I am about to share the contents of an email I sent a friend, to save her from falling victim to this razzle dazzle internet superstars who tour Australia luring small business owners with promises of easy ways to beat Google.
For the record, my mantra with clients since 2004 has been to create content for your MARKET first, and Google will follow.
The key point today is that if you intend to be cheeky in your online marketing, make sure it is a cheeky idea in your content and not a cheeky idea to try and trick Google.
If we take the honest, helpful, valuable approach we build an online asset that holds its value for a long time.
The message of distress
My friend told me she had gone ahead and registered a number of fresh domain names that mentioned different suburbs important to her business.
Her plan, from an idea spun to her by one of these ‘wonder kids’, was to make all the domains point to her main website so she could trap search traffic that used those suburb names.
Needless to say, she was disappointed to hear me break the news that the money she’d spent thus far had been wasted.
Domain names need content
Here’s something important to understand. Your WordPress website does well in search because it is WordPress (so Google understands how to get deep inside) and because you are blogging and adding content.
A good domain name that includes important search terms can add icing to the cake, making it easier for Google to join the dots and send traffic your way BUT that benefit is in relation to the CONTENT.
Google is linking people to content NOT domain names.
Therefore, if we wanted more clients from Glenelg and bought a domain like bakermarketingglenelg.com.au and just pointed it to our main website, here is the ONLY way it would work: if someone typed in bakermarketingglenelgDOTcomDOTau.
When was the last time you GUESSED a FULL domain name?
Just typing baker marketing Glenelg would not lead Google to discovering this domain as the domain itself has no content to give the domain context.
If we decided to make a copy of our main site and have that ALSO sitting under the new domain name, we would then get a Google penalty for DUPLICATE content.
Follow the one true way
There have been enough public noises from Google now to make it clear that the search giant is looking for content and in particular, longer form content.
To Google’s way of thinking, the more content of quality you create, the greater your authenticity and integrity because it can see you sustaining good output.
Three things that could and should be done to attract more interest from Glenelg, I told my friend, were to:
- systematically blog about each suburb in your current site – how your product or service relates, examples of activity there, etc.
- make sure your Google Places/Local entry is accurate – this is your free map listing which lets you add keywords and other media when you appear in local search results.
- get active in Glenelg chatter and online discourse so your content can reflect current
I suppose the moral of the story is:
If you feel like you are pulling the wool over Google’s eyes, you probably are