The most misunderstood, and daunting task associated with web site ownership is SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. You can have the best design ever, but if nobody can find you, well, you just have the best design ever. Your friends and mother-in-law,are truly impressed. Okay, mother-in-law maybe not so much.
This is not yet another, oft repeated but very valid drudgery explaining stuff like long tail keywords, canonical tags and other nifty terms. This is the nitty-gritty, the brass tacks, the stuff you need to consider before you go swimming with the jargon.
This isn’t a numbered list, these are all first.
SEO is a long-term proposition
Planning and executing an SEO strategy is like a fitness program. It takes continual work and has no iron-clad guarantee of success, despite what service agencies may promise. However it still has to be worked at, tweaked, and maintained. When success is achieved, it will still require constant vigilance else gains will, yes, WILL be lost.
There are no shortcuts
There is no universe where you or your highly paid agents, will optimize your site and land you on Google page one tomorrow. Well, maybe an alternate one where your business is without any competition. A time-line where you, proud manufacturer of Widgited Wonkers and Galvanized Gizmos make the only such Wonkers and Gizmos in existence, and everyone simply has to have one for each room in the house. In that universe maybe. In this one? Not so much.
Like all things of value SEO takes work, continual effort and dedication. Either on your part, or that of your highly paid agents.
There are an abundance of tools to help you
There are tools like the Google Analytics Dashboard and OnPage.org to help you along your merry way.
There isn’t a single one that will do it for you. The tools do two things:
- They help you make the effort.
- They tell you if your efforts are paying off in an esoteric fashion. We both know that the real tangible quantifier is when you are selling your spankin’ Wonkers and Gizmos.
It ain’t cheap, baby
After learning of the commitment required for DIY SEO, the first response is typically “Holy Sh*t … Yeah, I’m getting someone else to do this.” Then you google SEO service pricing.
Once you are treated for the ensuing coronary, you can spend your hospital time contemplating the price range of $100 to $300 PER HOUR that SEO agencies charge. Along with entertaining the thought that maybe the afterlife is a better place after all, that really did look a lot like grandma up there in that bright light.
Lucky for you, many Design Agencies (like this one for instance… yeah, shameless plug) include basic SEO as part of their service offering.
The Rules of the Game can change (without warning)
You have done it! You moved your Wigeted Wonker all the way around the board and passed Go. You reach out to collect your $200 and a grinning Google shakes it’s head: “We have a new Algorithm… didn’t you read our blog? It was right there under ‘Newfangled’, which is under… yeah, sucks to be you.”
Did I not use the words “Constant Vigilance” way up there in paragraph four? See what you get for just scanning the page? Welcome to SEO.