I recently published an article on improving your SEO standings through more careful deliberation on the selection of your keywords, titles, headings, etc. and this helps to a point in all instances. But the true reality of being found through a search engine these days takes much more than just some good keyword selections, even “long-tail” keyword selections. The problem is, and I tested this out just the other day, is that if you actually enter your carefully picked keyword phrase into a search engine such as Google, it can still return you 10’s of millions – even a 100 million plus results. The odds of you showing up on the first page or two are very slim indeed if you are going for just generic keyword phrases and an optimized SEO strategy.
To show up at all on a search engine, you need to be using keywords that have more specificity. For example, put your name in or your website name in to the search box and you actually do have a good chance of being found. But that is the far end of the scale – and who out there that is searching knows your name beforehand anyway? A general phrase won’t find you unless you are a major player out there already getting tons of hits using those key words regularly. That positions you near the front of the line, only being beat out by those that have paid for the placement through AdWords or some similar mechanism. But if you are a small, independent content creator trying to be found… ?
Here’s an example you can try – to prove my point. I typed in “How to become a consultant” into the Google search engine. This is a “long-tailed” keyword phrase that tools I used indicated was a good choice for a keyword phrase. So I have used this string both on my website and on some YouTube videos. On Google search, it returned 220,000,000 results. I scrolled through a number of pages and I was nowhere to be found. Searching for this on YouTube, was somewhat better at 80,000 results. Again, scrolling through several pages, my videos using this phrase were not found. I tried this with a number of general keyword phrases that I thought might work and always, thousands or millions of results were returned. There are just too many of us now pumping in keyword phrases for our content on a daily basis for us to organically make it to the front pages of search engines.
So my bottom line thought for SEO and its usefulness for those organically trying to be found via search engines these days by the average content creator, careful selection of keyword phrases won’t get you there. The only way to get there is to promote your content at cost using your keywords. Then you can be found.
As I often create content that has a low or no financial return expected, promoting it financially so it can be found does not make good business sense. This means you have to be creative and do extra work to be found if you don’t want to pay for being found – so I have started doing that and it is starting to bear some fruit.
In this regard, my first thought is that it takes more effort than it is worth to just directly promote one piece of content very vigorously. You need to find ways to collectively promote all your content every time you put in some promotional energy to do so. Carrying this thought further, as I do many things such as creating articles, templates, books and videos, the best focal point to promote my content has turned out to be my own online site where all I create is viewable. So this is where I put most of my promotional energy. For example:
My videos on YouTube if I am not paying to promote them there, I “Embed” and make them playable on the site.
My articles are also all resident on the site, although I do use social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ to point people to the site by linking any content I put on those platforms right back to it.
When I comment on other people’s articles that I have read, or videos that I have seen, I put in a back link to the site wherever possible next to my posted comment.
These are ways to organically promote your published content. It takes work. It also means that you want to do a lot of work on your website, to make it ultimately a showcase that people will want to bookmark and come back to on a regular basis. So put the effort into your site.
By the way, as you build out your website with more and more content, web pages and features and you start to get more and more visitors to it, Google sees this and your carefully selected, SEO targeted keywords, actually do start to work for you and you start to appear higher up in their search engine results. Over time, you will start showing up on their fist couple of pages in the results lists – but it takes a lot of work and time to get there. So SEO is alive after all – you just have to back into it first by doing a lot of work elsewhere first.
I hope you found this article useful. I wish you the best of luck in building out your own business on the Internet.