SEO as a concept, if you’ve not had anything to do with it before, is quite frankly mind buggering. Several hundred signals are discerned by the search engine algorithms and the natural reaction is to try and learn what they are. Google isn’t forthcoming with the granular details, so it’s always felt like a case of shooting snipers in the dark with an inner ear infection.
SEO is dead – Social Journalism’s a fun replacement
Now, before umpteen SEO bods make a list of complaints, the concept behind this post – ‘SEO Is Dead’ – isn’t intended to brand them cheats and liars; it’s a statement against those black-hatters who hang out with the donkeys at the link farm. It’s also meant as an exercise in lateral thinking; there is more than one way to cook the goose and I think decent SEO would agree; part of SEO as a concept is social journalism. Great content, great sharing.
What we do have are thousands of SEO bods, running around trying to chase down back links from other websites, using an analytical approach to SERPS, PR and competitor strategies. Now, this doesn’t sound fun at all, does it? This approach to SEO is now spreadsheets, tracking tools and the sure knowledge that you’re running against a tsunami.
Do what you love and you’ll love what you do
SEO as Social Journalism
Think about what people are looking for when they hop onto your site. Is it that pretty bordered stripe below you navigation? The oh-so-clean layout? With the caveat that first impressions count, no, no, no. They want content. They want FANTASTIC content. They want a reason to be here.
One you’ve stripped the idea of ‘backlinking is the whole of SEO’ out of your head, you’re free for the fun stuff:
- Create superb, readable content that people want to share
- Share it across the social media networks
- Mention it to people, forums, other blogs
Sharing your content is easy – if you’ve written a great piece, other people will do it for you. That’s where you’ll find your back links of value – other people generate them for you. You’ve got loads of outlets for your work, here’s a few examples:
- Reddit – time this one right and you’ll have several thousand readers overnight
- Scoop.it – a new kid on the block and expanding rapidly
- Google+ – reports show that this can be hugely influential. Read this moz report on G+ SEO for inspiration
I Don’t Have Time For This
Yes, you do. If you’re in front of the telly, turn it off and spend ten minutes on Google+ instead. Share content. Allow a set period per day in which you update your social channels (and find new ones). Step away from your personal Facebook profile and that inane conversation about Helen’s new haircut. Talk to the world instead; it doesn’t take hours, and ten to 30 minutes a day will make a real difference over time.
Get your social media profiles sorted and optimised to perfection – if you’re having a sense of ‘I’m not sociable, it’s all hard work’, then you’re in the wrong game. Journalists who don’t mix don’t get very far.
I’m not saying don’t approach the odd website for a backlink, but don’t let it be the be all and end all – if you spend all your time chasing down that PR6 site for a link, where’s the time to write your killer content? Social journalism is providing exactly what your visitors want, in a captivating fashion. Ask yourself what you’re likely to look at – search results that produce a business directory entry, or an in-depth article with a cracking link title?
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