Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
Tricking Google with SEO is like playing a game. Except, new rules keep being added, and just when you get the hang of the existing rules, those change all together, too.
Sounds frustrating, right?
It can be. When I worked at Mediagistic, a local advertising company providing full ad services for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning companies around the nation, there was an entire department dedicated to making our clients show up at the top of the list.
Being in the internet department, I had the privilege to observe some dos and don’ts of SEO. As it turns out, there’s a number of ways to trick Google, or make it appear as though people are consuming more of your content or webpages. The problem with most of these, however, is that the user suffers for the sole purpose of analytics.
For example, how many times have you clicked on a listicle (article with listed items) only to discover you were forced to click an arrow to view the next item, which just so happened to be on a new webpage altogether. Oh yeah, don’t forget about the extra loading time this takes, or the ridiculous amount of ads usually accompanied at the bottom.
BizBash, a popular event planning news website, does this constantly – and their viewers suffer for it. What busy even planner has time to wait for pages to load? Not many. They do it so you’ll be able to see the content at the top of the search results, and hopefully want the information badly enough to tab through their annoying platform.
At Mediagistic, we worked hard to get our clients at the top of the search pages, using a number of combined strategies: keyword infusion, Google AdWords, Google Pages, blacklining, and much more. Mark Schaefer, author of The Content Code, would state our client’s blog content as “hygiene” content, because it “takes care of everyday customer needs.”
I must say, creating any type of engaging content about air conditioning is a challenge all by itself. Creating HERO content (viral content) is even more difficult. My thought is, if you can make heating and ventilation interesting, you can market anything. While our HVAC blogs were hygienic, Google seems to like them, as many of our clients continually ranked highly with Google’s search results.
Hey – hero or hygiene – whatever gets your content seen is the best strategy to use.