Do we all have to understand SEO to use it?

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

SEO is one of those things that you either know or don’t know. In my experience there is little in between. And of course some people who think they know actually don’t know normally because their practices are very out of date.

So how does the every day website owner, with a business to run, and who isn’t trained in the up-to-date methods of SEO stay competitive in search engine rankings?

I am going to start with history lesson. The people who made the most cash out of the goldrush in the 19thcentury with people who sold the picks and shovels, not the prospectors digging gold. Or so the story goes. But it’s a great story about hype. To a certain extent SEO is a lot of hype and just like the goldrush. The people who have a lot to gain out of the SEO industry are the people who sell the data and the tools (the modern day picks and shovels).

Strip away the tools and the data and the shared wisdom, there are a set of basic principles for SEO that we can all use and put to good use.

Write high impact content

When we write content that provokes a response and is shared widely, it is more likely to be linked to from other websites and social media platforms. You don’t need to be an SEO to do this; you just need to know your stuff and your audience. If wordsmithing isn’t your strength then get a writer to help you.

Be honest, factual and truthful

Share stats, new research and the truth of your industry to become an authority figure within it. In other words become a thought leader you don’t need to worry about keyword effectiveness when you own the keyword! Your blog is a perfect platform for sharing insight into your industry.

Share content amongst your peer group

The people most likely to share your content and link to it are the people who share your interests. These people are your customers, suppliers and competitors. Don’t be afraid of sharing information with your competitors! As long as you don’t share trade secrets, then the benefits of creating a reputation within your sphere of influence far outweighs any advantage a competitor will gain.

Ask to publish (or pay for) Guest Posts

Not as popular as it once was, but still a common practice. Guest Posts are where you place your content and links back to your website on a popular (high authority) website (within your niche or adjacent niches). You might need to make a financial contribution to the website operator, but this is a good way of getting back-links without a lot of effort. You can check the ‘domain authority’ of a site using one of many DA checker tools. The higher the DA, the higher the cost will be to you. There are many other metrics you couldlook at to decide where to place your content, but in my opinion, its complicating things when it isn’t necessary (think back to the picks and shovels!)

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