Hmmmm….have you been wondering? Google is going through some interesting transitions lately. Today you’re ranking well. Tomorrow you’ll wake up and want to cry. But why?
My analysis watching the rankings of over 1000 keywords for my clients tells me we’re moving into a new age. One that will cause sites without genuine content to get pushed off into the deep end. Watch your step advice won’t help. Instead, you’re probably looking for what you can do RIGHT NOW to help improve your rankings.
Here’s 6 biggies you should dive into instead of doing nothing while hoping and praying things will get better…
- Ignore everything you read or hear how to rank better. The problem with the SEO industry is everyone seems to be an expert. Why? Money. They all want your dough so they’re pretty good at sharing half-baked ideas what will catapult you higher on Google. Forget about new trends. They’re filled with high hopes that will pan out pretty poorly for you in the next few years. How do I know? Because it’s my job to unwind and fix all the crapola gimmicks my clients thought would work.
- Write, write, write and then go back and do it all over again. Nearly everyone I speak with asking to become a client partner of mine always wants my secret formula. Do I have one? Yes and no. Actually the yes part sometimes astounds me because it works so well. So what is it? Writing. Go pick a dozen keywords you want to rank for and then do the unthinkable. Write 400-800 words about that keyword. Don’t be dumb about it–your content needs to be informative without jamming your target keyword in your sentences too often. That’s a no, no. Focus on a keyword density of 2%. So for every 100 words you write, insert your target keyword twice.
- Check your site for spam backlinks. If you’ve ever hired an SEO firm, chances are super duper they built thousands of backlinks to try and get you ranked. I would say about 80% or more of my new clients all come with spam backlinks. Use a free tool like MOZ to pull your backlinks. It will give you three free sorts before they want you to become a member. Once you find your spammies, drop them into a text document and then upload into Google Webmasters (look for their disavowal tool). Next wait. The process takes time so be patient and go back to your new found love of writing.
- Think about your current CMS (content management system). If you have a lame site built in something like what Godaddy offers consider switching to WordPress. Those easy site builders work but they strip away many of the SEO options like being able to add keyword meta data to each page or post on your site. If you have a straight HTML site get real. Although HTML sites can rank, it’s murder going in and updating content. WP really does rock and you benefit mostly by getting easy access to your content. You need to because you want to grow it over time. One month your posts could be 400 words. Over the next few more months they will grow (they better if you’re serious about getting ranked) to 500, 600 and maybe even 800 words. Google loves sites that are updated regularly and contain genuine, original content.
- Focus less on social media and more on your site content. I know, it’s contrary to what everyone tells you to do. Honestly, social is fun. But it’s not entirely worth your time. Too many business owners think social is the secret sauce to ranking. Even if it works (which it doesn’t) you have a choice. Invest your time on your site content or waste it updating your social networks. Your social contacts really don’t care what you’re trying to sell. Spend more time on your target audience and write to solve their problems.
- Grow up. Building a site and getting it ranked takes hard work. Too many site owners ignore the fact it can take more than a month or two to grow. Invest at least a year or two in your first batch of target keywords. If you’re hoping to magically rank well overnight, it’s probably time for you to go buy a few more megabucks tickets. This stuff works but it takes an enormous amount of effort.
I don’t mean to be harsh. But these days you’re being bombarded by so many people telling you they can get your ranked well for a few hundred smackers. The problem I see most often is they take your money and then get you ranked for keywords with zero search counts. It’s a sneaky part of this business.
The problem is you don’t know what you don’t know. So some guy in his basement gets you ranked for a keyword phrase that no one in the world ever spends their time searching. You think you’re on your way. He (or she) knows very well you’re pretty much screwed.
Lastly, don’t forget you get what you pay for in terms of quality. With the evolution of third-world labor being accessible (think Elance.com) you can spend $10 to have a freelancer work on your site rankings. However, spending money doesn’t mean much. Investing is the first step toward getting a return.