Quit with the Backlinks Already!

It all started when interviewing a new SEO intern. I was asked to do the final interview, and for those of you who know me, I am not a big fan of “SEO optimisation”.

You usually loose me when I get told that someone will be full time working on SEO. I mean, 8 hours a day? How much titles and descriptions are there to write? I usually loose my shit when I hear the word “backlinks”.

Why am I so anti? It’s simple. Backlinks, when put into terms of SEO optimisation; are wrong. It is unnatural. Google forbids it. Heck, pretty much what Google is telling everyone is:

  1. Write good engaging content
  2. Write descriptive meta titles and descriptions
  3. Have good site structure where every page is reachable easily
  4. DON’T over optimise or you get punished.

In short, Google is saying, leave the rankings to us. They have even mentioned that sometimes they will show different titles and meta descriptions to customers as they see fit.

For the sake of my sanity, the SEO optimisation is done and dusted according to what Google has asked us to do.

What is Natural? It’s called Noise!

Once you have done the basics that Google asks you to do, what do you do now? This is where creating market noise comes in. Google talks of backlinks in the natural sense i.e. if you know what you are talking about (written words) or your service is relevant, then people start talking about it.

Let’s consider success as folk interested in talking about your business. If this is the goal then getting folk seeing your product or words is step one. Next step is to maintain traffic. If you have any marketing, sales or business experience you’ve heard of conversion rates. If we hit 100 visitors, x % are completing an action that could be a purchase or signup etc.

Stay with me… It’s coming…

So organic or natural growth then consists of getting folk to see your brand or service, and then to maintain that growth in following / visitors. At some point you start to see trends and conversions.

Creating Market Noise.

The noise part of this is simple. Let’s use social media as an example. You are practically a day old (not even indexed on Google). You whack up a cool looking pic and throw a few bucks on a FB campaign with the intention of sending visitors to your website. Within a few days you start seeing visitors coming to your site from “social”.

The next week you pop up a very cool billboard sign on the main road near your home. Over the coming weeks you notice additional traffic hitting your site from “direct” on Analytics.

Continuing the trend you keep this up and over the coming months you start seeing organic traffic coming in as well. Top this off by being active on engaging your customers on social media, review sites and the like; and you grow.

This friends, is called market noise. It’s natural, organic and viewed by Google as optimisation.

Spend less time reading long SEO articles, running silly SEO checkups online and more time building for the user experience. Good old fashioned marketing in the form of creating noise and chatter is a way of saying, nothing comes free. You and I both know it is the truth.

Hard work and making your business work is the one and only way to get your site ranking long term.

Any comments, please share.

 

 

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