Focus on the customer
Google's ultimate goal is to provide the best possible results for the user, so this should be your goal too.
You'll often see the phrase 'content is king' harped on about by digital marketers and that's because it's true. A website with good content is far more likely to be a success than one with 'overly' SEO'd content written just to trick the search engines into giving you a good listing. It's more likely to be shared around naturally by users and customers and thus will naturally gain good rankings over time.
In the long-term, there are some other considerations to help you get the best results from your website and these are things we recommend our clients focus on.
- Site usability - building a site which is easy to navigate makes it easier for people (and search engines) to find their way around. This leads to a user-friendly site which is more likely to keep people on the page and result in a sale.
- Load speed - Google are very keen on quick sites (so much so they even started offering a service to help speed sites up), which is why you'll find your site scored on its load speed in webmaster tools. A slow site is more likely to put users off and find them clicking elsewhere. This is even more relevant with the increasing use of smart phones and mobile browsing.
- User-generated content - if you're having trouble standing out from other ecommerce websites who sell the same products, one good way to do so is allow for user-generated content. User reviews not only encourage other people to buy but mean more content for your site - more for search engine bots for read and a page which is constantly updated without you having to do anything!
- Social networking - in 2012, social networking is becoming extremely important and relevant to search. It's not just a way to build relationships and expand your brand reach - but it's also an excellent link building tool which Google and Bing have admitted influences the search engine results.
- Relevancy - it's important to be relevant to the user and your customer. Your focus is on them, so if you can provide a good service which they'll happily rave about to their friends, then you'll succeed online just as you would offline.
- Don't throw all your eggs in one basket - relying exclusively on one channel can be extremely risky. If you rely on Google organic listings for all your business, what will you do if you're suddenly dropped from the listings through no fault of your own? (As an example of the dangers, see what happened when numerous sites were dropped as 'parked domains' due to a Google update.) Pay Per Click, Affiliate Marketing and other digital marketing techniques can help you get the best return on your investment and, more importantly, help you generate the most profit, without such a risk.
Of course this is not a definitive list of the techniques that can be employed to boost your search engine rankings, but as an ethical, passionate digital marketing agency we can always give you a helping hand to get ahead in the search engines while keeping the focus where it should be - on the customer!