SEO for Small Business
So, you’re a small business and you think you know a bit about Google. You know you have to target keywords, you have to get links to your website, you need all the exposure you can get in Google because you know that will ensure the success of your business.
You know that Google loves you because you have the best-looking website ever and they are going to send a lot of traffic to your website and all those who come are going to buy what you have to sell.
Regardless of whether you sell a product or provide a service you know that the success of your business is going to depend on great rankings in Google.
You’re a target
My friend all you are is a target for all the conmen that the SEO industry has spawned and continues to spawn.
They are out there just waiting to take your money as they sweet talk you into a deal that leaves you broke and with a website marked by Google as one of little value to anyone and definitely not one that Google wants to show to its users.
And right there is the secret to good SEO … it’s all about providing a good user experience for the people that Google sends to your website.
What would I know?
But wait, I know what you’re thinking, this guy doesn’t have a clue … he doesn’t know shit about SEO because everyone knows that it’s all about keywords and getting a gazillion links from every website on the planet.
Everywhere you look “experts” are talking about keywords and links … that’s what it’s all about … it’s not about this BS user experience.
How do I know what you’re thinking? I’ve been doing SEO since 1998 … yes, I was doing SEO while some of you were still in school.
In that time I have seen the Search Engine Optimisation industry become a haven for crooks and shysters who will happily take your money, feed you a lot of rubbish and then convince you to give them even more money to fix the problems that they have caused.
It’s easier to listen to and believe someone who makes big promises than it is to someone tells it like it really is and who offers no guarantees … because there are no positive guarantees to offer in this industry.
The only thing in this industry that we can guarantee in this industry is that Google will slap you down if you do the wrong thing while the crooks and shysters are only too happy to guarantee you total success even though they can’t produce the outcomes you want.
There are no fairy godmothers in this industry
But many small business owners want to believe that anything is possible. They fork out their money till they have none left and then come to people like me with the expectation that we will rescue them because we must have some obligation to do so … oh and of course they’re too broke to pay us much because the crooks have taken all their money.
Sorry, it doesn’t work like that … the fact is that we are under no obligation to help you if you can’t pay for our services. And fixing the mess that others have made is a long and costly business. Sometimes it’s even more cost effective to ditch your old website and your old domain name and start again.
And here is another fact … Google is under no obligation to list your website in its search engine you can spend a lot of money having people like me fix your problems and Google it won’t change a thing.
And yet another fact … Google offers no guarantee that it will ever list your website and it doesn’t have to give you any reasons for why it doesn’t like your website.
So, if you have already fallen into the clutches of the crooks and shysters in this industry and you have burnt all your money then it sucks to be you. We understand that and we would love to help but we like to eat so we will charge you a reasonable fee for the work we do.
If you haven’t handed all your money to the crooks and you want to know what you should be looking at for effective SEO then here are a few tips.
Keywords were very important many years ago … now not so much and becoming less important as time goes on. Google is now using AI … Artificial Intelligence … to look at a page on your website and understand what that page, and your whole site, is about.
Sure, a keyword or a keyword phrase that is important for that page … and meshes with the content on that pate … is worth using once or twice but the days are long gone where you would try to have that keyword or phrase appear in every paragraph.
Also gone is the idea that you need to use your target keyword a set number of times on the page based on the number of words on the page.
The “experts” who wanted to sell you on that idea were quite happy to write text for the page that made no sense … the only thing that mattered to them was that they had used the target keyword the “right” number of times.
Inbound links were important for a time some years ago. Back then Google used inbound links as an indication of how important your website was. The more websites that linked to your website the more important your page must have been.
The crooks in this industry just loved that idea because they could offer you thousands of links from sites all around the globe … but then Google changed things slightly.
Instead of indiscriminate links Google decided that it only wanted to see links from other relevant and trusted websites and all other inbound links would have a negative effect on your rankings.
So before Google changed the game a general store in Nowheresville could rank well because it had links from sites like sites in other countries that were simply set up to provide inbound links. Under the new system Google didn’t want to see those links. It wanted to see links from other businesses in Nowheresville and surround areas.
It wanted to see links from suppliers and customers and it wanted those links to come from sites Google trusted.
So how did the crooks get around that one? They kept on pushing the inbound link thing hard … they just forgot to tell their clients about the need for those links to come from relevant and trusted websites.
You don’t hear an awful lot about citations being part of search engine optimisation but citations are important.
As far as Google is concerned a citation is a mention of your business somewhere other than online or maybe even online but without a link pointing back to your business.
Google has pushed the idea of user experience for some years now but it’s a concept that can be hard to explain to website owners and it doesn’t quite fit with the story that the crooks want to tell you as they take your money.
User experience is hard to explain to website owners because it involves things that they may not be able to see. While there are some parts of user experience that are apparent on a web page or on a website as a whole, and are obvious to a site owner, much of it happens in the backend of a website.
It happens back in the code area where most website owners don’t want to go. People who work in this area use words like ‘minification’, ‘caching’, ‘security headers’, ‘render-blocking’, ‘time to first byte’ and other strange terms that may sound like a foreign language to you … and to many so-called “experts” too.
These terms all refer to things that need to be addressed on your website if you want to give your users the best experience and keep Google happy.
User experience is important to Google because it doesn’t want to send its users to a site that doesn’t meet their expectations … that doesn’t provide the information that they want … and that might make them never want to use Google again.
But is Google the place that you really need to be and what will the ROI on the time and money you spend on SEO?