And no, the answer isn’t everything. Or even most things. The #1 thing people get wrong about SEO is the practice of creating, curating, and honing meaningful content.
Yesterday we looked at the distraction Page Speed scoring can be. If Page Speed score is essential but not the most important metric for improving your organic search results, what is the most important?
The Credit Score of the Internet
Organic search ranking is like the credit score of the internet. It consists of a mixture of variables that add up to become your relevancy when someone is searching the web. Like the credit score, no one publishes the exact weight of the elements, but we have some good guesses.
For credit scoring, things like the length of accounts, total credit available vs. credit used, and timely payments add up to create your score. Your SEO score is based on your content, how it is tagged, your social footprint, and yes, even page speed.
Social Footprint and Content Are King
Nike is an excellent example of this – their page speed score is terrible. They get a C grade in many SEO analysis tools. Yet, they receive 50 million visits a month and are frequently among the top-visited fashion sites worldwide. Much of that traffic is going to be organic.
If their metrics suck, then how do they get so much traffic? I think our assumed weighting of the SEO score elements is off. It makes sense too.
The hard part is creating excellent content and products that people want to engage with. The most challenging work is building an audience that shares, raves, and links back to your website. But it is doing the hard work that pays off in Organic Search.
We wish it could be as simple as the right tags and titles, the correct page speed score, and, boom, we would be at the top of the list. (A lot of people benefit from selling SEO services that promise this as well.)
But a startup shoe company isn’t going to outrank Nike by beating their page speed score or getting an A on an SEO grader. They will have a chance if they create a great product, create shareable content, and invite their audience into their story.
Can I Ignore Headline and Meta Tags Then?
Nope. Here is why – you aren’t as well known as Nike, yet. Think of it like building a house. You can make it beautiful, well constructed, and ready for guests, but if you live on a street with no name and have no house number on the front, those guests will never find it.
Proper titles, meta tags, and keyword rich content are the way signs which help Google know who you are. The size and connectedness of your audience is what increases your rank once they know what to rank you for. You need a house number on your mailbox and name on your street sign but you still need to make your house a place people want to come to!
Do you want more organic traffic? Create relevant, shareable content and build your network of people who care enough about it to invite others into your story.
Tomorrow we will look at 7 Brilliant Tips for SEO Newbies.