Yes, search engine optimization (SEO) is a big deal, yes you need to stay on top of best practices, and yes it needs to be an integral part of any sized business. However, it’s not nearly as complicated for small business owners as some people make it. It’s like worrying over the latest advance in cardiac surgery when you’re not a surgeon—leave the complex stuff to the professionals. As a “patient” (or in this case a client), it’s really your job to seek out a reputable SEO agency, interview them and enjoy the peace of mind knowing you have experts are on the job.
Unless you have dreams of becoming an SEO guru yourself or opening your own agency, a lot of details shouldn’t matter to you. Every single time Google’s algorithm gets an update (pro tip: It’s looking like every quarter now), the internet nearly breaks with discussions over what it means, what you need to change, why Google’s doing this, and are you really, positively sure you’re on the right path?
Remember: With the exception of Panda and Penguin (the original, not the many updates), there haven’t been many major changes to SEO over time. And those changes that have been made are generally about creating the best user experience possible.
Surprise! (Not Really)
Here’s the thing about Google’s algorithm updates—they’re always going to happen. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, sometimes the changes get more buzz than others. Did you know Google changes its algorithm between 500 and 600 times each year according to Moz? Google doesn’t want to advertise all those changes, so they only drum up a media frenzy when it’s an update they want made widely public.
However, the real message behind these updates (advertised or not) is that everyone’s website can always be better. Improve your website and get higher rankings: it’s that simple. It’s a win-win, because if you improve your website, then you’re helping to improve Google Search. Ultimately, this also means a better experience for your potential customers, too. Everybody’s happy…which leads us to the next issue.
Google’s Not Trying to Trick You
What Google wants from a “better” website isn’t difficult. However, the web search giant is notoriously secretive about the details of the algorithm. This isn’t to trick honest web designers and businesses—it’s to avoid black hat tricksters from using that information for illegal gains. Remember that Google has a goal of making money via advertising, and people use search engines for PPC ads. To sell more PPC ads, Google needs a lot of traffic, which means providing the highest quality search results.
It’s a cyclical system, and you need to know your role. You’re (probably) not an SEO agency or an employee of Google. Instead, you’re a website owner, business owner, or otherwise need/want your presence online in order to benefit you. In this machine, you’re providing a service—both to your customers and to Google by way of a website.
The Customer (Still) Comes First
Want to “beat” Google’s algorithm and make sure the next update means rankings improvements for you? Stop focusing on the tiny shifts of the algorithm that you think you heard about from some thought leader on a blog. Simply focus on your users and everything else will fall into place. This doesn’t mean to totally ignore the updates or forget about learning SEO best practices. However, it does mean you should prioritize what you can do—serving your customers and making sure you have the best internet marketing agency for your website on retainer. Let Be Locally SEO show you how ethical online marketing that gets results is done!