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SEO and content marketing

Currently search engines apply various algorithms to their search results which aim to provide the user with an accurate result of what is being searched for.
The content on your website however is not sufficient for a search engine to rank you in any major order of importance unless you are proactive.

The results of search engines rely on who links to your website. The critical component to achieve higher page ranking web pages is to hope that your content is important enough so that other website owners will want to link to your site.

A search engine can quantify if your site follows their rules of optimization better than your competition but they cannot say that you have a more important website to rank you higher. They do have an opinion but cannot be positive that your website is useful to people sufficient enough to give you a number one ranking. They know that there are millions of pages with the same topic as yours so how do they evaluate and put them into some sort of order in their index?


You may have been in the situation where you know that your website is better than your competitors and you have a specialist SEO that optimizes your pages. You may be dumfounded why your ranking is not higher on the indexes. The reason why this happens is that search engines also rely on other people that is, if other web owners like what you say and they link to your web pages you will find that you will rise in the search engines. This does not happen overnight and requires patience due to the delay between indexing all the websites in the world before they will be able to find who is linking to you.

The different power of backlinks

Backlinks that are connected to your industry are critically important. It is not much use to you to get backlinks from any old website. This makes it harder for you as you need to get links from the same business that you are targeting. If you are members of associations or other alumina these will certainly assist you.

©Igor Yaruta via 123RF

In South Africa there are only a small number of these types of links in any industry so linking sufficiently in this way is not enough. The point is that if all your competitors linked to your website that would be the power needed and life would be great but we all know this will never happen! There is also different power within different websites if you get a link from a not so important website that does not help you very much you need to have links from websites with higher PR rankings to make a difference to yours.

You need to be proactive and create linkable content

Getting backlinks if you are not proactive, may take you some years so you need to feed your information to other website bodies. Another additional place to link your website is with your suppliers if you ask them to put a link to you that will help. You do need more than that and the easiest (although hard work) is to write about your industry which is targeted for South Africans in particular, but also for the rest of the world in general. So you need to become "newsy" and write articles about "what's trending".

You have now become a publisher and an editor which may take you away from your day job. There are a number of firms that you can employ that will provide this service but you need to ensure they operate in your market and understand what's new and trendy. Alternatively you can direct them and tell them what to write about, this will take much less of your time. Your South African SEO, if you have one, can also do the job but cannot be expected to know your business with sufficient confidence.

What to write about

You can write about recent case studies, a new intervention you made to improve peoples' lives, an industry topic that is newsy, or explaining your knowledge about any given subject that is relevant to your industry.


Unfortunately due to the effort required from you as an owner this is how to achieve organic growth and higher ranking on the search engines. It is a lot of work but one that will pay off by moving you to the top of search engines and rewarding you with more people visiting your web pages and consequently more business. People who want to do business with you will have heard about you from somewhere else which is also a recommendation so by the time that they talk to you a sale will be much easier to make. When they visit your web page and seen the abundance of content on it they will be impressed that you are obviously a proactive company that knows what they are talking about.

As a search engine optimisation expert from South Africa, I have seen the results over the last 19 years of a website owner being proactive compared to one that is not. The difference is phenomenal but you need to write articles that contain good quality content. It's a way to promote yourself and your business which takes some work from you.

I have seen clients giving me hundreds of keywords that they want to be ranked for. They then go off on their merry way (not providing the content) they think that they have done their job now it's up to the SEO to prove if they are worth the money they get paid for. I have seen clients think that the SEO comes into the price they pay for web hosting, I have seen clients move their account because they get annoyed with regular reminders to provide new content, I have seen clients who only want a "one pager" and I have seen a lot more from people who think SEO has a magic wand!

Finally quantity over quality is not the answer if your content is unique you will have much more affect on the web than just churning out poor quality content; to make it unique you need to talk about your knowledge and experiences.

There is no magic with SEO it is all about hard work and reward and has been around since the web first started in South Africa but is only now being called content marketing and trending all over the world.

About Gordon Barker

Gordon's passion and driving force is in Internet technology, building brands and bringing new ideas to the web and has recently launched a live web streaming service.
Gordon Barker
Analogy to getting backlinksOur analogy to this situation is that if you have 100 close friends but your buddy has 1000 friends, who is the most popular? Search engines work on the buddy system to establish who is the most popular website. Simple to understand but hard work as you have to improve your networking over your competitors. Another factor to this analogy is if you have 100 friends but they are all Top Bankers and your competitors who have a 1000 friends are all Clerks at the bank the tables get turned and you now become the top website to contend with as your buddies are all the Top Bankers who have more influence they are more important.N.B. Don’t tell this to the South African government as they would insist that all links are treated equal, he, he.
Posted on 8 Jan 2016 06:37