This is a question we received at the Spokane Ask Me Anything sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners held June 12, 2014.

notes-514998_1280SpokaneAMA: Can I actually depend on improving my website search result ranking by linking to my blog/articles/etc. rather than buying SEO?

A recent blog post by Neil Patel, Chief Evangelist of KISSmetrics, discussed this very issue. His take away is that technical SEO is now so well understood that everyone should have excellent SEO built into their web presence, as he says

What “works” in SEO has changed dramatically. The pitfalls are noted, and the way to technical SEO perfection is clearly laid out. Now, it’s relatively easy to have a site that is perfectly optimized. Most competent companies know to create a website that has all the important SEO elements and features firmly in place.”

If everyone can have excellent SEO, how will that distinguish you from anyone else? It won’t. It’s as if you were wanting to introduce a new car to the marketplace – it will have to be at least as good as, if not much better than, what’s already in the marketplace. And with SEO it’s impossible to be much better than everyone else.

So you are left with content. This is your blog, articles, videos, podcasts, etc. that’s on your web site and that people are linking to. In 1996 Bill Gates stated that “Content is king.” It’s never more true than today. It’s now your content that people will be looking for and linking to – if they find it relevant.

So the short answer is yes, make your SEO as good as you can, but make ever more sure that there’s content that people want. Then use your social media to draw attention to your content.

A physicist by trade, author by choice, a born teacher, a retired veteran, and an adamant problem solver, Frank has helped the White House, federal agencies, military offices, historical museums, manufacturers, and over 250 technology startups get stuff done, communicate effectively, and find practical solutions that work for them. In his spare time, he makes sawdust and watches Godzilla movies.