destroy your site rankings. Google is smart, and they can tell an SEO scam fairly quickly. Googles Penguin and Panda updates were focused on this exact type of link spamming. Google knows that getting 10,000 links over a short period from unrelated sites or link farms simply is not normal. Google will look at your links, see that they are not relevant and the best case is that it just doesn’t help your web site rankings, but more likely you get penalized or you could get you dropped completely. On the flip side of this, if out buddy Sam’s shoe string store has only 20 links from say places like Shoes-R-Us, then Google will show some linking love because the links are relevant and google figures that Sam is all about shoes and strings, not burgers. Now that Google really knows Sam better they will help promote him to the correct/relevant crowd.

“Fine, I give up on SEO and ever getting relevant search engine traffic”. Oh, don’t be that way! There is always hope for your site, this is where on site SEO comes back into play. Get your site in order, make sure you have done all you can do to make your site the best it can be, and things will happen naturally the way Google intended. There is more to on site SEO than you may realize so you may want to let a professional (hint!) take a look at the site and really examine what is going on. There are tons of elements that go into on site SEO and it changes fairly often.

The bottom line here is that any SEO marketing attempt should first start with your site itself. Once your site is in order you should rise and get links organically. IF you need linking, look at a good Social Media Management (SMM) campaign. Social media has really taken over link building because if you are smart (which I know you are!) you will be interacting with your customers regarding relevant topics of discussion. Thus you build your own relevant links while interacting with your customers or prospects.

Any search engine optimization client we interview with, we always suggest things be handled in this order:

  1. Get the best rankings you can via on-site SEO. Many times this will do the trick or the site.
  2. Track your results and make good notes.
  3. Start a Social Media Campaign, get involved with your customers.
  4. Be flexible and try to think beyond your comfort zone.
  5. Never, ever give up.

 I hope this helps, if you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line. If this didn’t help or if you are just annoyed, a good kitten video on youtube may help bring your spirits back up.

- Dewayne

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