By Anna McDermott

Alex Nerney, Co-Founder of Create and GoNancy Marshall, host of The PR Maven® Podcast, likes to say “Google is like Santa Claus. It knows when you’ve been good or bad.” In her conversation with Alex Nerney, co-founder of Create and Go, Alex agreed and said if you try to outsmart Google, you’ll get a lump of coal “in the form of zero visitors” to your site.

Google’s algorithms are constantly improving to help you get better search results. Back in the early days of SEO, so-called web gurus would teach you tricks to “outsmart” the search engine, but Google has become very efficient at recognizing websites that have good content and that are well established. This means that you won’t get amazing traffic to your site right away even with excellent content and it is the death-knell for any site if you simply fill it with keyword garbage in an attempt to fool Google.

Alex said “You have to be the expert. You can’t pretend.” And that takes time. If you keep adding real content to your site or blog that offers value to people, over time, Google will learn this about it and direct traffic your way.

Content marketing is gold for your website. What you post on your website will be indexed by search engines and if it is done well, you will help your target audience with valuable information, as well as boost your business. Since you can’t fool Google, don’t waste your time on web copy that doesn’t add value. If you are an expert in a certain field, your website should reflect that.

When you write something for your website or blog, research the top keywords using a tool like Google Ads keyword planner. It will show you ranked search terms for any topic — so whatever your line of business, you can narrow down the best words to use when writing about it. But make sure what you write is quality content and that the use of keywords in any sentence makes sense. You can’t fool Google!