The Content SEO Strategy
If you receive an email solicitation from a company stating that they can get you to number one on Google within a month or so, you need to realize they are lying to you. There are a couple of factors that come into play that make this kind of promise untrue, first being that Google doesn’t even crawl your site more than once every few weeks, or maybe once a week if you are a site that is very popular with a large amount of traffic already. This means that any work they do on your site will probably not be seen for upwards of a week or two if it is on the index page, and longer than that if it is on a page that is deeper than your index page. Google does not crawl your entire site every time it visits, and many times it only crawls the main pages that are found in the navigation structure itself. You might get a full crawl once a month or so, meaning that if they are using a strategy where content is developed for the site in order to improve rankings there is a good chance that content is only seen after multiple weeks of being online. Now lets say that they actually do put content into your site that has to do with the target subject you want to rank for, and Google does crawl that content within a month, doesn’t that mean that you could suddenly shoot up to number one? Theoretically yes, but there is almost no chance of this happening. Google will generally crawl the site content and then the added SEO value will begin to move the rankings, but for a few pieces of content to move a site all the way into a number one position from anywhere else would usually mean there is almost no competition to overtake. If you are shooting for something competitive, it is going to take time to see those rankings develop, usually a span of months to even years. In highly competitive areas, it might take months of work to move you up one or two places, let alone all the way to the top. Google looks for consistency over time, quality of content and value to customers. Over periods of time Google begins to trust you more and more as a source of quality information, that does not happen overnight.
This is usually the point in a conversation where someone mentions that the company who has promised them instant rankings is not talking about content, and instead is just going to make some changes to the code of the website in order to rank better. While web design itself and meta data changes to titles and descriptions can have an effect, they are also not going to shoot you up into the number one position. Google is looking for the website that provides the most value and information to people, and some small changes to code is not going to suddenly make them realize that you were that best information all along. You might see small bumps up based on redoing some coding on the site and filling in all the meta data, but it is not going to be enough to move you into the top positions unless you were already there. That is going to take a content strategy.
A content strategy for SEO is the process of creating text content on the site that informs people about a topic, and gives them valuable information that they can use. This content has to be unique if Google is going to give you credit for it, and it has to be well written. The hardest thing to accomplish is that your content has to be better than your competition’s content, at least for the subject matter that you are targeting. Simply rehashing the same content over and over without anything new isn’t going to get you much. It might get you more volume of text, but it probably isn’t going to get you that trust as an expert on the subject by Google. The content strategy itself should involve in-depth and well written content placed into your website and then referenced within content on the same topic that is outside of your website. This is how Google develops trust through links, seeing that the subject is being discussed and then your site is referenced as a place to go for even larger amounts of information. The sites that it is referenced on are important as well, if they are sites which are completely devoted to this particular subject they are worth more than sites which have many subjects. If the sites are also trusted by Google on this topic, then the link to your site is worth more. Think about it this way, if a website doesn’t rank for a topic, then the link from that website to yours is worthless for that topic. If a website ranks for a search on a topic, then a link from that site has value to you for that topic.
There are many different valuations for links, but a well rounded content strategy for SEO needs them in order for Google to realize that the onsite content is valuable. There needs to be a strategy in place that spreads the word to other websites that the content is out there and exists, as well as it having value to people. There are different ways that different companies accomplish this, but if they are not mentioning it then you are probably not going to see any improvements when you use their services. So why are they promising you that you will rank higher so quickly? They are promising you “the bump” and hoping to get a few months work. Most SEO companies look at their clients as having a life span of a couple months to a year. Most have three month contracts that they work under, which gives them three months to prove to you that their strategy works. If you site bumps up within a few months they point that out as proof it will keep moving up and get a few more months out of you. If it doesn’t bump up then they are expecting to lose you and then move on to the next. Most SEO companies are not in the SEO business at all, and instead are in the “customer acquisition” business. They pay high commissions to sales people who land new business every month, expecting to lose that same business within a short time when the client realizes that after the initial bump of a few positions higher, there is no more movement.
A good SEO strategy develops new content and links every month, and over time your site steadily rises in the rankings as Google begins to trust it as an authority on a subject. A good SEO has clients that work with them for years instead of months. If you are being made promises that your site will quickly climb to number one, pay close attention to how long their other clients have been with them. If most of their clients are only with them for a few months and their websites are not currently number one, then it is because they fall and are fired by most clients. Think about it, and make a good choice of SEO.