Why Bother with SEO?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The SEO rules are always changing. The search engines are constantly changing their algorithms. “Experts” are claiming that SEO is dead. It’s no wonder why many website owners are wondering, “Why should we even bother?” Well, here’s why: SEO, done properly, still works!

Yes it’s true that the search engines make all of the rules and can change those rules whenever they please, but really the basics of SEO are still acceptable and even recommended by the search engines. The search engines aren’t trying to shut down the SEO industry, they are just trying to shut down the “bad” SEO folks, the ones that use black hat tactics in order to game the system. The search engines still encourage website owners to optimize their websites so that they can be found in the SERP. They just want website owners to follow their guidelines. White hat SEO firms understand that they need to “play nice” with the search engines and adapt their campaign to keep the search engines happy. SEO campaigns today may require more work, but it’s well worth it.

The fact that white hat SEO works has been proven over and over again. Take a site that hasn’t been optimized, conduct keyword research, implement selected keywords into the content naturally, build relevant inbound links to the site, create optimized content on a regular basis to share on third party sites, and maintain an active social media presence and you will see an improvement. It might not be drastic and it definitely won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Again, the key is to remain white hat. If you are even considering dabbling in black hat or gray hat SEO, then you are correct- don’t even bother with it. It’s these shady practices that are going to get you into trouble. The best way to remain white hat is to always remember who your target audience is. It’s certainly not the search engine spiders. The target audience is your prospective clients and customers. The focus should be on them right from the start.

For example, keywords are an essential component of an SEO campaign. In order to find out how target audience members are searching for what you offer, it requires keyword research. Once you select your keywords, they should be implemented into existing content and throughout future content naturally. The keyword being “naturally”. While you are inserting these keywords for SEO purposes, you need to keep the experience of the reader in mind and give your audience some credit. If you are using the same keyword or keyword phrase repeatedly in the content, it will stand out like a sore thumb and just look bad to those that are reading it. This is the kind of behavior that the search engines don’t like.

As the search engines evolve, SEO must evolve along with it. The search engines aim to provide users with the best possible experience by ranking the best sites that match their query. In order to be one of those sites you definitely need to do SEO, but you need to be smart about it.

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