With 17 years of experience Ross Jones is the founding SEO expert behind 2theTop Design & Marketing. He organizes and hosts Nashville SEO & Internet Marketing, one of the nation’s largest SEO meetup groups. With over 17 years of experience in search engine optimization, web design, and web hosting, he was optimizing sites before Google was indexing them. In this interview by the talented Nashville podcaster Clark Buckner he shares his top tips and advice for tried and true SEO.
What You Need To Build A Brand Online
Showing up at the top of a web search is often the number one goal for a brand. Those interested in a long-term investment should not be swayed by black hat seo. Your focus shouldn’t be on tricking Google for short-term success. Rather, brands should learn how to play by Google’s rules if they want to win the #1 spot in search results and actually get traffic that turns into revenue.
Since Google’s core concepts have not changed (they’re just doing a better job of enforcing their own rules), long term success can be achieved by focusing on architecture, content, and outreach. So what’s the “big secret formula” for climbing to the top? If you create great content that’s structured properly – and you help Google see that content – then you’ll be rewarded.
Website architecture is more than using tags, putting the right words in the right places, and correct coding. Sites need to be structured properly for both users and for search engines. Users will interact differently with a website, so the following must be considered on the front end:
- Desktop users
- Mobile users
- Search engine spiders
- Your call to action
Always keep in mind where you are trying to funnel visitors throughout your site.Users and search spiders need to know what’s important so be sure to build a site that makes sense when you navigate through it.
You’ll never find a website that can’t be improved. Proper planning can help you avoid structural flaws. Be sure to take the resources to build high quality, unique title tags and meta descriptions on every page.
Blogging is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition by showing your expertise. Google tends to penalize poor quality and duplicate content, so be sure everything you post is different and valuable. Some things to keep in mind for optimizing blog posts are:
- Easy to find social sharing buttons
- Helpful tools like Yoast, Schema, Google fonts, and Google API
- SEO friendly content management systems for stores
Remember, organic SEO takes patience. Thin content and duplicate pages dilute a website’s authority, and Google penalizes accordingly. If you are starting a website from the ground up then it will take a steady climb to make it to the top.
“If you build it, they will come”, isn’t necessarily true for the internet. However, high quality content will make outreach a lot smoother. The goal is not to beg people to share or add links to your content. However, by creating highly relevant valuable content that people want to share then you’ll earn links without asking for them. This is especially true if you’re pushing a product in a “boring industry” like urinal dividers, steel doors or roofing services or a post office locator.
When trying to get your content in front of the right people, have realistic expectations. One blog post a month won’t likely translate to 1 million visitors. Just be sure to keep plugging away, and deliver high quality content as often as possible.
How We Use Our Own Advice
When helping someone with their marketing online, our first step is really understanding their business. Only then can build the best architecture, content and outreach that people will want to read and share with others.