Search engine optimisation (SEO) is changing, like many aspects of web marketing.
It’s changing for several reasons, but mostly because the web itself is changing, not only in the way consumers use it, but also in the way website owners maintain their sites.
And so website owners can rely less on traditional SEO techniques, and more on their own content to produce better ranking sites and pages.
Users are generating more content more frequently
With the advent of content management systems (CMS) and social media, the responsibility for who puts what on the website has shifted. In the beginning, web designers had to manually update pages because there was no such thing as a CMS, or at least no such thing as a CMS that could be used by a non-techie.
If the web designer knows their onions, they could optimise the page, add in the relevant code. If not, they might employ a consultant to periodically optimise their site as a whole. They would add keywords, find multiple sites to link back to yours, and add bits of code to make your content ‘stand out’. Good SEO companies were very clever and they could clearly influence the search engines to make them think they were worthy of a higher ranking.
But now, users are blogging and updating content on a regular basis, some even daily. Paying for every page to be optimised isn’t economical for most businesses, so what are they to do?
Fortunately, they don’t need to fret too much.
Because search engines, Google particularly, hate old-school SEO and are actually working to root out falsely optimised pages and penalise them.
Great content is the best SEO
Good quality content can never be faked or fudged. Your copy should mention your keywords in the right context, in a way that people can read comfortably and understand.
All of a sudden, companies are employing copywriters to do their SEO, because great copy equals great results, and it’s plain English too.
At Canary Dwarf, we’ve always advocated content as the best long-term, legacy-free way to a good search engine ranking and our customers can testify that it works. Some have had enviable search results unchallenged for years. Some have never paid for ‘search engine optimisation’ per se and write their own content. After all, they’re in the best position to know about their services and products.
Learning how search engines work, means that when you add content, you are doing it right way. We teach the concepts we use so you can take charge of your own search engine positioning whenever you update your blog or site. The more search engines work on the ‘content model’, the more businesses can rely on knowledge they already have of their own products to make an effective website.
The role of the CMS
Content management systems have made adding, editing page content a breeze for website owners. They allow users to login and add, edit and delete pages, pictures and words. WordPress is a fine example. By default, it has many of the fundamental search engine prerequisites, and sites we’ve move to WordPress have doubled or tripled traffic within weeks of the switch.
Frameworks like Genesis, and plugins like WordPress SEO take things further by allowing deeper controls of the search attributes. But what WordPress also does is make content management easy, so you can focus on your content and not on your CMS. The distraction-free editing mode hides everything except your words.
And while no features, plugins or on-page optimisation can ever make a site link back to yours, good content will make your site infinitely more attractive to anyone wanting to link in. That’s real people.
In the old school methods, backlinking sites didn’t care how great your site was, but now, Google can often see that if an inbound link has little relevance it won’t count it. That’s a hard pill to swallow for those site owners who’ve paid lots of money for lots of links. They should have hired a copywriter instead.
Thankfully, very few web designers build sites without a CMS these days, so you’re unlikely to be tied to them for updates. What most people think they know about SEO is often outdated and sometimes dangerous. Learn what search engines are really looking for in 2012/3 and you’ll soon be attracting more humans to your site as well. And they’re the ones that spend.