So what do you do?
My kids ask me this a lot and, on the whole, I try not to bore them with the details – let’s be honest, if they knew the answer, they’d go back in time and not ask the question!
For clients, however, it’s a much more pressing concern – the fact that hours of activity can, on occasion, provide little tangible output means that clarity on our aims, our processes and the metrics by which we establish success is vital to ensure a strong, trusting relationship right from the start.
However, it’s not always a simple question to answer – different projects require different mindsets and, depending on what targets are prioritised and where responsibilities lie, the route to success can be very different.
Thankfully, Rand at Moz has put together a really great Whiteboard Friday, where he outlines (very broadly) how different approaches can be followed in SEO and, depending on those approaches, what the day-to-day activity is “under the hood”.
Still not sure my kids will sit through it, however.
Given that, in recent weeks, we’ve highlighted the fear that Google could still look at relevant and legitimate link-building activity and regard it negatively, it seems like a good time to go back over the basics a little.
Most, if not all of you, will have a good understanding, even at a hunch level, of what Google sees as a “bad” link – the words “paid”, “irrelevant”, “low authority” and “anchor text” may be playing across your lips – but in case you can’t see the wood for the trees, here’s a simple reminder – what type of links does Google hate?
Now we’ve established what’s bad, it only seems fair to reiterate what’s good in the world of inbound link generation. Well, one way to keep on the right side of the invisible line in the sand is not to source inbound links at all – just create content and let everyone fall over themselves to link to it of their own accord (stop laughing, it could happen).
At the very least – whether you want to let the content find its own audience or whether you want to draw the audience’s attention to it – the content needs to be there (and it needs to be good too). So, yes – link bait.
This nice article from Lunametrics takes a good look at link bait. And then this piece drills down to rationalise more thoroughly the benefits of high quality visual content and this one talks about the pros and cons of video content marketing.
If you build it, they will come? Maybe, maybe not – what you can guarantee, however, is that if you don’t build it, they won’t stay.
Finally, and to neatly round up a key element underpinning best practice for both link-building and content writing, we have Barry Adams’ second pillar of SEO – this month, he’s talking relevance with all the corresponding elements of tagging, structured data and internal linking. Next month he’ll be covering the third pillar (authority), which would’ve made an even neater conceptual conjunction to what we’ve touched on earlier – unfortunately, life isn’t quite THAT neat. Irrespective, Barry is an amazing writer and it’s extremely interesting.