When it comes to SEO in 2014, a lot of digital marketers, advertisers and brand managers out there sure could stand to be more careful not to back into things in the middle of the night. Or in broad daylight.
As we’ve chronicled here before at the official Amplitude Digital blog, this approach is not only “bass ackwards,” but it’s flat-out bad business too. And thanks to a recent decree by Google Webspam Chief Matt Cutts, it can also prove to be very, very costly.
Even if there weren’t increasingly stiff penalties being put in place for “bad blogging” practices, such practices shouldn’t be done in the first place. Certainly not at the rate they are occurring today. But what should be common sense to everyone is apparently not too common to many out there. From the ever-nefarious “Black Hat” SEO operators to oft-shady “link-builders” to more well-intentioned but ill-informed digital marketers, quite a few people seem to be backing into trouble on this front today.
You don’t author, share or post guest blog posts simply because it’s “good for SEO.” You do it because it’s a great marketing practice that shows you’re knowledgeable and passionate about your profession and field. And because it’s a great way to promote and grow your business. Hopefully, you also do it because you generally enjoy learning, sharing, connecting and exchanging information. The fact that it helps with organic search results and other areas of SEO is a benefit of that practice, sure. But it’s far from the primary reason why you do it in the first place.
We also remain firm in our belief that even if people like Matt Cutts and companies like Google did not exist (and we shudder to think of such a scenario), you and your company should be consistently and enthusiastically engaging in an array of “SEO best practices” anyway.
As a website owner, you’re supposed to create a properly built site (complete with well-coded HTML, TITLE Tags, Meta Description Tags, etc.), load it with unique and compelling content that is of interest to your target audience, and do a little PR work to secure some coverage for your business – which can include links to your content, among other things.
Sure, it all helps with SEO, but it also assists and engages other people coming in from those links on other sites – thereby increasing the awareness and visibility of your brand, products and services.
It’s all a bit like the concepts of “awareness” or “branding” in the more time-honored and well-established practice of “traditional” or “classical” advertising and marketing. After all, “awareness” was never the end goal of advertising campaigns – not even “awareness campaigns.” No, the end goal was always something more tangible, meaningful, measurable and profitable than mere diagnostic metrics. You know, things like driving more sales, securing new leads and other things that help your company make money and stay in business. Today, some people like to call these goals Key Performance Indicators, or KPI for short.
Just as “better SEO” is not the main reason for blogging or guest blogging, but a nice side benefit when you do things right.
In the final analysis, we all need to get out of the habit of doing things for SEO reasons first. And instead, make sure to always do things to market and grow your business first.
We need to make sure to move forward in life and in business. And avoid falling “bass ackwards” into bad and lazy habits.
NOTE: A version of this blog post originally appeared on the MeetAdvisors website.