Content and SEO

Search engine optimization is a very broad topic that can be talked about for days. Many people confuse SEO with content marketing, for example.

Just today, I was on a forum designed for local businesses owners and someone was asking about content marketing and SEO. The weird thing is that they were talking about content marketing and SEO like they were the same thing.

I’ll start now by telling you they are not. Content, of course, can be part of the offsite optimization of a website. But, they aren’t interchangeable. It seems that some people think that the way to get their business found in Google is to just write more and more content. While this may help, it’s really not what’s going to do it.

People talk about generating content because anybody can do it. It’s easy. It’s like saying that to build a house you need straw. Why? Because there is straw everywhere and its basically free. You just have to put in the work to collect it and tie it together.

Well you can make a house from lots of things, not just straw. In fact, collecting straw is really a waste of time and is not the best way to build a house at all. There are better materials and better methods for doing it. Just because you don’t know what they are means nothing.

That’s how SEO is.

Just writing content is fine. But there are far more effective ways of ranking your website. If you know them, thenĀ  blogging every weekend is a waste of time.

Keep in mind that your smaller company may be competing against much larger companies for rankings for the same keyword. They may have thousands of pages of content and you just have a few. While having more content definitely helps, it is not the defining factor. If it was only huge massive sites would be on the first page of the search engines, and local site with 5-10 pages would never rank anywhere.
This is not the case, especially with local sites.

How many pages does a plumbers’ website really need? Thousands?

No. They just need a few pages. They need a home page, an about page, maybe some stuff on their different services, and maybe a contact page. Best practices would say to have a privacy policy page and a terms of service page, too. Just be sure to make these pages noindex.

To noindex a page mean that you are telling the search engines’ bots, which are the computer programs that crawl, read, and index pages on the internet, to not index that page. You are doing this because the content on your privacy policy and terms of service pages are likely to be “boiler plate”. This is to say that they are mostly legal forms with your company name and information filled in the blanks. Because of this, the privacy policy and terms of service pages are likely to be almost identical to thousands of other pages on the internet who used the same form.

Normally, this is very bad for SEO. You don’t want duplicate content on your site. This makes it look like you just copied content from somewhere else. In most cases, this violates copyright and if that content exists somewhere else already then your website is not providing any additional value. Generally speaking, copying other people websites is very bad. It’s a bad user experience and Google makes sure it negatively impacts that websites optimization. This is why it is bad for your site’s SEO.

However, for a privacy policy or TOS, it is expected that this is going to be very similar to what is on other website. So, you don’t need to make entirely new PP or TOS for your site to avoid duplicate content. You just need to set your robots.txt to be nofollow and you’re done. The search engine’s spiders will see this and know not to index it and you won’t be penalized for having content on your site that is very similar to hundreds or thousands of other websites.

Getting back to the number of pages on our plumber’s site…

You don’t need many. More pages are not necessarily more useful for the website’s visitor. It doesn’t enhance their experience any of the website. Granted, a 10 page website may be better than a 1 page website, but it really depends on the market and who your customers are.

For all these reasons, search engine’s algorithms must use something else besides just the sheer amount of your content to decide where your website appears in their rankings.

What are these criteria? Well that’s something that a good, reputable SEO company will do for you. Most SEO agencies that just do a bunch of content marketing for you are doing so because they don’t know how the algorithms really work. Also, if they’re any good at what they do, they’re probably not going to tell you everything about what they do.

Writing content may seem hard, but anyone can do it. It’s so easy to add content to your website. In anything in life, what’s super easy that anyone can do that is valuable? Nothing.
The real value a good SEO company is built on thousands of hours of reverse engineering what works and what doesn’t in a constantly changing and updating world of technology. They’re not just going to give it away. Sure, they’ll do it for you and charge you. But they’re not going to spend hours explaining to you what they’re doing and why it works.
Does a doctor explain to you every step of your surgery? No, she knows what she’s doing and that’s why you’re paying her. Get a good SEO to do your work and let them handle it.

No one person can create and track all the little details on hundreds of thousands of sites that would be necessary to glean useful information about how to get websites ranked in Google, Yahoo and Bing. Your doctor didn’t figure out everything on his own. He had to learn his craft and then continue to learn. And believe me; the human body doesn’t change as quickly as search engine algorithms. Aspirin still helps with headaches today as much as it did 10 years ago. SEO from 10 years ago will get your site penalized and deindexed.

Search engine optimization is a complex and constantly shifting field of expertise. One person can’t keep up. You need a team of researchers testing and refining their methods constantly. That’s what actually works.

Not “writing more content”. Please.

The Blue Heron Lives

Welcome back to the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast in Tampa. We are a full service establishment and we love taking care of our visitors. Our digital marketing efforts have helped us to get a lot more people finding us online. We are really happy to see that more and more people can find us in the search engines now. Thanks to our efforts we are able to serve more people visiting Tampa.

Whether it’s your first time here or you are a regular, you can enjoy your time in Tampa by letting us take care of your bed and your breakfast!