If You Think SEO Is Too Hard You’re Not Doing It Right

SEO is Hard!

We hear that all the time…

It does not seem to matter who is talking about SEO. Whether they are the fuzzy “white hat” Google approved “build great content” people. Or they are the hard-core “black hat” spammers that blast links out with every tool known to the Internet.

Both sides always seem to be saying how hard it is to get really good SEO work done. So lets just stop for a minute and first go over exactly what SEO actually is and then we can talk a bit about how it can be much easier than most people expect.

Simply put…

SEO is search engine optimization…

Or in plain English how to get search engines (Google mainly) to display your content to its users.

SEO is usually broken down into two parts…

1. Onsite SEO:

This is everything you do on your page to make it more attractive to search engines.

2. Offsite SEO

This is pretty mush everything else you do to get search traffic to your page.

Something that seldom gets included into discussions about SEO is…

Keyword Research…

Keyword research is probably the most important part of SEO and really deserves its very own article or even a book to really do it justice. Since I don’t have the time or space to get too deep into keyword research I will try to be brief.

Choosing your keywords and knowing the competition level for those terms is the basis for any SEO work you may start. Low competition keywords are much easier to rank highly in the search results. High competition keywords are usually much more difficult to work with.

Almost everyone you talk to will have their own definition of high and low competition.
I usually like to take a three-step approach to keyword research.
1. How broad is the market?
Is this a market like weight loss or credit repair or some other market a large multi million dollar company would want to rank highly in? If that is the case it is more likely to have high competition keywords.

This is not to say you can’t find some very good keywords in that type of market. But you will more likely have to look at longer phrases to find them.

2. Are there any authorities active in this market?
Will you be competing against people or companies that have a major presence in that field? Is there anyone that has established himself or herself as an authority in that particular area and do they have a strong online presence?

If the answer is yes then you may find it more difficult to actually compete in that market. Again this is not to say it is impossible but you will need to be very careful with your keyword selections to see fast results.

3. What sites are currently ranking in the top 5 spots?
Now page one in the search results is always a nice place to be but in all reality if you really want to see results you have to be above spot 5 and in the top 3 for best results.

As a general rule over 90% of the traffic for any keyword goes to the top 5 spots in the results so this is where you really want to be. Now if there are a whole lot of searches for this keyword then getting between 2 and 5% of the traffic can still be profitable.

However the competition is usually much higher for keywords with that much traffic. So being very careful in your choice of keywords is the first step in SEO.

Now for onsite SEO…

Your sites content can make or break your SEO work. But strangely enough at the very beginning it really does not matter much. If you have chosen a low competition keyword you can get away with almost no content for the first month or so.

All you really need to get the page ranked is

The keyword in the title
The keyword in the description
The keyword as the first word on the page in H1 tags
The keyword in an alt tag on an image on the page
An outbound link to an authority site that is relevant to your topic. Somewhere like Wikipedia.

With just that information on your page and the correct off site work you can get that page to at least top of page 2 or even bottom to middle of page 1 results.

Now before you start screaming about CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT…

Let’s talk about content. Everyone say’s you must have “good” content to rank well in Google or any other search engine.

I say…

Yes…

And no…

Before you just dismiss this, think about how many times you have done a google search and landed on a site with crappy content yet that site was ranking highly for your search term.

It happens to me quite a bit…

That alone should tell you something is wrong with the whole “you must have great happy happy joy joy content” idea. The ugly truth is sites will rank with crap content they do it all the time.

Now as your site starts getting traffic there will be other things that will affect it’s ranking and help it stay high in the search results. This is where good content come into the picture.

But what IS good content?

It is anything that keeps the visitors attention…

As long as your visitor likes the content or at least stays to watch the content it is good. And that helps you keep your rank.

Bottom line…

End of story…

That’s pretty much it for onsite SEO.

Now for Offsite SEO.

Offsite SEO is really just backlinks.

It’s actually a simple concept backlinks are like votes for your site. They are a way the search engines know if your site is popular.

Especially in the beginning.

Now I am also counting social signals in this group in general. I do this because Facebook likes, Twitter Tweets and G+ shares are really just a type of backlink and work in pretty much the same way. For the next part I will be talking about regular backlinks from other websites and not social signals.

