A recent article in the Wall Street Journal claimed that the big three SEO firms had dropped their membership in the Web Foundation’s Internet Industry Group (IIG). I’m sure the others must have felt the same, but why were they dropping out? Here’s what you need to know.
Since the birth of the Web Foundation, many professional organizations have come and gone. Some went out of business, some stopped receiving dues from members, and some were so successful that they would not exist without the support of their members. No doubt, the Web Foundation will continue to evolve.
Of course, the Web Foundation will be a better organization if it focuses more on changing business practices rather than attempting to dictate search engine optimization practices. That is why the IIG group has been created.
Now, that is not to say that we need to ban or banish spam and duplicate content from major search engines. I fully support the effort to stop spam, but I also believe that it should be dealt with through the correct legal channels.
How do we get our message across to searchers that we are the best experts for them to turn to when they are looking for information online? This is why we need search engine marketing.
So, what is SEO and what does it have to do with search engine marketing? Let’s take a look at some of the basic elements that make SEO marketing effective and why it works.
Keyword research – This is probably the most obvious part of SEO. However, it is only the first step. A keyword that is too general or too specific may end up driving traffic away. We need to target the right keywords for our goals. That’s why this step is often overlooked.
Content – When you create content for your website, you need to ensure that you get your message across to visitors. Your website is essentially a medium for your content. If you don’t know what the right content is, you can never get your point across.
Anchor text – There is a lot of discussion about SEO being free. Many believe that SEO can cost a little money, but they are missing the point. With an excellent title, keyword, and anchor text, you can easily drive traffic for free.
Landing pages – These are usually something that you would design yourself, but you want to optimize these pages to show that you understand the value of content. You should be able to give visitors what they are looking for in a short amount of time. This will improve your search engine ranking quickly.
Link building – Many sites offer links to other sites, but they are not all that great way to bring traffic to your site. While you can achieve links through articles, blogs, and directories, you should also build links to your main site. You need to show that you are here for the long term.
So, when you see these three elements on your website, you can bet that you are getting some of the best in SEO available. If you are not following the correct SEO practices, you will struggle to compete with your competition and you may find yourself losing a large number of your visitors.