Going overboard on SEO

I recently had a client who decided to add pages to their web site to achieve higher organic rankings in the search engines. Although this can sometimes be a useful strategy, it is not always the best approach.

This particular client was trying to rank for a certain geographic keyword and created a page targeting a specific area. The problem was, the page was  designed to attract the search engines and not the visitor. The page was filled with links and the information was already stated throughout their website and offered no unique content or new information for the visitor. This is what you call doorway pages, pages whose only goal is to lead the visitor to another page. They are not very relevant and are not very useful. These doorway pages (sometimes considered Black Hat SEO) can actually hurt your rankings.

So how do you increase your rankings then?

Google measures over 200 signals on your website to determine where your site belongs in the search engines. So it’s not surprising that it can be a difficult task to rank high. Especially if you’re trying to rank for a popular keyword. Unless you are an SEO expert and live, eat, and breath this stuff I suggest you just remember the following rule: The content on your website should first and foremost appeal to your audience.

A good foundation for any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy begins with website content. You must remember that your content must appeal to your audience first, as this is the best SEO tool you have. You want them to visit often, stay for a while, link to your site and share it friends. The search engines will do the rest.

Here is basic outline of what your SEO strategy should look like long before you start creating extra pages:

  • Develop a targeted keyword list – there are various tools out there to help you and most of them are free including Google’s Adwords tool.
  • Develop keyword rich website content – once you have your list of keywords, incorporate them into your content.
  • Create keyword rich meta data (keywords, description, title tags)
  • Link to other relevant pages in your site
  • Build a linking strategy with incoming links from relevant sources
  • Utilize social media to help build your brand

Though these strategies take time and effort, if done correctly, they can significantly increase your organic rankings, your website traffic, your leads and your conversions. Which is really why your here right?

So the next time you’re struggling because your site isn’t placing on the first page of Google. Go back to this list and figure out if you can tweek anything. And remember it takes time. No one knows when the search engines will index your site so be patient.

Good luck!

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