If you have a website, you’ve at least heard the term SEO thrown around. It helps you rank higher for the terms you want, right?
Maybe you even hired an SEO company or an “Internet Marketing” expert to help you out in getting better results. Now your site has tanked and the people you hired are telling you it’s because Google did this and algorithm that. They spew words like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird and you think you’re site is locked up in some zoo.
You start thinking Google hates you and your business. They’re to blame for your lot in life and you can do nothing about it. Think again:
Google doesn’t hate you. You’re just not giving them what they want.
Worry about what you can control
On-site SEO is what you have the absolute most control over. It’s your site, isn’t it? You should be controlling the content that exists on it. Make sure that your content is good and original. Don’t copy and spin some article you found somewhere and then put it on your blog and expect Google to reward you for it.
Want some more proof? I asked my friend Rob Neu of AuditWP who run a ton of SEO audits on WordPress sites the question, “Do you think WordPress users should take more control and responsibilities over their own sites or send them off to SEO experts?”
He responded with the following:
We’ve audited a lot of websites. Out of all the sites we’ve reviewed since we launched Audit WP, I can say without a doubt that the ones that had the most SEO problems were owned by people who tried to outsource their marketing.
Hiring an SEO consultant or an SEO agency to promote your website for you is a really dangerous thing to do, especially when you don’t understand what they’re doing. If you choose the wrong people, they can cause irreparable damage to your domain. In the worst cases you might even have to start over from square one with a new domain name. Not good.
You need to treat your website like it’s your baby. You wouldn’t hand over your baby’s care to a total stranger without at least setting some ground rules and understanding what they were going to do. If you really want your website to be successful, you need to take the bull by the horns and at least learn the basics about SEO and how it works.
You can control stuff like title tags and meta descriptions. You can control the links within your site and whether they’re broken or not. These are small in nature, but can produce some pretty big dividends in the long run.
Your site’s navigational structure is something else you can control. How hard is it for visitors to get to the content they want? More than a couple of clicks? You need to do that better. This is something you can control. Make it so your visitors can get to exactly what they want as easy as possible. Not only will this be awesome for your visitors, but it will help the crawlers and spiders of the web get around your site much easier, too!
If you’re using a WordPress (which you should be), help your on-page SEO by installing WordPress SEO by Yoast and configuring it correctly.
If you’re wanting a new site, make sure you use something like the Genesis Framework as it’s built with SEO in mind. It works great with Yoast’s plugin, as well! 🙂
Schema markup is your friend, friends
Using appropriate Schema markup on your site will definitely help. It helps search engines know what they’re looking at much easier because you’re actually telling them what it is! This is a huge part of on-site optimization.
If you’ve looked around my site, you probably know I’m a big fan of the Genesis Framework. If you know anything about it, you know that it comes enabled with Schema Markup, which is amazing! Does that mean it will have the perfect markup for your site? Definitely not!
Like most things, you need to customize it to suit your needs. Contact me if you need some help with that.
Yes, where you host your site matters
Sorry to break it to you, but if you’re looking for the most inexpensive hosting, you don’t care about SEO. Part of getting good rankings comes from how fast your site loads. Monitoring your page speed is an important part of the process.
Looking for a good host? Send me a message through my contact form and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Don’t believe the hype, links matter
Yes, writing great content is awesome. You definitely need that in order to have a site worth ranking. One thing that hasn’t changed in all of Google’s algorithm updates is the fact that the amount of links you have coming to your site matter.
Want to know what matters more? Just like Google likes quality content, they love quality links! That means if most of your links are coming from sites that have nothing to do with your own or sites that are pretty shady, then they’re not going to help you much. They’ll probably end up hurting your site.
It’s a never ending battle, friends
On-page optimization isn’t something you should ever think you’re finished with. You should always be reading, studying and be making tweaks to make sure you stay ahead of the curve. Make sure you keep giving those big search engines what they want!
Add a new piece of content like a page or blog post? Optimize the crap out of it, people! We have a tendency to get lazy after we see some gains in traffic, but you need to remember what helped you get there.
Have anything to add or have comments? Leave them below.