SEO - Can’t I Just Hit the Easy Button?
The “if I build it, they will come” attitude does not work as well for websites as it does for baseball diamonds. John Mueller from Google has said that a new website, like any new business must be promoted, it isn’t enough to create awesome content .
Even established websites must be watched, analyzed, and adjusted to make sure that it is being found by customers. Right now, given the current world circumstances, your digital footprint is more important than ever, but when you are busy running your own business how do you find time to work on your website? And, if you do find time what do you do to make your website more visible and more attractive to searchers?
Trying to find an answer to that question may be why so many are searching for easy SEO advice or tools, and the internet is full of advice and tools. That is also a problem, there is so much advice, so many tools that it can seem overwhelming. A Bing search and Google search of ‘easy SEO’ revealed 39,800,000 and 180,000,000 results, respectively. Even if you limit yourself to page one results, the advice may seem daunting.
I analyzed advice from 8 of the top SEO Google search results and summarized advice that was given by more than one agency. Here are their top suggestions:
- Make sure your site is accessible to bots
- Optimize your site for targeted keywords
- Use schema markup to stand-out
- Get backlinks
- Improve page load speed
- Reduce HTTP calls
- Use H1 tags
- Optimize meta descriptions and page titles
- Create User friendly URLs
- Keep content updated
- Use internal linking
- Optimize images
This is all good advice. I make these kinds of adjustments regularly to improve SEO, but there are two important things to note about these easy SEO tips.
- There is not just one thing, one item you can fix that will instantly improve your SEO. Generally, looking at the advice offered, the number of suggestions range from 7 to upwards of 70. SEO improvements are done in small increments that together add up to a bigger gain. If you are busy running a business, do you have time to do these things?
- If you aren’t in the SEO or website development business, do you know how to make these changes? Maybe you have a website guru, but how do you know which of these changes to make? How do you provide guidance? And if you are busy running a business, do you have time to learn about these things?
There are a lot of SEO companies who provide really good tools to help you decide which changes would help the most on your site. This isn’t a complete list, just my favorites:
- Moz (https://moz.com/) – Large SEO company providing tools for website auditing, backlink auditing, keyword analysis
- AHREFS (https://ahrefs.com/) – Large SEO company with an impressive toolkit including site auditing and competitor analysis
- SpyFu (https://www.spyfu.com/) – SEO company that focuses on competitor analysis
- SemRush (https://www.semrush.com/) -Large SEO company with an extensive toolkit to help with auditing and competitive analysis
- KWFinder (https://kwfinder.com/)- focuses on keyword analysis
- Google Analytics (https://analytics.google.com) – Every SEO pro will recommend installing the google analytics tracking code. It is free and gives you a lot of information about your site
- Google Keyword Planner – Accessed through Google Ads this tool can help you identify keywords
- Google Trends (https://trends.google.com/) – free tool from Google to see what is trending in Google search.
Some of these are free, some have free options and paid options, and all of them can give you insight into your site. The important thing to realize is that none of them fix the site for you.
I guess the answer to the question I posed at the beginning is “no”. There is no “easy button” for SEO, no super-secret code that will unlock better, higher rankings. If you want to improve SEO it takes time and expertise. So, no there isn’t an easy button, but there can be an easier button. Find a partner. Find an SEO expert that can help you wade through the glut of information. Find the right tools, run regular audits, keep up to date on the latest in SEO trends, seriously consider recommendations and make those many small changes that will add up to real gains.
I don’t want to imply that this is a magic bullet either. Finding the right partner will take work. The partner may be your website developer, or you may hire a marketing agency that also does website SEO. You may choose to look for a company that specializes in SEO. It doesn’t matter where you find your partner - the important thing is to make sure this is a partnership. Your SEO partner should be someone willing to listen to your pain points and expectations, someone who willingly learns about your business to provide better advice. You may get solicitations from SEO companies painting a dire picture of your website and SEO, but it probably isn’t as bad as all that. There is always room for improvement though. SEO isn’t a one-time thing, it is constantly evolving as search engines change their algorithms, as users change how they search, as the world changes. Your SEO partner needs to be a long-term partner, constantly adjusting as things change, staying in touch with the latest SEO changes and the changes in your business.
I keep coming around to the same thing, there is no easy SEO, but it can be easier with the right partner.
1Field of Dreams 1989 (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097351/)
2Google Webmaster Hangouts, Feb 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msq9mZgX6ZQ&feature=youtu.be