Ever since NetSuite launched their eCommerce platform, SuiteCommerce, there has been a growing need for NetSuite SEO knowledge in the ERP community. NetSuite has even started to blog about SEO regularly to provide their customers with a source of specific to SuiteCommerce SEO advice. However, as SuiteCommerce continues to grow and improve, I’m still finding a number of SuiteCommerce customers still engaging in outdated SEO techniques that waste resources and even damage the online reputation of their website. The main reason for this is because there is still a large amount of confusion out there about what is a current SEO technique and what is outdated. Most of this confusion can be cleared up by thinking about SEO in the big picture and looking at the progression of SEO throughout the years.
The Big Picture
Google’s Mission has always been to, “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Even as Google expands, the core of its mission will always be to connect people to information, and a substantial part of carrying out this mission is ensuring an even playing field for the information Google indexes to be accessed.
In Google’s ideal world, no matter who publishes content, if the content is understood by Google to be valuable and a satisfying result for a given search query, Google will reward the content with a higher ranking in order to improve the search process for future queries of that nature.
To do this Google needed to create an algorithm that could quantify and rank how valuable and relevant a web page is to a given search query. This has proven to be easier said than done, and for the past 17 years we’ve watched Google climb the steep learning curve required to maintain a fair playing field for the world’s information.
The early days of SEO were simpler times; stuff your keyword phrase into your web page as many times as you can and get as many inbound links as possible. However, this method proved to scale horribly as the competition increased and the value of being ranked skyrocketed. Early “SEO guru’s” began to game the system by creating artificial links and pointing them at content that they wished to rank. This comprised the integrity of the search results and this meant that Google was not carrying out its mission successfully, so Google started to act and they haven’t stopped acting since.
Since it was first created, Google’s algorithm has undergone over 30 extensive updates. Each one further improving the search process and removing ways the algorithm can be exploited. In recent years, Google’s updates have delivered critical blows to “black hat” SEO techniques such as “Link Farming” and “Keyword stuffing” and has rendered them obsolete today. You may want to review your SEO strategy to see if it contains any of these outdated methods.
Succeeding with SEO Today
If you were looking for a magic bullet for NetSuite SEO success today, the best I can give you is this, make quality content that people will find valuable, the rest should fall into place. Now that may be easier said than done but that is the current law of the land set in place by Google and I doubt that will change anytime soon.
The last few rounds of updates, specifically Panda, Penguin, and HummingBird, stress the importance quality over quantity. These updates form a formidable defense of the integrity of search rankings by relying on an aggregation of over 200 ranking factors that do an exceptional job at determining if content is relevant, trustworthy, of quality, and perhaps most importantly, a satisfying result for a given search query.
With Google doing their due diligence, that leaves SEO’s very little options but to give Google exactly what they want; quality content that satisfies a Google user’s query. Doing this properly requires empathy for the user and the reason for their query, providing a solution for their query, doing so in a quality environment that the user will respond positively to, and a bit of patience, as it does tank so time for Google to determine if content deserves a valuable front-page ranking.
If you do not get your desired results after a prolonged period you may have to start asking yourself some questions. Does this content satisfy a need of the searcher? Or, is the web page configured in a way that is appealing to the searcher? Google Analytics is a great resource available to gain more insight into these issues.
The Opportunity for SEO with SuiteCommerce
Recent updates to SuiteCommerce have made it an exceptional platform for creating positive user experiences. Features like the built-in CDN, social integration, and mobile friendliness, combined with the full range of website customization options, provides a trustworthy and fast foundation for any SuiteCommece SEO campaign. Which is why it is such a pity to see all that power wasted on outdated techniques. Hopefully, this can clear up some of the confusion and allow NetSuite customers to see more results with their NetSuite SEO efforts.
For more specific information on SEO including things like, targeting keywords and how to place the them properly on your website, you can refer to this excellent keyword research guide by Oak City Inbound.
Jeremy McCourt is an content producer in the enterprise software industry that focuses on NetSuite and related cloud-based software solutions.
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