A friend of mine contacted me recently to discuss SEO issues on her website. She is an owner of a small London based startup and asked if I could have a “quick look” at what has been done so far by the current SEO agency. She also mentioned that she was very unhappy with the link reports she has been receiving.
The owner of the website wanted to rank for “romantic restaurants” on Google.co.uk. The landing page, although partially optimised, was a simple page with a few restaurants mentioned. THIS APPROACH NO LONGER WORKS!
There are two things you need to focus on if you’re hoping for google to notice your website:
- Give Google the reasons to rank you high
- Stop being obsessed about the links!
You need to understand that, what Google wants on their first page is a VARIETY, AUTHORITY and VALUE!
1. Give the reasons for Google to rank (it’s all about the users!)
As a website owner, ask (and answer honestly!) yourself the following questions:
- Why would Google even consider ranking your website high in search results pages?
- Does your website add value to the visitors that read this content?
- Will the information presented really help them? /answer their questions?
- Does your website discuss the subject from a different angle?
- Is there a niche within ‘romantic restaurants” that you might want to cover to differentiate yourself? and finally…
- What makes your page better than others’ ranking high for this term?
So the first task is to OFFER SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND PROVIDE INFORMATION THAT REALLY ADDS VALUE TO YOUR CUSTOMER!
Plan how you want to “approach” your content. I strongly believe that competitive terms require a strong internal link push and relevant content across the site (especially if you are a startup!).
Don’t optimise a single page to rank for a specific keyword but optimise the structure of the website to support that page! Your solid base should be a well-planned information architecture of an entire site.
2. Stop being obsessed about links!
When you have a great content on the site, content that really help your visitors and is truly unique, it’s time to start thinking about AUTHORITY.
As an entrepreneur or owner of a startup site, it’s all about building your brand awareness and this is how I tend to approach “link building”. Don’t ask for links in your first email. Make your brand visible first. Make people learn about it and understand it before anything else. If done correctly, those bloggers and journalists will keep you in mind when writing about a relevant subject to your site.
And the last but not least, be realistic. You cannot build AUTHORITY by getting a few links. Becoming a well-recognised brand usually takes time. Knowing market influencers and keeping a good relationship with them can definitely help.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.