5 Tips For New SEOs
Starting a new SEO career is an exciting time filled with questions and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. But it can also seem a little bit daunting. What does it all mean? Who can I trust? Where do I start?
Take a deep breath and follow these five simple tips that are sure to get you started on the right path.
Don’t Listen To Gurus
If you only take one thing away from this article, it should be this tip. Never listen to any self-proclaimed SEO gurus. Ever. The “Make Money Online” niche is one of the most competitive verticals that exists in affiliate marketing. These SEO gurus make more money from selling SEO guides than they have ever made with SEO.
Anyone that claims that they can teach you a super secret trick to get to the top of Google is lying. There is no secret sauce for sale, just snake oil.
How can we be so sure? It’s simple economics. The gurus that are writing these eBooks are not doing it out of the goodness of their own hearts. They are doing it to make a profit. It is possible that there are a handful of super secret advanced methods to game Google’s algorithm and get top 3 rankings easily. But if they do exist, they are certainly not for sale. These mythical methods would be infinitely more valuable as a trade secret.
Just think about how much revenue someone could generate by actually using the secret sauce. They could hire teams of content writers and create vast amounts of websites, all ranking to the top with ease. It’s a no-risk business plan if you are 100% confident in the ability of your secret method. You could grow a six-figure business in a couple of years from a very small investment.
If you ever see an eBook or a course being sold that claims to guarantee rankings quickly and easily, ask yourself why they would sell something like that? If the method worked, they would be using it not selling it.
Takeaway: SEO takes time and dedication, there are no secret shortcuts. Affiliate marketers that promote products in the SEO vertical are some of the most talented affiliates on the planet. The inexperience of a new SEO can be exploited with bold and untrue claims of teaching you how to get to the top spot easily. Be super vigilant when paying for any information that is SEO related. If you really want to learn SEO, you can find all the information you need on reputable SEO blogs for free.
Content Is King
You may have heard the expression “Content Is King” spread around various SEO blogs and forums. What this means is that high-quality content is essential to the long-term success of a website.
This was not always the case. As little as 5 years ago it was perfectly possible to rank your website with low quality, machine generated “Spun” content. People were able to take an article, place it into a “Spinner” and generate unique versions of it by replacing words with synonyms. This usually resulted in content that was unreadable to a human but seemed to please Google well enough.
However times have changed, and Google has become smarter. Since the release of Googles Panda algorithm it has become much more difficult to use low quality spun content to rank. It’s still not impossible, but it’s not easy and it’s very risky.
By only using high-quality content you increase your chances of creating a long-term revenue stream that will not be slapped by the next refresh of Panda. Focus on creating content that provides real value to your visitors instead of churning out huge amounts of low-quality garbage. Google is getting smarter every day, stay ahead of the curve by giving them what they want.
Takeaway: Ensure all the content on your website is high quality. It does not have to be Ph.D. thesis level writing, but it does have to be coherent and grammatically correct. If you want to experiment with using low-quality content, create a website exclusively for testing purposes. Never put low-quality content on a site you care about.
It is all too easy to become addicted to learning and reading about SEO. It is a fascinating topic that quickly becomes and obsession for many people. Educating yourself is undoubtedly essential and the more you know, the better your SEO will be. However, the amount of information that is available can become paralyzing. New SEOs can constantly feel like there is so much more to learn before they are ready to start work on a site.
The truth is that trying to rank a site will provide you with a much more valuable set of lessons that can only be learned via experience. You will probably make mistakes, and you will probably not rank well for a while. So treat it as a learning exercise. Don’t expect your test site to rank, and don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t. Keep testing and learning.
Takeaway: Set yourself a reasonable time limit for the amount of time you are going to spend on pure study. During this time learn and read all you can, take notes and start formulating a plan. Once the time limit is up, buy yourself a domain and start taking action. Even if you feel like you are not ready. Try not to worry too much about rankings and treat it as a learning process.
Be Careful Buying Links
If buying links is a good idea or not depends on how white hat you want your SEO to be. Many people disagree with the idea of buying links for the sole purpose of ranking, but this is a personal decision. Leaving the ethical questions aside, buying links can be dangerous if you do not know what you are doing.
Over the years Google has become increasingly effective at identifying low-quality links. If they find links that have been paid for they will penalize or possibly deindex your site entirely. For a website to maintain its position in the SERPS over the long run, it is imperative that you attempt to buy links that look as natural as possible.
Just like with low-quality content, if you want to learn about using paid links to rank then use a test website. Register a domain specifically for the purpose of experimenting and see what happens. It is easier to fail with paid links than it is to succeed. But when you know what you are doing, they can be effective.
Takeaway: Buying links is never 100% safe. You always accept a certain amount of risk when you make the purchase. If you do decide to experiment with blackhat SEO – always go for quality over quantity. One high power link is much less likely to be detected than a thousand low-quality links.
With the way we consume the web shifting from desktops to mobile devices Google has decided to use its influence to shape the internet for the better. Website speed and mobile responsiveness are confirmed ranking factors. Optimizing your website in this way is called “Technical SEO”. Providing you use a popular CMS (like WordPress) it is incredibly easy to do correctly regardless of your SEO experience.
Now let’s be honest here, technical SEO alone is not going to get you ranking at number one. That is going to take time, effort, and links. But by getting into the habit of creating responsive websites that are mobile friendly from day one, you are going to tick the boxes Google likes to see. This will give your other SEO efforts a much better chance of producing results.
Google has produced a tool called the Google Pagespeed Tool, and this is what makes basic but adequate technical SEO so easy. By using this tool Google tells you what exactly what you need to do to your site to make them happy. Using the tool is simple, input your sites URL and you will get a score. Anything above 85 is excellent. Don’t worry too much about reaching a perfect 100 score. It is quite difficult and honestly not necessary. There are plugins for WordPress that will quickly and easily fix most of the issues Googles Pagespeed Tool can identify.
While page speed and mobile friendly design has been a ranking factor for some time now, as of recently it has become even more imperative. Google has stated they are going to drastically change the way search works by splitting their main index into two separate ones. One index exclusively for mobile and one for exclusively for desktop. If you want to rank in both, you need your site to be responsive and fast.
Takeaway: Create your site using WordPress and use a fully responsive theme, when you have content on your site run the Google Pagespeed Tool. Copy and paste the suggestions one by one into Google and append “Wordpress plugin” to your search term. Do your research and install the plugins that are recommended. Then sit back and watch your page speed score increase.