If there’s one thing I find myself stressing to clients time and time again, it’s that SEO is not just a set-it-and-forget-it process. You can’t just blast out all of your on-page SEO in a few hours and expect to start climbing the ranks in Google. If you could, well, to be honest, I’d be out of a job. And it would be 2003.

One Does Not Simply Gain First Page Ranking In Google

The fact of the matter is this – it takes a long-term commitment to build the trust that Google looks at when determining how results are returned. Sure, on-page SEO is critically important; you still need a clean, easy-to-crawl architecture, minimal page load times, a solid on-site linking structure, and everything that falls under the effective keyword-targeting umbrella. However, all of these things need to be complimented with strategies that build trust and authority in the eyes of the search engines. Without trust, you will be extremely hard pressed to beat out your competition in rankings.

Earning Trust Via Links

Any SEO worth their salt will tell you that the way you build trust in the eyes of the search engines is by acquiring high-quality links from sites that have already earned a fair share of trust for your niche. So, if you’re selling razor blades online, you want to get other people with quality razor blade related sites to give you some love via links.

Google Trust

One great way to do this is to encourage reviews of your product. If you’re selling an actual product (like razor blades, for example), reach out to popular bloggers known for writing reviews of products. Offer to send them your product for free in exchange for a review. More often than not, you’ll find that people are more than willing to write a review. Not only is this great for links, but it’s also great exposure for your brand/product. It’s a win/win all around.

Another means of acquiring links is through content marketing. Make something awesome/clever/funny that promotes awareness of your brand and then throw on your pimping shoes. If it’s something truly awesome, people will share that ish like influenza (but in a good way). The links you acquire won’t all be from relevant trusted sources, but you will still get some, and the brand awareness this gives in exchange makes it all so totally worth it. Dollar Shave Club put together a hilarious video explaining their business model, and I’d be damned if this thing didn’t get a slew of links:
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The final piece of advice I’ll give is so simple it hurts – press releases. By using a distribution service like PRWeb, you can easily increase your link profile – so long as you’re writing something people would be interested in reading about. You could even take it a step further and supplement the auto-distribution with manually reaching out to more niche-specific sites and pitching your release to them as well. I’ve written previously about the basics of applying SEO in your press release, and our very own Liz Grimes had a couple of posts examining the basics to PR pitching – both should prove useful.

The Moral of the Story

In short, SEO doesn’t stop with the on-site stuff. It requires time, dedication, and a fair degree of strategy to begin climbing the ranks in search. Hopefully with some of the tips I provided, you can begin working on some of your own efforts in-house. Otherwise, you know where to find me!