A hummingbird just smashed into my vanity mirror and I couldn’t be more happy about it.
I just recently watched a great presentation by Pete Myers called “Beyond 10 Blue Links: The Future of Ranking”. It confirmed what I had already sensed was coming.
Search Engine Optimization is still possible, but woe unto those who are trying to find a set “formula” or get a “fix” on the system. If you wanna be in Google’s little black book, you are gonna have to play by her rules. The best way to win a date with Google and rank highest is getting more and more complex (or maybe it’s not).
Ever seen the movie “Hitch”? The story of a man who specializes in helping men get dates and finds himself with one of the most hopeless of characters? The harder he tries to “win the girl”, the more nervous he becomes and the worse he looks.
It’s like that with Google.
If you want to win at the dating game of SEO, stop trying to “play the field” and start being the best version of yourself. Think Website Optimization, not Search Engine Optimization or follow this 6 simple tips…
1. Don’t over-optimize, just optimize.
Don’t put on too much cologne, just smell good. Penguin has a sensitive nose. You can offend easier than you could imagine. Make your site what your customers need and want. Too many H1 & H2 tags, internal links and anchor texts with excessive keyword usage can kill your chances.
2. Don’t try to look like you have more friends than you actually have.
Links need to be valid. Buying links may have worked back in the day but in today’s search engine world, buying friends is repulsive and frowned upon. Make sure that your associations, both on and offsite, are credible and permission-based if at all possible. Backlinks to sites that are abusers will only make you look bad. Google is gonna patrol your “crew” so make sure they got a good reputation.
3. Don’t be out of shape.
Think: not too skinny and not too fat. Content thickness and making sure your site is filled with engaging and winsome content is crucial and will improve your bounce rate. But you also don’t want a garbled mess of meaningless words on your pages. When people visit your site they want to see that you have something to offer. They don’t wanna see a skeleton of bland or empty pages and neither do they want a bloated page with content crammed in there – tons of ads and unrelated content.
4. Don’t stay at home.
Build it and they will come right? Wrong. You need to be involved in social media, blogs, forums and associated sites and web circles. Make sure you provide links on your site to those platforms and let Google see you aren’t a couch potato. Google even offers to help with Google Plus. Approximately 644,000,000 sites are now active. Get out there and meet some people. Network if you want to get found. Don’t wait for them to come to you.
5. Don’t be a fake.
Be authentic. Make sure that what is on your site is your own. Guest blogs and posting content from other sites isn’t always bad (in fact it can be very helpful), but proceed with caution. When you do share other’s content, say that is what you are doing. Don’t commit virtual plagiarism.
Duplicate content is also a no-no. Site owners are so eager to fill their websites they beg, borrow and steal as much as they can from other successful, high ranking sites and post it on their pages. Don’t do this! It’s also a bad idea to post the same thing over and over so you can increase your digital footprint. It’s lazy and it doesn’t work.
6. Don’t be inactive.
When people visit your site will they see your most recent blog post was 3 years ago? Will they see your Christmas header in the month of June?
Websites are not a one and done. They should be living and active. The more the better, but even some sign of life (whether a post, a fresh piece of content or update) once a month is a good place to start. Keep your contact info up to date as well. If you changed your address don’t forget to let your customers know how to find you.
A great WordPress Maintenance Service like SkyrocketWP will ensure that you stay that healthy.
SEO consultants are date experts and the best ones are not there to try and kidnap a girl and shove her in your van. We are the ones who should be helping you to be the best version of yourself and inform you of what you need to do be your most attractive and win clients in the search engine world.
What does Google want anyway? Google wants you to stop focusing on her and focus on what she cares about – your future customers.
Win with Google and you win with your customer IF you promise not to cheat. No one likes a cheater.