S.E.O. stands for Search Engine Optimization – that means when they search in Google, you get found.
But how do you get that SEO in the first place?
I found a great chart over at Search Engine Land. It makes it look easy – and technically it is. I’ll break it down for you towards the end. (click on the image for a full size .pdf)
Worried about being found in Google?
Thinking you should pay for an SEO Expert?
Want to save a bunch of money on your
Car Insurance SEO?
Just start with the left side of the chart above.
These are the items you are in direct control of.
These have more to do with your writing posts and pages.
Do you or does your site do this? It should.
- Write real blog posts and pages. Don’t try to keyword stuff.
- Use the keywords you want to be found for.
- Link within those pages to other content deeper inside your site.
- Use keywords in title tags.
- Make full use of meta descriptions – do they reflect what is on the post or page?
- Image titles and alt descriptions – do they reflect the content or do they just say things like img1234.jpg?
As for the Nuts and Bolts of your site…
- If it was built properly you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
- Your site should have a sitemap. (it’s a hidden file usually at yoursite.com/sitemap.xml) Here’s MINE
- Your Sitemap should be submitted to Google (so it knows to look for it)
- Your sitemap should also notify the Google when anything changes (as in new posts or pages) automatically.
- Your site should be easily crawled by the GoogleBot when they send one. (there may be pages you don’t want Google to know about – you can tell them not to look at certain pages – but everything else should be accessible). Incredibly I’ve come across sites that don’t rank, looked at their htaccess files or robot.txt files only to find they excluded ALL Googlebot. Ooops!
- Your site should have URLS that reflect the keywords and topics. (look at the URL for this post)
- SEO is a marathon – it’s not a sprint.
- You can’t just turn on the Google.
- While there are real and decent people you could hire for SEO – chances are you’ll end up buying Snake Oil. (sorry about that)
- Speaking of that – price doesn’t reflect the quality of SEO results. I’ve seen people pay huge piles of cash for SEO and get the same results as someone who paid next to nothing. “You get what you pay for” doesn’t apply here.
- In the Dictionary of Slime, way below used car salesmen, you’ll find SEO Salesmen and SEO call centers. If Dante had a 10th circle, it would have been exclusively for them.
I could go on and on. Details upon Details. We could cover everything from inbound link quality to keyword density, to paid link farms, to site cloaking, to Panda and Penguin Updates, to schema tags, to Google +, to duplicate content, to canonical listings, to personal results, and so much much more. (phew!)
But the simple truth is actually quite very simple.
Just write real stuff about what you’re passionate about, do it somewhat frequently, and you’ll be found. That’s it.