Are you mad, Drayton – how can you say that?
Easy – because every day the great brigade of SEO charlatans is quite simply conning you.
It would be funny if you didn’t stand to lose so much money.
What keywords or phrases are you trying to rank for?
Whatever they are, you won’t be alone. So you’ll end up playing keyword leapfrog forever.
Crazy, costly leapfrog
And guess what?That’s exactly what your friendly SEO consultants want.
The more leapfrog you play, the more they make off you.
But dealing with SEO is really quite simple. Let me explain.
When you want to buy something – or find out more about it – where do you go?
Chances are it’s Google. And what does Google want?
Google wants you to get the answer to your question.
That’s why millions turn to Google every day. That’s why they have their famous, changing-every-day search algorithm, with its penguins and hummingbirds and other assorted fauna.
This algorithm doesn’t just look for matching pages on the internet and say “this is the answer”.
It looks for a page on a relevant and authoritative site which answers your question.
Say someone searches for “Is SEO a waste of time?”
You used to be able to rank well for a single page website along the lines of:
“SEO is a waste of time. Buy my book for $99 to find out why.”
Would this site answer your question? Of course not. And Google wants you to get the answer you want – otherwise you’ll go elsewhere.
How it’s all changed
But suppose you have a website about building websites. And one or more pages discuss why SEO is a waste of time.
So when someone searches for “Is SEO a waste of time” Google starts to search…
…finds your site full of stuff about websites, SEO, etc…
…sees you have a page discussing whether SEO is a waste of time…
…thinks: this is a relevant site with a page answering the searcher’s question…
…and sends that person to you.
So make sure your site tells people what you do and has pages of helpful information.
It sounds laughably simple. But it will, in the long run, get you higher rankings.
How about the back links rip-off?
You’ve no doubt heard of back links – that’s when other websites link to yours.
They can be very valuable. If the BBC or CNN links to your site, Google loves it and gives you a higher ranking.
Some SEO consultants promise they can build a couple of back links a day.
But ask yourself if the BBC or CNN would link to you if you asked. What reputable website would?
Buying links is not the answer. Asking for them doesn’t work either – not from the sites that would make a difference.
So how exactly do these consultants build these links? And where from?
Either they’re being economical with the truth or they’re getting links from worthless sites.
Again, you end up wasting time – and maybe paying for something you can’t control.
If your site is good the links will come. But there’s no shortcut. Listening to anyone who says otherwise will just leave you short of money.
So, besides making sure your site is relevant, what should you worry about?
It’s really quite simple.
Do what Google tells you
Google publishes its guidelines for people creating web pages. None are hard – so follow them.
Of course you don’t have to – as long as you’re happy with a low ranking site.
What about Google Analytics and blogs?
Analytics tell you what keywords and phrases people are using to find your site. Make sure you have them covered. Create new pages if you have to.
Just remember to make these pages relevant and informative. You’re shooting yourself in the foot otherwise.
Write a blog – if you can (and assuming you can write and think, what can stop you?).
Blogs help you cover more ground.
What’s more the search engines like sites that are always updating.
I blog as often as I can think of something intelligent or funny to say.
But for God’s sake be interesting. As David Ogilvy said, “You cannot bore people into buying.”
Blogging can pay – but don’t make the common mistake of posting dreary rubbish. This only works until people realise you’ve nothing of value to say.
And the less time people spend on your site the more your rankings will suffer.
Think about your website visitors. What problems do they have? What questions do they need answered? What puzzles them?
Write to help them and you can’t go far wrong. If you can also entertain them – brilliant!
I long since stopped worrying about anything SEO-related. I just try to write useful stuff as often as I can.
Anything else is just waste of your precious time.