“Content is king!” is a common phrase. It used to mean that content drove targeted traffic and leads/sales.
Now it means developing what Jill Whalen, of High Rankings, terms, “madlib spam pages where you simply substitute keyword phrases from one page into another.”
In her latest High Rankings Advisor e-newsletter, Jill talks about setting realistic SEO expectations. It’s very difficult now to rank well for keyword phrases — even those that aren’t that competitive in terms of search traffic.
In addition to hundreds of thousands of sites now jockeying for position, Google continues to make changes to the search experience on a regular basis.
(For example, if you’re logged into your Google account, you can move search listings up and down on the page! And, Google will show you results based on your own search history while also serving up results based on your IP address.)
As Jill points out, this doesn’t mean SEO is dead, but it certainly does mean that you need to set SEO goals based on your **business strategy** — not on being “number 1″ for a keyword.
A good SEO strategy includes specific SEO tactics, such as using the right keywords that drive qualified (or targeted) traffic AND creating content that helps drive conversions — from getting people to sign up for your e-newsletter or downloading a white paper to viewing an online demo or actually buying a product.
(It also includes all sorts of other things, such as social media and viral marketing, public relations, and integrating traditional offline tactics.)
Unethical SEO companies will tell you that they can make your site #1 for dozens of keywords (I know, because I’ve had plenty of people call me who have shelled out thousands of dollars with little return after working with these companies).
The SEO/marketing firms you can trust, however, are those that will tell you the truth — that SEO, like marketing, is a long-term strategy that requires consistent and strategic application.