Recently, I’ve noticed that the more time I spend trying to “SEO” my various sites and pages, the less I actually write. That is a HUGE problem, because it turns out that nothing, and I mean nothing, counts as much for search engine results rankings than writing, or as the SEO pros call it, content.
While you are busy editing tags and trying to get the right headers to be H2 or H3 tags and you are out trying to get people to link to your articles using exactly the right keywords, your pages are slipping down the Google rankings.
They are getting older, less useful, and less read by your audience.
Let a week go by without updating your blog and you can watch your ranking fall from 11 to 13 even if you have been getting more and more links or tweaking your CSS or whatever.
On the other hand, post at least every 3 days or so and you’ll see your blog moving up in the rankings, certainly not for every keyphrase, but for plenty of key words and key phrases that are important to you and your readers.
I have email conversations with people all the time trying to nail down whether posting at 6:05 am is better than posting at 6:25 am who haven’t posted AT ALL in days! I tell them, go post something NOW, then worry about it. After all, you never know when the Google spider is going to drop by. How much would it suck if you carefully scheduled your post for 6:11 AM only to have Google index your site at 5:59 AM with nothing but 11 day old articles on your home page?
Let Search Come To You
Don’t get me wrong, some things are important, but they are the no brainers.
- Use Keywords in Your Title Tag – If you want to be funny or clever, install a plug-in that lets you create a different title meta tag than the title visible on your article.
- Link Internally Often – You would be shocked and appalled to realize how much your own links help your search ranking. Link your related posts as much as possible. This is one thing Live Writer can really help you with. Just highlight a keyword, click link and then select link to previous post. It will fill in the rest for you.
- Alt Tag Your Images – It never ceases to amaze me how many people find one of my sites via image searches. It happens because no one really bothers to alt tag their images.
- Link Out – For all the talk about “link juice” and nofollow tags, you would think that Google bodyslams sites that link to other sites. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your (non-nofollow) links to quality sites shows that you are providing quality content, and Google loves that. So link out and don’t worry about your juice.
Lately, my traffic comes almost 90% from search engines. That is down from about 98% at the beginning of the year. Is it because I’m getting less visitors from search engines? Actually, it is the opposite.
What IS happening is that more and more visitors are getting here other ways. There are some that are “direct” (they came here by typing the name or using a bookmark), and some more that are “referrals” (they came here by clicking a link to the site). If they get here and it looks the same as it did the last time they dropped by, chance of them coming back start to drop as well.
In the meantime, my sites don’t rank worth a darn on many of their “target” keywords or keyphrases, but guess what? They rank 1, 2, 10, or 20 on plenty of keywords and phrases that I never thought of (and that never showed up on WordTracker) and those bring in plenty of traffic.
You never know when you will write something about automatic tweets just as a way to relate with your audience about what you are trying to accomplish and end up ranking 1 or 2 for the term.
Go ahead. Try it. Search for automatic tweets or auto tweets and see who is up near the top of the list. — Hi, it’s me!
Not that I need, nor know anything about what to do with traffic looking for information on automatic tweets, but if I’m lucky one or two of them will be writers too. And, maybe, they’ll decide that this is a good destination for a writer and, maybe they’ll link to me on their own without any begging from me.
Then, I get to do what I love, which is to write, not to kiss ass to try and get links or Diggs, or whatever.
Unless the purpose of your site is to sell stuff (some sort of shopping thing) then bag the SEO and just keep writing. You’ll probably come out way ahead.