Any research into search engine optimization (SEO) is likely to yield a bunch of hacks, shortcuts, and other magic-bullet solutions that are supposed to supercharge your strategy and grow your business. You get “all the tips and tricks” to achieve the best SEO results in the fastest way possible.
If SEO tricks that fast-tracked results really existed, no one would give them away for free, and more businesses would be seeing stellar SEO performance.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple – nothing that’s worth it ever really is. SEO isn’t about taking shortcuts and hacks, but resource allocation.
The Problem with Hacks
Before we can get to the tried-and-true methods of boosting SEO, we need to cover why the quick tricks and hacks aren’t ideal or reliable for getting results.
Sure, some hacks and tactics are considered golden by a few businesses and showed success early on, but SEO has gotten too competitive for that now. Too many businesses are competing for too few spots – with a bunch of pages – and hacks aren’t good enough anymore.
Really, if anyone can find and apply hacks and shortcuts in seconds, without experience, everyone can. The quickest way to blend into the crowd is to do the same thing as the crowd, and you have virtually no chance of standing out.
Keyword usage is a good example. Some businesses choose to plaster keywords all over their website, hoping they’ll attract people with them. In the past, with lower competition, that worked, but there’s simply too much out there now. Keywords are competitive, businesses are competitive, and keyword usage needs to be targeted, too.
Furthermore, using the same strategies over and over again, without making it appropriate for the specific business, doesn’t yield positive results. Businesses have different needs, goals, strengths, and resources.
So, what does it take in the modern digital environment?
This comes down to knowing who your competitors are, what you have, and what strengths you can leverage. You can’t do it all, so focus on what you do best.
Use Your Business’s Resources for Your SEO Strategy
SEO is about resource allocation, not hacks. Now that we have that down, let’s dive into what that really means.
Everything in SEO revolves around the three pillars:
- Link building and referring domains
- Content development and content marketing
- Technical SEO
Many businesses have strict marketing budgets, especially at the start, and don’t have a lot to throw at SEO strategy. This means that they can’t afford to throw all their budget at every single hack or shortcut they hear about, hoping for positive results.
Instead, it means that SEO strategy needs to be targeted and methodical, putting effort and resources into the strategies most likely to yield positive results.
Even large companies struggle with limited resources, so allocation is a big challenge. So, what combination of SEO pillars will lead to a good ranking?
Leverage Your Strengths
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make after searching for SEO tips or reading case studies is trying to create a copycat strategy without tailoring it to their needs. In doing so, what they miss is what made these cases optimized for the specific business.
Of course, copying some successful strategies can work in certain situations, it’s best to take good ideas and align them with your own business’s strengths.
If You Have a Strong Network…
Some businesses lack the resources for a full-time, in-house content development team or to outsource a lot of high-quality writing. They may have another strong suit, however, which is their network. They can go out into the community and speak and be heard, which can be leveraged into a backlink strategy.
Businesses with a strong community presence can use their network to pitch contacts for guest posts or speaking opportunities to build thought leadership and drive links to their website.
If You Have a Gift for Writing
If your business isn’t that known – yet – you still have strengths at your disposal. We’ve all been there. Most businesses start out with virtually no presence, unless they’re launched by someone who already excelled in their industry and used it to start a business.
Businesses that don’t have the brand equity or exposure for backlinking can invest more into content and technical SEO. Maybe you have a team that can produce content for you, or you can delegate some responsibilities and produce it yourself.
The goal of content strategy is to build a library that is thorough and comprehensive, boosting ranking by keywords and making the site more relevant.
If Technical Knowledge Is Your Strength
You may not enjoy writing (or don’t have time), and may lack a community presence, but if you have technical skills, you can use them to your advantage. You can create and launch a website quickly and make sure it follows all technical SEO best practices.
This solution is good for tech-savvy owners or technical teams that can create websites, databases, and optimized user experiences quickly, and usually works well for tech startups.
Technical SEO always requires strong technical skills that can build the web assets you need, but it also means doubling down on those skills and creating optimized websites in the complex Google world.
If you have technical knowledge, you probably know how to get Google to properly index your pages on your website, even if your website is huge already. You can also make sure that all your pages are properly optimized and use the best keywords.
For example, if you have a website with 100,000 pages and decide to launch a new component, how can you make sure Google can properly index it? How can you make sure that each page is optimized for the right keywords?
Technical B2B SEO is complex and challenging, but if it’s done right, it can significantly boost your SEO. Over time, certain relevant keywords can rank for your business organically.
Combining Three Strategies
SEO is about honoring your strengths and leveraging the tools and resources you have, not throwing the proverbial spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. You won’t win with every single strategy, and you’ll burn through your time and budget quickly.
Focus on where you excel – isn’t that good advice for all aspects of business management anyway?
Allocate your resources according to the pillar of SEO that makes the most sense for your company, or use a bit of all of them. In doing so, you can develop a long-term, highly organized, and resource-allocated SEO strategy that will help you achieve your present and future goals. This strategy can also scale into a self-sustaining campaign that grows with your business.
SEO is always a complex topic, especially for businesses with fewer resources to leverage and limited marketing budgets. This advice should help you identify opportunities to tailor your strategy according to your unique strengths as a business.
Remember, There’s No Shortcut
SEO is frustrating. Hacks and shortcuts may seem like a way to relieve the burden and get the results you want faster. It’s not that simple, though. If you spend weeks devoting your time, energy, and budget to SEO hacks and realize that wasn’t the right direction to take, you could end up in a worse position.