25 Jun SEO Facts – Are you ready for the cold hard facts about Search Engine Optimization? Get the SEO Facts here:
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO), has become a “big deal” in the website world. But before you go out and spend a bunch of money on SEO, make sure you get all the facts! There are plenty of consultants and companies that are happy to take your money in order to improve your SEO. This can often be a sham and even when provided by a reputable company, produce dubious results at best. In my opinion “SEO consulting” as a standalone business is a scam… pure and simple.
Recently, a colleague of mine was going on an email rampage about SEO and what he and his business should be doing to increase his page rankings with SEO. He is a dear fellow that I truly hold in high regard. However, in this case he went on and on, and on and on in an email all about SEO facts and what to do about them. By the end of the correspondence, I was thinking that (with what I know of SEO) he could have come a long way toward his goal by not writing about it at all and just doing it.
My response to that message garnered a two day, runaround email discussion between several staff members about SEO. At the end of which I sincerely needed a vacation… like I wanted to drink a bottle of Scotch and go skydiving without a parachute :O I was so convinced that they had their facts upside-down that I was compelled to write this blog. Now the whole world can chime in and we can all get our SEO facts straight once and for all!
Now I know that there are a ton of SEO fanatics out there, so forgive me for being so brazen to purport that my gray matter is superior in any way on the subject of SEO. To some of you SEO Eggheads out there, I may appear to be sincerely mentally challenged. However, I can hardly see a day when Homer Simpson would discuss his “keyword density” with Marge – or anyone else for that matter… SE-DOH! So before you judge me for my point of view on SEO… read on!
When considering SEO it is easy to forget the number one criteria: RELEVANCY. The primary goal of Google has been to make search results more relevant.
SEO facts are an illusive creature to be sure. First off, let me say that I am by no means an SEO expert. With a field that has been evolving at light speed for the last decade, I would hardly assume that anyone could be an expert. Also, with Google being “in charge” of the “how”, things will continue to evolve according to their rules. And those rules change often. Nonetheless, I do have my opinions and some knowledge on the subject. So, I’ll throw my hat into the ring and share those with you here.
It may be interesting to note that the world’s second most trafficked website has no text and only one meta tag for content which reads: “Search the world’s information, including webpages, images, videos and more. Google has many special features to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.” Well, that’s because they are Google! You might say. Yes, but the first time I heard of Google was in 1997, and it made me “Giggle”. I thought “what a stupid name!” With the trendy website naming conventions like “Yahoo” and “Lycos”, “Google” fit right in at the time. That was long before it was added to the dictionary as a “verb” (in July of 2007).
My simple point is that usability and functionality will win in the end, over clever tactics – every day. Secondly, when considering “best practices” in SEO, it is easy to forget the number one criteria: RELEVANCY. The primary goal of Google has been to make search results more relevant. So, packing your site with keywords and trying to gain an edge with density may get you “ranked” higher, but your trade off could be a higher “bounce rate” because of decreased relevancy.
Here is what Google has to say about it: “Search engine optimization is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results” (Get the PDF file on SEO Facts).
Many companies spend thousands of needless dollars and hundreds of wasted man hours trying to “win” the SEO game – only to garner a minor increase in traffic.
On the other hand, I have witnessed friends and associates get a blog ranked to the first page, top three results in Google in less than five days with no money spent while using just a few simple tricks. Those are some SEO facts we can all get behind. It can go either way and all depends on the market, the product and ultimately, THE CONTENT. Content is KING!
In my humble opinion (I think it funny that whenever someone starts a sentence off with that, they really mean “in my self-exalted, arrogant view”) I think that the whole SEO thing is way overblown. The most important thing is to have a great website, with terrific information that is relevant to potential and existing customers. Before anything else, your website should be easy to use, provide a clear path to your products and offer a number of features that provided “stickiness” (a reason for them to keep coming back.) Beyond that, I am pretty convinced that SEO is truly an afterthought.
So, let me get to my key thoughts on SEO facts: 1) I would urge you against designing a site entirely around SEO; 2) Just make a great site with excellent content! and 3) Use WordPress. Google loves WordPress sites and there are fantastic tools/plugins to help you with SEO. The one I always put into every site I build is this one: http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/. Again, in my humble opinion, that is all the “SEOing” anyone really needs to do. Finally, your website should be “blog centric”, as blogging is the best way to get and maintain relevance.
The rest is all in sales and other tactics used to generate and maintain a consistent traffic flow to your sites. These are pretty simple and haven’t changed much in quite a while:
- Pick key words using Google’s keyword tools in AdSense and use them in your META tags and page titles, etc.
- Write one blog each week using keywords as the focal point and use the SEO tools in WordPress to validate
- Post consistently (if not daily) in as many free classified sites as possible – like Craig’s List & classifiedads.com
- Post on your Facebook Fan Page, Pinterest and LinkedIn at least once per day (recommend 3x)
- Post on Twitter at least three times per day, follow at least 5 new people daily, “retweet” often and use hash tags!
- When posting in social media, use your keywords often and always have a link to your blog, site or product
- Create a Facebook Group and have someone admin it all day long (could even be several admins… customers too)
- Join other groups on Facebook that are relevant to your keywords and post in them often
- Post new videos to your YouTube channel often and let everyone know!
- Have someone active on your YouTube Channel responding to comments everyday
- Make “list building” a priority and have a signup to your email list on everything you can
- Have effective auto responders that send out emails to your list at least three times per week
- Send out newsletters monthly or bi-monthly (weekly is best in season)
- Use squeeze pages to capture leads and drive traffic (ask me about this later!)
- Develop and deploy a strong mobile strategy (super important!)
You will get far better results with these actions than anything else. As far as actual SEO tactics, I would make sure that you use keywords in titles, descriptions and meta tags. I would make sure that you make full use of “alt” tags and title tags in every image and product item (another reason why using WordPress has a huge SEO payoff is the way it handles Media Attachments as blog entries with full SEO capability – a feature few people ever take full advantage of.) Don’t get caught up on making “clunky pages” just for SEOs sake… use your keywords but keep it relevant, streamlined and useful.
My advice would be to make the best sites and blogs as you can and then SEO them afterwards. Those are the SEO facts as I see them. I welcome your comments and opinions on what you believe to be the most important SEO facts.
At ButlerConsulting.com we work with you and your staff to help you get your SEO facts straight while establishing the daily disciplines and Internet habits it takes to succeed and thrive online. Meet with us once and you’ll know all the right questions to ask our competition. Meet with us a second time and you’ll never look elsewhere for your web solutions.