Search engine marketing (SEO) is really about getting search engines like Google to notice, and trust your site, and ultimately to provide value to your visitors (after all, a person searching for a product on Google starts out as their customer first. Google wants to make them happy).

SEO is not figuring out how to “game” the search engines. Anything you or I can do to quickly rise to the front page of Google is being done by a million other SEO experts, and eventually Google will penalize those sites. Examples include keyword URLs, keyword stuffing, and linked lists.

Could you do any 1 or 2 of these and rank high on search engines? If you have time and resources to accomplish only one task, I would argue that high-quality customer-focused content is it. If Google doesn’t notice you or trust you today, high-quality content will make customers trust you, link to you, and talk about you. Eventually, Google will start paying attention too.

1. Notice

• Select 3-5 keyword phrases
• Create content around each keyword phrase
• On-page optimization: title, description, h tags, image names, alt content.
• Google Adwords
• Google Analytics (not required, but you need to measure your success)

2. Trust

• Google Local Business
• Matching business name, address, etc. on search engines, data aggregators, review sites, etc.
• Contact info on all web pages, footer to match Google Local Business info
• Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube accounts all point back to website
• Other companies, organizations point back to website
• Sitemap (XML)

3. Value

• Useful Content (blog, articles, videos, white papers)
• Link building campaign
• Social media campaign (YouTube, Facebook, LN)
• Customer reviews