Now for regular backlinks there are really just two major things to consider. Especially at the beginning but also throughout any backlink work you do.

Those two things are…

Page Rank and Relevance.

Page Rank
Google gives page rank to every page on the web. The higher that rank the more authority Google applies to a link. A high PR link will send high authority signals from the page it is on to the page it is pointed. Some of the PR from the page the link is on gets transferred to the page the link is pointed at.

Relevance
A link from a page that is relevant to your page will have more authority than a link from an unrelated page. For example if your page is about Dog training and you get a link from a Dog training page that is relevant. If you get a link from a page about cars there is no relevance.

So a high PR link from a page that is relevant to your page is what you want. And honestly if you are in a low competition market you may only need one or two links from a page with PR 3 or 4 to rank well on page 1.

Now one last thing about SEO…

Over optimization…

This is something that is relatively new and you will need to keep it in mind. Basically it is just using one keyword too much. If you have that keyword stuffed into your content and it is used in all of your backlinks you will be penalized by Google.

With on page SEO you should try to keep your use of the same keyword to between 1 and 2 times per 100 words. The most important thing to remember is your content needs to be able to be read by your visitors. As long as it is easy to read and does not look like you are repeating the same word or phrase over and over you should be fine.

With off page SEO you need to keep your links from all using the exact same word or phrase as their anchor text. Now if you are only putting 2 or 3 high PR high relevance links out there to start then using your key word is what you want to do.

Once you start a regular back link campaign you will want to be sure you mix up the anchor text on your links. There are many different ideas on the exact ratio of exact match anchor text vs. related and generic text so you can find a lot of different information about this. I usually try to keep a 30/30/30 split with 30% exact match 30% related and 30% generic text for my backlinks. As for the remaining 10% I usually use that for just plain URL links with no keywords at all.

Now to wrap this up just remember those 5 onsite SEO points and the PR + Relevance for the Offsite SEO and as long as you did your keyword research right it is pretty easy to get good search ranking.

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Am I Crazy?

I have been called crazy many times in my life. I usually either ignore it or take it as a challenge. I may be crazy but I have chosen to be the kind of crazy that helps people rather than harms people.

I want to be the kind of crazy that when I tell people my goals and plans they think I am totally nuts. They think no one can do all of that. They might even take me aside and say “shouldn’t you start a little smaller”.

What’s the use in small goals and little plans?

Where’s the fun in being like everyone else?

My crazy goal for 2013

I want to help 100 people.

I want to do more than just help them a little bit. I want to help them completely change their lives. I don’t want to just help them make money. I want to help them realize their potential.

But more than just realize their potential I want them to act on it.

I want them to be able to look back and say “Wow I did that!’ I want them to catch the same kind of crazy I have. It’s actually really fun it feels good it gives you a reason to get up in the morning.

It’s great having a goal. It really does motivate you in ways nothing else can. It helps you through the tough times the times when not having a goal would make you just quit. The times when any sane person would just pack it in and go do something else.

Now having a goal is great and you really need that for motivation but just having a goal is not enough.

You need a plan.

Without a plan you never really know if you are heading in the direction of your goal or just running in circles. I heard Tony Robbins say, “If your goal is to see a sunset but you keep running east you will never meet your goal”. You’ve got to have a plan and that plan has to point you in the right direction.

So I made a plan.

It’s not a complex plan it’s actually very simple. I thought a simple plan would be the best the easiest to follow. Less chance I would mess it up. So I thought, “What was the simplest plan I could work out”?

So my plan is to find someone to help. Help that person then find another person to help. I know it’s not a complex plan. I’m pretty sure someone could come up with a more elegant plan.

But remember I’m crazy so I thought it would be best to keep it simple. Easy to explain and there would be no need for complex diagrams or those white boards with all the circles on them.

So that’s my goal

And that’s my plan.

Now you might think it’s crazy. As a matter of fact I would probably agree with you if you told me it was crazy.

But…

I think it’s a good kind of crazy.

If you think this is a good kind of crazy as well you are welcome to join me in my crazy plan.

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