Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a large field of study and business, and it's also requires a lot of time and effort. Why where does the average business owner, solopreneur, freelancer, blogger or corporate manager / president find the time to do that day in and day out. The answer is you don't and more importantly: there are higher impact items to focus on.
Today I want to tell you about why I think SEO is something you should only spend a little time on up-front, why it's not worth your time to spend a lot of time on it, and the five things you should be doing in SEO.
Why SEO is not worth your time
You have 24 hours in a day, I have 24 hours in a day, and so does everyone else. So why would you spend time playing the ‘SEO Rat Race'? It's a game where the house always wins and you're just a small fish in a very large shark saturated ocean.
The SEO Rat Race is the game we are all forced to play in-order to achieve any sort of ‘natural' rankings on search engines. The SEO Rat Race really is nothing more than a game that you'll never win. At best, you'll match your competitor.
You may be thinking that it's not ‘that' hard to get rankings on SEO engines, or that all you have to do is find a long tail keyword and work from there. But then let me ask you, what business owner has time for that when it doesn't offer much benefit and there are better things to do?
Here is how the real world works in terms of SEO Rat Race. You write an article or post with SEO in mind. You do some light keyword research and then you plop them into your article here and there. Then you do seo on your article online by adding the meta keyword fields, you make sure that it has the proper title, tags, categories, headers and SEO phrase-to-word ratio. Great.
Well … now you are at the mercy of the internet because there is nothing more you can do. Once you're article is up and SEO Optimized there isn't much more you can do inside the realm of pure SEO.
So now let's say your competitor, who just happens to have a bigger, better and older (thus stronger ranking) website, chooses to write an article for the same keyword phrase that you did.
Since his website is naturally stronger, your article will instantly be pushed down the rankings below his. Now what if 50 more people did the same thing all of whom probably have more time / money / energy than you to ‘do' SEO? What now? Now you're somewhere on page 6 of the Google results and you sure as heck aren't getting any traffic form that (Multiple studies prove and show that not too many people go past page one of the search results, very few people get to page 2, an extremely small amount of people get to page 3, and if you're on page 4 or further … you're best bet is to pray to the internet Gods to send someone to you).
Simply put: there will always be someone bigger, stronger and more able to out SEO you in the blink of an eye.
The other problem is the search engines themselves. Let's take Google as a perfect example. Google has website rankings down to a darn good science. But the problem is you and I will never know what that science is, we can only guess and stipulate.
Several years ago I used to get around 1,200 visitors a day to this blog. A good amount of my articles, which are hand written high quality articles, where ranking numbers 1, 2 and 3 for many different keywords. Then Google made serious changes to their SEO algorithm and I went from 1,200 a day to an average (as of this writing) around 100 a day.
Don't depend on SEO as your main strategy. It's like attempting to play direct against the Casino in poker: one way or the other the house always wins.
This is why you should only spend a small amount of time in the SEO Rat Race.
There are some things you can do though. So while I do not recommend that you play the SEO Rate Race for any extended period of time, it is helpful to dabble in it. Why? Because some SEO is significantly better than nothing.
Today's online world does revolve at least some SEO, so you need to at least be in the game. Anyone on the sidelines won't be getting any ‘free' traffic from search engines anytime soon.
Why at least having some skin in the game you're able to:
- Naturally rank in search engines for at least something
- Let the search engines know you have a serious website that is respectable (because it knows how to define itself)
- It also allows you to define a few extras on your website such as author tags (which help in rankings), open-graph tags (another good addition) and many other things that will naturally help.
- Help you rank locally, if that is something of importance to you.
Five great things you can do to ‘help' your SEO
This surely isn't a ‘top' list nor a best 5 list, but it is at least a good primer for best practices that you should take note of.
1) Make sure your website is SEO optimized in general. If you use WordPress, then use a Plugin such as SEO by Yoast.
2) Properly tag (and categorize) each and every page, post, article, AND image and video. This means having high quality and descriptive titles, headers, page sections (if any), each image should have a title and alt tag as well as possibly a description (but not needed), and videos should have all the proper video tags as well that help search engines identify as much information out of it as possible.
3) Do it once and set and forget. For the most part, once you properly do SEO on your website once, you won't have to ever really worry about it. It's good enough.
4) Use Author and Publisher tags. Google now very happily accepts (and highly recommends) that you add authors and publishers to every page and post of your website. An author is the person who writes the post (me/you/your co-worker) while the publisher is who publishes the blog (your brand name, your product). In WordPress, there is a SUPER easy plugin which will help you get this right called AuthorSure.
5) Link your social profiles into your website in such as way as to automate any and all postings. This way, whenever you make a ‘seo friendly' blog post, all your social profiles will automatically create a post linking right back to your site. Thus, saving you a lot of time writing and linking and remembering what to write where.
Hopefully that helps you understand why you shouldn't play the game for very long.
What quick SEO strategies and tactics have you used to help you online?