Odd man out
You are just not that into SEO. For many of us, SEO is a hobby, a passion, a way of life. But you are not like us. You want your site to be visible and competitive on line, but SEO is just not something you would like to really learn.
Good news is, you can still stay up to date on what's going on with the search industry. Better news is, you do not have to spend a lot of time doing SEO if you are doing it the right way.
Your worry-free SEO plan
SEO principles are quite simple. It all comes down to providing your visitors with great online experience and helping search engine bots understand what your site is about. That's it.
When you know why people come to your site, you can quickly offer them answers to their questions. Visitors will like your website if it is fast, informative and solves their problems. If your visitors like your website, search engines will like it too. Make your website accessible to search engines and user-friendly and you will be ahead of most already.
In order for people to like your website, they need to find it. That is where SEO comes in. In my post I am going to help you focus on most important SEO practices that give your website visibility so you are not wasting your time.
Everything you do for your website SEO is to achieve the following goals.
- be visible for your brand and your product
- be relevant to your industry and expertise
- be helpful to your visitors
- make it clear to visitors what you want them to do on your site
- connect your employee authority to your site authority
Do's - SEO Best practices
Organic SEO makes your site visible in search engine results. You optimize your site to make it relevant to a specific topic or industry. It needs to answer many questions. What problems are you solving for the searchers? What questions are you trying to answer? Is your website offering what they are looking for and what is it?
If your website answers questions that people have, you will rank high in the relevant search results. Know what your audience is, answer the right questions, and you will get relevant traffic to your site. If you attract the right people, they will be interested in what you have to offer. Put the searcher first and watch your traffic grow.
There are two parts of website optimization - what you do on your site, and what happens away from it (people linking to you, talking about your company, writing reviews about your products, etc.) Structure your website to help search engines find the relevant information. Learn about on-page ranking factors and focus on organizing content the right way. Know what is important for SEO and understand SEO success factors.
If you are new to SEO, learn from Google and read their SEO Starter guide (PDF).
Tip: Get ahead by implementing Schemas. It is technical, but if you can do it and do it right, you will see impressive results.
Local SEO is important for your local visibility if you are a local business. Your site needs to give a strong signal that your company has a physical location. This signal is correct business name, address and phone number associated with your business and your website.
It is extremely hard to keep it consistent across the Internet, but not altogether impossible. Start with your website. Have your name, address, and phone number on every page. Then look at the most important channels for your business - Yelp, TripAdvisor (travel industry), Yellow Pages, etc. If there are inconsistencies, fix them. Follow local search engine ranking factors to make your website more relevant in local search.
If you would like to learn more, there are many experts who write about optimization for local search. You can read Mike Blumenthal's Understanding Google Places & Local Search or browse through best local SEO and local search related articles hand-picked by Nyagoslav Zhekov.
Mobile optimization is extremely important for your website success. People are using multiple devices to access websites. They also have different expectations when using desktop, laptop or mobile phone to search. If your site is fast and friendly to mobile devices, you will reach more people. Understand what your visitors expect when they are using mobile devices and follow Mobile SEO Best Practices.
Usability is the cornerstone of a successful website. Understand the basics of website usability. Once you do, you will be able to explain to your boss the benefits of usability and expected increase in website traffic and revenue.
Measure results with analytics. You would not know how you are doing until you start measuring your progress. Install Google Analytics on your website. It is a powerful tool and it is also free. Focus on metrics that matter - your revenue and goal conversions. Learn more about Analytics on Avinash Kaushik Blog.
Conversions are one of the most important metrics for your website. You want people to do what you want them to do on your site, once they get there. You also want that to result in some benefit to your company - a reward for all that effort you are putting into your website. The reward can be revenue, downloads, links to your site, comments on your blog posts - anything you define as a goal.
Know the reason each page exists. Learn from experts how to increase your conversions by listening to your visitors.
PPC is a good way to get visitors fast. Follow the best practices. Start with small campaigns, keep them focused, and carefully track the results. You can always expand later. PPC is also great for testing - a message, a product, a benefit. Create 2 options and see which one appeals more to your target audience.
Social media conversations about your website is a strong signal to search engines that you have something valuable. Build a following, give them something to talk about, and carefully nurture the community. Focus on the important activities and you will be successful long term.
Capitalize on internal resources and implement authorship, if you can. Every organization has people who are prominent on line. Their expertise and authority can greatly benefit your business. Help your employees build their author rank. If you connect their contributions with your business, your website will gain additional prominence and everyone will win.
Dont's - tactics to avoid
There are a couple of things you need to avoid in order to stay on course with your long term SEO efforts.
Do not follow shiny objects. I is very tempting to read the latest "trick" of the trade, or follow a well-wisher's advice and start making frantic changes to your website. Don't do it. First step back and decide if it applies to you. Second, determine that the change is impactful in the long run. If you see long term benefits for your site, consider modifying your course. But be very careful in changing your core strategies. Most of the time, if you follow fundamental best practices, you will not need to adjust your strategies and tactics too often.
Do not spend time on busy work, focus on what's important. There are so many things we can do to make our websites better. Nobody has time for all of them. When you focus on what brings the most returns, you will see the most impact on your company's bottom line.
Do not track meaningless metrics. Meaningless metrics give you no insight into what you can do. They are interesting, not actionable. Always ask "so what?" when you analyze your data. If you know what you can do about it to improve your website performance, you have found meaning in your metrics.
Do not stop optimizing and marketing. Everything changes - your audience, their devices, your products, search engines, technology. You need to keep up with trends and view your efforts as an ongoing process. Keep meeting your perspective customers' needs and you will do well.
Do not ignore what your visitors want. You are not going to change them. You are not going to teach them a lesson. Just give them what they want quickly and they will pay in kind giving you their business. Use their language in your content. Solve their problems. Answer their questions.
I know, I did not change your mind. You still are not interested in expanding your SEO knowledge. However, if you want to keep up with the latest developments in the SEO world, here are some publications to follow, in addition to this blog. That way when your boss asks you about Hummingbird or Not Provided, you will offer your opinion with confidence.