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A Simple Look at SEO in 2013


A lot has changed in the search engine optimization (SEO) world since I started working with Red Sage. It used to be that the one of the secrets to SEO success was keywords. What keywords you used, how often you used them, and where you used them could often affect where your site showed up in the search results. All of that is not so important today. Even though there are a lot of different SEO success factors, it all pretty much boils down to this simple thought – build a website that people want to visit, can visit, and love it so much that they want to share it.

It sounds all so easy, right? I know, I know. SEO is not as simple as that, but asking questions like, “Am I providing content that people will want to read?” or “Am I losing visitors because my website loads so slow?” will definitely get you started on the right path to good SEO results. To help you along that path, here are a few things to ponder as you evaluate or build your website.

Do People Really Want to Visit My Site?
This is one of those soul-seeking questions, but it must be answered. So many old sites focused so much on keyword stuffing, that the content itself became secondary. It was made to be read by computers and not real people.

Think about how you interact with websites yourself. If you land on a website with tons and tons of content on a page, you are likely going to leave after a few seconds because it looks so overwhelming. If you start to read a page of content and it is “fluff” and has nothing of substance, you’ll hit that back button in a hurry. But, if you find an article that is interesting and engaging or you read a well-written company profile, you are more apt to share or comment on the article and pick up the phone to do business with the company. By thinking about the people using your website, it will be more natural for you to build a website that they will like and want to visit.

Can People Use My Site?
No matter how wonderful your content or design is on your website, if people can’t use it, what’s the point? This has become an increasingly important issue as more and more people are using mobile devices. Flash-based elements, incorrectly configured smartphone-optimized websites, slow loading websites, and websites that are hard to see on a mobile device, can make your site inaccessible to a lot of people. While you typically think about content, keywords, and backlinks when you talk about SEO, how things are programmed can have a huge impact on the results, too.

Will They Love It Enough to Share It?
From favorite family recipes to funny videos, people love to share things. In SEO terms, all of that sharing helps your website’s ranking because it provides a valuable link back to your website. To the search engines, that link is a vote of confidence that your site is providing something of value (as long as the link is on a non-spammy, trusted site). If you’ve taken the time to create a website with good content that people will want to read, chances are good that they’ll love it enough to share it too.

What If All of This Isn’t Enough?
I’m not saying that the above advice will be the magic bullet for shooting to the top of the search engine results, but I can say with certainty that if you look at your website with those three things in mind, it will help you tackle some of the more basic issues most websites have when it comes to SEO. After that, you will be ready to look into advertising, social marketing, link building, and other methods for improving site rankings.

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