Search Engine Optimization is a topic that pretty much all of our clients want or need to focus on at some point in time. We have extensive experience and knowledge gained from working with different types of strategies… and have specific ideas about that.
Everybody wants to be #1 on google’s SERP (search engine results page). But there can be only one, of course, and the more websites vie for that placement, the harder it becomes to get there. I’m stating the obvious here but it helps to think about that fact when deciding on your SEO strategy. And there are plenty of strategies, some proven and some not, including “white hat SEO” and “black hat SEO”. But I believe there’s only one sure-file strategy that works well and it is called “authoritative content”. It is, in fact, not much of a strategy but a process. And it comes from Google itself, which says “Don’t optimize your website for search engines. Optimize it for your visitors.”
Don’t optimize your website for search engines. Optimize it for your visitors. GOOGLE
Google tracks the amount of time a user spends on a given website before returning to their search results. The less time visitors spend on your site (after finding it on Google’s SERP) the lower you will rank*. Which means that authoritative content is most certainly part of the ranking algorithms and makes good sense because you should obviously only promote content that you can actually serve.
It goes without saying that we develop our websites in a standards-compliant fashion with proper meta tags and code structure and to be fast and stable. And that is, literally, all there is to SEO on our end. After that, it’s up to the client (who manages the content of their website) to populate it with relevant and authoritative content (we can certainly help and refer you to some great content creators, writers and editors). This strategy works wonders and costs, in effect, nothing.
Case in point: in 2005 we developed a website for USC’s Tsunami Research Center, a website dedicated to the science of Tsunamis. For lack of budget, we have not updated the site since 2010 and it has received continuously bad SEO scores from different sources. Yet we rank #8 on a google search for “tsunami research” (no quotes) which yields over 44mio results**.
Now, we don’t want to discredit white hat SEO because it does serve a purpose, does yield positive results and can help your business in various ways. But it is an ongoing process, often times feels like a “fight” and can cost a lot of money. It is our opinion that you can reach the same results, albeit with extra time, by simply focusing on relevant content and proper back-linking. And, as our tests have shown, those results will remain in place for a long time.
* this statement is not officially confirmed by google
** as of December 2018 (dropped below #40 as of June 2019)