Author’s note: Be sure to read through to the end to find out about an upcoming opportunity.
Search engine optimization or SEO has changed forever. Back a few years ago, many of us spent a lot of time trying to figure out the secret sauce – “The Formula” – that we needed to apply to our website and web pages to show up high on the search engines like Google. It’s kind of like reverse engineering The Forumula for KFC® fried chicken or Coca Cola®. You can easily make a cake, but you can’t unbake it and bring it back to its original ingredients.
SEO has historically been the same thing. What’s the right keyword density? What’s a link worth from a Page Rank 5 site versus a PR7? Should we do image optimization? What’s the best link building tactic?
I could go on.
All of this has shifted now from a pseudo-science to more of an art form. No longer is SEO a formulaic endeavor with rote steps we need to take. I get people call me and ask, “How much does it cost to SEO my website?” or “Do you ‘do’ SEO?”.
In other words, you don’t “do” SEO once and walk away. Instead it’s an ongoing process that involves so many things that are difficult to quantify. Instead, I prefer to call it “customer engagement strategies” – big sounding words that simply mean “attraction marketing” or “getting found”.
SEO is no longer keyword optimization. It’s a lot of skills and tactics and strategies rolled into one. No one can claim that they are number one on Google for a specific keyword, as I pointed out in Sorry Skippy, There Is No Page One on Google Any More. Furthermore, there are SO many opportunities to get found, just to name a few:
- Social media
- Paid placement (pay per click)
- Local search
- Online press releases
Fundamentally though, your website is the core of all of this. It’s the portal through which people find out more information about you, find your business, services and products, and hopefully engage with you in some way. All of your inbound “roads” should lead back to your website in some fashion.
Therefore, your website is crucial to making sure that people can find you and engage with you. Some of the most important factors that your website must have include the following, that I include in “customer engagement strategies” or “SEO”:
- Good design – This can mean many things, but it includes good usability, easy-to-navigate and find information, clear, simple calls-to-action, and good landing page design. Remember, EVERY page on your website is a “landing page” because you never know how people will show up (search engines, social media, e-mail newsletters, inbound links, etc.).
- Structurally sound coding – Google grades on a curve. If your website is hard for them to figure out, you’ve got canonicalization issues, deprecated code, table layouts, frames, incorrect redirects, multiple domain names or other funky problems, it doesn’t matter how well you “optimize” the content. It’s just not going to perform the way it should.
- Basic on-page SEO – For lack of a better term, “SEO” is sending signals to the search engines about your content. I look at and analyze a LOT of websites, and 92% of websites I look at – even those that are “optimized” – get a failing grade here. It’s not hard to do, but so many websites have either not been set up properly or have not been maintained.
Also, in about two weeks, I’m going to be hosting a three-part live webinar series that will be structured around these three topics:
- Proper web and landing page design
- Website “gotchas” that bite
- How to grade your website and fix it today
This series will be only available for a short time, and there are very few seats available. You’ll be on the call live, and we’ll be doing reviews of your websites right there on the call. You can ask me questions live during the call. We don’t have registration open yet, but you can get on the list to be the first to know before it’s opened to the public and fills up.
How to Find Out More
There are three ways to find out when this is available (you only have to do one of these):
- By text message: Send SIMPLESEO to 22828
- Use your phone to scan the QR code to the right
- Go to my website and click the blue “Get It Now” button on the right