When you are trying to be successful on the internet, no matter what you’re doing, be it building websites for ad revenue, email marketing, affiliate marketing, or whatever else it is you’re doing, you seem to run into a similar problem. It’s this overload of information, so many sources telling you what to do, how it should be done, and often trying to sell you the secret to success. It’s all so overwhelming.
A common goal for internet marketers and web designers is to find themselves on the first page of Google’s search results. This is a great goal and I’m not saying it isn’t important, it really is. What is interesting however, is how different of advice you will get from different people about “SEO.”
SEO stands for search engine optimization, the process of getting your website into search results. Some people even make their online living teaching, coaching, or “doing the SEO” for you. I’ve talked to a dozen different people about the topic and never gotten the same answer twice. That is discouraging in itself when you are trying to find a concrete solution to being found in search engine results on the internet.
When it comes to SEO, I’ve frequently found this to be a problem for me: What should I be doing? What that is, am I doing it right? Who’s to say? When will I know? How do I check? And that is kind of the getting to the bottom line on the topic.
In a talk about SEO, Google’s search algorithm is sure to come up. The algorithm is how Google takes your search words and comes up with the most accurate results, containing the best and most relevant information.
So many people think they know what it’s all about, how to do it correctly, better than anyone else. What it all adds up to is arrogance or ignorance of the person giving you the spiel. Google’s search algorithm is ever changing and incredibly secretive. Why it’s secretive doesn’t matter, why it’s constantly changing is for the simple reason that it is always getting better. There is no concrete answer that anybody outside of Google’s walls know about.
Google’s search algorithm has always been notoriously secretive, and everyone in the web business knows this. Some people think SEO is just some kind of voodoo magic. I kind of agree with them. How can you be knowledgeable about something that’s kept locked up tight behind closed doors? You can’t.
Google is your friend, they are not out to get you. Sure, they want as much of the internet as they can get, but don’t we all? In my opinion they are taking on the noble task of cleaning up and making a more organized, accurate web for us all. That is my explanation as to why they change up their search algorithm. They constantly approve what they see as valuable content, while weeding out people who try to cheat.
There was a time where people would take their post or articles keyword phrase and litter it throughout the post. Google is very smart, and this doesn’t fly anymore. They are actually very good at weeding out this type of behavior, for the good of us all.
There are tons of tools out there to help with SEO. I work with WordPress the majority of the time and the two most popular plugins to help with SEO support are Yoast and All in One SEO Pack. These plugins are bulky, aimless, and ultimately ignorant. The requirements put forth by these plugins should be considered vague guidelines at best.
I have, for the most part, found these plugins to be more than a little gimmicky. Let’s take Yoast for example. It has it’s red-light, yellow-light, green-light system. It not being accurate half the time put aside, it goes back to the problem of they don’t know what Google wants. Yoast asks you to put in sub headlines, I’ve heard from many sources that range from Google doesn’t care about sub headlines all the way to that the search engine hates them.
It’s time for me to be a hypocrite, and lay out the secret for what I think makes for great SEO. Here is the “secret” to having great SEO- there is no secret. You may have heard the phrase “content is king” before, and it is absolutely true when trying to get traffic to your website. Having great content, fairly long and relevant to your niche articles is the best way to show up in search results. There is no longer any way to “cheat” by littering keywords into your articles. Google knows better and put a kibosh on this a while ago.
Sure, you should absolutely include keywords in whatever you’re post is talking about if you want people to land on that page. Be specific to your topic. If your website is about trees for example, you’re probably never going to show up on Google searches for “trees” unless you really have the best website about trees out there. The solution to this is to lock in to a more specific topic, rather than trees talk about a certain type of problem related to. This is sure fire to get you into the results you want to be in.
The bottom line is, you’re only wasting time and energy by fretting about if your SEO is good enough to be found by search engines. If you want to be found, just provide what you claim to provide. Write rich posts, at least to start out with. Write articles that are long and chock full of great information on your niche. Yoast suggests a post needs to be at least 300 words. I strongly disagree, 300 words is really not long enough to get a clear and concise point across, try 800 – 1,000 words when starting out.
Don’t be tempted when creating a new website to be one of those that posts lists, where every thing on your list is planted on a different page, with the hopes of monetizing on bad content in your first run. Google does not like that, and trust me they will know what you’re doing if you try to cheat them.
Content truly is king, as it should be, and this statement will only become more true as the internet progresses and become a better place with more relevant, truthful information.