You can read about SEO until you are blue in the face. You can study how meta tags affect click through rates, measure bounce rates on your landing pages, build links, optimize the colors on your page. You can study how the lead sentence affects people and if they read the second sentence or not. You can study eye tracking, visuals, animated GIFs, crawl speeds, page speed, and image optimization. You can even attempt to figure out the best way to get content promoted on social media if that path happens to fit your niche.
There is a lot to this wonderful world of search engine optimization and content creation.
None of this changes the fact that people want answers.
The reason people search is because they want answers. If you’re not providing them on your website you’ve already lost the battle. No amount of links, eye candy, Twitter presence, Facebook likes, or PPC budget can help you if you don’t have the answers.
- When they can’t find spark plug #8 on their Camaro, they Google it.
- When they find a strange pecan on the ground, they Google it.
- If they want to know if it is going to rain, how to make butternut squash soup, if they should get a divorce or not, they Google it.
- If they want to hear what a great horned owl sounds like or read heart attack symptoms, they Google it!
People Google everything. Some of them even Bing it, but, nevertheless, they are searching.
Search engines want to supply people with answers.
It is kind of… how they make money… Just like Firestone is in business to sell tires, Google is in business to provide answers. If they keep providing great answers, their company name will remain a verb, and you will continue to “google it”. All search engines have the same thing in common, and they have since day 1- they exist to help people find what they are looking for. Pandas and penguins may change, but this fact never will.
Help them help you.
It is easy to get caught up in the fads, algorithm changes, and worrying about this or that. Heck, I worry about my site all the time. Is it too black and orange – will people think I am celebrating Halloween? Should I put my face on it or not? Do I want popups for an email list? Is it ok that I don’t have time to go out onto social media right now? Should I take down that post that offended a local SEO company recently? Should I post something which could contain a small mistake? What if I predict something that is wrong? Will people take my ranting seriously if my site design isn’t completely beautiful? What if a client thinks something I post is about them? Will I upset local people if I write about a small town? Why did that recent post rank on page 2? How come my CTR goes down on Saturday? Is it ok if that guy on BlogSpot keeps reposting my articles? Should I disavow that link I just got from a complete spam site? Can I go off of my normal topic and talk about puppies? How come that last post took 12 hours to index and others take 25 minutes? Am I posting too litte or too much? Do I need more pictures or less? Will adding a GIF to my post make it too big? When should I convert to HTPPS? Should I have bulleted this big list of questions???
Focus! Write content!
Sure, there is a lot more to SEO than content, but almost all content helps. For many small biz owners, writing content that answers potential client’s concerns and questions helps a lot. So, write some dang content. If you can’t do it, hire someone who will take the time to understand you and your business and communicate the proper message to your audience. No content writer can do it all; I turn people away all the time. There are some niches I love learning about, and others I have zero interest in.
No amount of technical SEO or domain authority can provide the content you need. I’ve personally seen businesses in the same exact niche within 3 miles of each other get 4 hits / day compared to the competitor who gets 45,000/mo. Can you guess which business is thriving?
Content can be images, video, audio, text, whatever. I like text because search engines can understand it. If you make a video, get it transcribed and stick it on your site somewhere.
Whatever you do, don’t forget that search engines want answers.