SEO has always been more of an art form than a science.  The reason it remains an art form is because companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft do not publish the inner workings of their search algorithms for fear of abuse by SEO practitioners.  So how does a company ensure they are on the right path to being listed on Google’s first page search results?  You first have to understand how search engines work.  The three simple concepts discussed in this series remove the veil of mystery surrounding SEO and put your site on a trajectory towards the coveted top search results.

In our previous post, I discussed the how to make your site relevant to search engines.  In this post, we will cover the next concept which is popularity.

So who loves ya?  Yep, how many people have shown their love for the content on your website or web page by linking to it?  It’s really simple. The more links to your content, the more popular you are to search engines.  Increasing your link popularity through linkbacks from social media platforms and bookmarking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Delicious is one of the easiest ways to build up popularity.  So make sure this is baked into your web design strategy upfront.

Use the following guidelines as well as the viral content formula to increase your site’s popularity:

  • Listen to, live the social web, and understand it.  If you don’t have the time, then hire someone to do it for you.
  • Build relevant content for communities of interest.  If you’re unable to generate conversations around your content, then the content may as well not exist.
  • Actively and respectfully promote your content with the chosen platforms or networks.
  • Continuously monitor, respond, measure, and iteratively develop new content, and respond or be damned!
  • Try this viral content formula to generate catchy titles for your content: [Number] [Adjective] [Key Phrase]. For example, “10 Movies that teach you how to commit crimes”, “10 iPhone finance apps that count”, and “Morgan Freeman’s 5 most memorable movie moments”.

The more links or eyeballs you get to your site, the more popular your site becomes.  This only happens with well-written content that grabs the user’s attention.

In the next post, we will examine the best way to maximize exposure through authority. In the meantime, please leave any questions or thoughts in the comments below.