“How do I get my website to rank #1?”
“Why are my competitors ranking higher than me?”
“Do I need to buy Google ads to rank higher?”
These are the types of questions we get a lot from business owners. And we get it. SEO strategy and Google in general are quite confusing subjects. But the truth is that there’s no quick and dirty way to get the top of the organic search engine results pages (SERPs, if you’re fancy). If someone tells you there is, they are not to be trusted. They might be into some spammy stuff and you don’t want to be a part of that.
Just so you can be on the lookout for these charlatans, I’m talking about people who promise that you’ll rank for X amount of keywords in Y days, people who create hidden text on your website, write blog posts on your site with a link in every sentence, create a “directory of information” on your site with no real helpful information, or stuff your site’s footer with keywords, just to name a few shady tactics.
First, write good, clean content that your user needs to know. Now update it frequently with its appropriate (ie: relevant and honest) metacontent (tags, descriptions, keywords, category, etc.). Lastly, link to the content from other sites that make sense (your social channels are a great example). It really is that easy. If you are doing these things, it will enable the search engine to read the content as relevant, and the more visitors who hit the page, the higher your content will go in the results. But no one is going to click it if it’s not worth a damn!
It’s also important to remember that you’re not going to be able to rank #1 (or even on the first page) for every term or phrase. Focus on the keyword phrases that will generate the most conversions and lower funnel traffic.
Don’t submit the content to 15 directories, write a press release with the same content or spam blogs’ comments sections with your irrelevant link. In short, don’t be a jerk.
At matchstick, we still love blogs, guest blogs and submitting great content to relevant curated sites on the web. But it can’t be abused. Google is picking up on the “spammy stuff” more and more and you will be penalized if you’re infringing. You know why? Because just like no one likes a chain email, no one likes to be misled into clicking on an irrelevant article or blog post. Treat your users as you’d want to be treated and the SEO gods (like Matt Cutts) will shine upon you.