Weird title for a post I know but bear with me, this is actually an SEO post. Recently I went to watch the new movie “Now You See Me” – it’s very good – check it out. But whilst watching it I remember thinking the whole way through how is this going to end. The film has a few twists and turns in it and without spoiling the ending it sort of pans out as you would expect – in the end. Well, it did for me.

So what does this have to do with SEO?

Well, during the film the characters are often mentioning about being one step, two steps or even ten steps “ahead of the game”. There is a lot of manipulation, trickery and trying to fool the audience.

Now, I actually see this in a lot of SEO strategies online. Whenever there is a system, a set of rules or a strategy in anything in life there will always be people out to try and beat it or rather bend the rules to suit themselves or give themselves the advantage.

Online marketers are always trying to come up with the next best way to beat Google and get their site ranking above everyone else out there. I have been on record many times in saying that if you rely on Google alone as your only source of traffic to your website you are setting yourself up for a huge fail.

Simply put Google changes its rules and algorithms too much to keep up. Over the last few months alone I have heard of many of my fellow marketers sites dropping of the radar literally over night. Why? Because the system they once had is no longer what Google values.

So what can you do about it to future proof yourself from more Google slaps?

Here at BizzeBee we have some mixed opinions on SEO and the debate will always go on. I strongly recommend you read some of the other posts on this subject. I am going to break this down real simple. In my opinion it can be broken down into three steps. If you just follow these three steps, over time you will do ok and you will not get any slaps off the charts in terms of rankings.

Content. Links. Social Media.

That is it.

Now let’s talk about each one separately.

Content

This is by far the most important aspect of the three. Without great, kick-ass content then you can probably forget about the other two. Whether you write for a blog or are writing articles for a website the content should be great. Forget spinning articles, or buying below-par articles with bad grammar and spelling mistakes, this will not do. Your content should be aimed at providing user engagement, conversions and revenue.

The old days of optimizing for search engines are on there way out if not over altogether. It’s time now to write for guess what….. humans! Be sure to use catchy headlines and engaging content.

It should also be noted that exact match domains are a thing of the past – as well as exact match anchor text. You should now be concentrating on keyword diversity within the posts you write. I tend to just write – the keywords within the posts tend to find themselves.

Another thing that is great for SEO now is personal branding within your content. BizzeBee is a brand, so we try to reflect this in our posts, our downloadable content and our members area (coming soon).  Also add your personal brand to the content – adding Google authorship is a great way to start.

In a nutshell the better content you produce the more people will want to naturally share it, giving you better quality and niche matching links coming in. And this is the key – as having more natural links coming in is a good thing in Google’s eyes.

Techniques to avoid: Focusing on numbers, clicks and page views, trying to write for search engines, using EMD (exact match domains), being anonymous with your readers.

Links

I touched upon links in the closing stages of the last section. And links are still important but not the quantity as the old black-hat days would have led us to believe. It has been about quality of links for some time and nothing has changed really. Except make them natural. So, this brings us back to content SEO again. Natural links are when someone willingly links to your post or website from their own similar site in terms of content.

If you are a content marketing business then buying 500 links from Fiver linking to your site from various fake social media profiles or garbage hashed link farm websites is not going to give your post any credibility at all – in fact it will do it damage. However just a handful of links from similar or higher ranked websites will give your post a much better chance of ranking higher in the search engines. How do you do that – write great content, and let the readers choose to link it.

Or you could guest post – but be warned here. Do not just guest post for the sake of getting a link. Earn links from top ranked respected blogs or sites within your niche. Engage and interact with them first, establish a good working relationship. This will give you a better chance of getting a valuable link from their site to yours.

Do not participate in link exchange programs, these are a waste of time and quite often not what the person is saying they are. If you like some content and feel it should be linked or shared, then do so. It is good practice to offer links regardless of whether you get one back. Your time will come.

Techniques to avoid: Buying links, participating in link exchange systems, adding to directory websites manually, focusing on short term gain.

Social Media

Today is all about social media – its everywhere and it’s how people express their views on your work. Great content will naturally get tweets, likes, +1’s and mentions along the way. And – the success of social media campaigns comes largely down to what? I will give you a clue – it begins with C.

Yes, content. And there are a few more C’s. Communication and community are two more that spring to mind. Your social media profiles should be inter-linked with your SEO campaigns, you should encourage reaction to your posts or content and anyone who shares your posts or content should be noted. Be sure to follow up personally now and again to the share or link if anyone makes any comments.

Participating in a community of like-minded people is also great for your SEO. Answering and solving people’s problems is great and a sure fire way to earn you some respected traffic and social shares along the way to your content. Its these relationships that will help build your personal authority.

One last thing on social media with regards to your SEO, using #tags. Try to use tags where applicable in your content sharing across the social media networks.

Techniques to avoid: Spamming social media sites and communities, focusing on keywords too much, article submission sites, commenting only for backlinks.

So there we have it my social media jigsaw only has three parts. Content, Links and Social Media.

SEO 3 steps

The film “Now You See Me” was all about trickery, deceit and fooling the system (audience). With SEO you cannot do this. Sure, you may come up with a system that may trick Google for a short while but ultimately you will always fall.

The best way to be “one step ahead of the game” is to just write great, unique content. If you only do this then you are already at a long term advantage to those who believe in link farms and keyword stuffing.

If you stick with this and avoid all the black-hat rubbish that is out there your posts will have better chance standing the test of time and Google will have no reason to slap you down with the next update.

Thanks for reading, as always your comments are welcome. We encourage debate so please share your thoughts in the comments box below.