The biggest challenge an ethical website optimization company must deal with is the expectations of clients. All too often a client will expect the SEO to achieve top rankings on competitive terms for a website that is nothing more than a brochure for the company. Usually this is just a misunderstanding about SEO and how search engines work.
The primary job of search engines is to provide quality search results. In other words, when a searcher types in a keyword, the very first results should provide them with the most useful information available on that topic. An ethical SEO is not out to trick the search engines into giving top rankings for a website that provides little more than a sales pitch. Any methods for doing so are merely a temporary solution. Search engines are constantly working and adjusting their algorithms to rank useful, content rich sites above the rest. Once the latest SEO trick is rendered ineffective, you’ll be left having to pay more to try and get your rankings back.
While it’s tempting to go the quick and easy route to achieve better rankings, the very best way to dominate the search results long term is simply to provide excellent tools and information related to your industry. You need content that other websites actually want to tell their visitors about – and it’s not as hard as you think.
If you hang around the major online forums in your industry for a while, you will see the same questions and problems coming up over and over. A good SEO can help to find the necessary information about what your potential customers are looking for. Once you know what their problems are, develop an online tool or custom application to solve at least part of the problem. Here’s the kicker - then you give it away. That’s right, free of charge.
It may seem counter-productive to spend money to create a useful tool and then give it away, but on the internet, free things make money. Now your website has become a much more valuable resource for the kind of people that buy your products. Now you will be considered an authority in the industry by the people using the application. Now your site is one of those sites that the search engines are trying to find and raise to the top of the results, and most importantly, your potential customers are telling others that have the same problem by telling their friends and blogging about your site. The viral marketing effect on the internet is capable of reaching far more potential customers than any company can afford to pay for.
Getting quality sites to link to a site that is nothing more than a sales pitch for a company and it’s products is much more difficult, time consuming, and ultimately expensive than actually providing useful content in the first place. You’ll find that when you give to your potential customers, they will give right back in the form of purchasing your products. So take a look at the sites ranking in the top ten for your industry keywords and ask yourself if your site truly deserves to rank above them. If not, its time to make your website more valuable. Your future customers will thank you for it.
Joel Carlson is a Search Engine Strategist for Bitwise Logic, Inc. - a professional web development company that provides creative custom web applications and website optimization services for businesses around the world.