Beautiful. I have to share an article I just read with you today, because search engine optimization (SEO) remains a high concern for many of you. How do I know? Because I talk with you by email 😉 I recently asked all my subscribers what they’d like to hear about, and SEO is a big one.
Let’s be clear…SEO is one of the most misunderstood topics out there. A lot of small business owners are spending way too much time on this, instead of running their actual business. So my goal today is to give you a bit of insight into what matters when it comes to SEO…and what really doesn’t matter at all 🙂
What do you REALLY want?
Here’s the thing: even though “improving SEO” and “getting more traffic” are some of the most common requests I get when it comes to optimizing someone’s website or blog, after a short conversation I almost ALWAYS find out that you don’t really care about SEO or driving traffic at all. What you really want is more leads, more sales, better conversions, etc.
But isn’t SEO an essential component to running an awesome, profitable small business website? Yes, it’s part of the equation, and there are a few simple things you can do to really drive home results when it comes to SEO. But it’s not nearly as complicated as many of us make it out to be! Good news, right?
Why PageRank doesn’t matter
I just read a great article on why pagerank doesn’t matter. This article, from the official Google Webmaster blog, really drives the point home. For years now, everyone has been focusing on PageRank. The idea is that the higher your PageRank, the higher your search rankings.
According to SEOQuake, this blog has a PageRank of 4, which I suppose is respectable for a blog which has only been up for about a year or so. But do you know when I found out I had a PR 4? Just now, when I decided to write an article on PageRank. I suppose this makes me a bad webmaster 😉
Why should we not worry about PageRank? Well, firstly because Google itself describes PageRank this way:
Why bother with a number that’s at best three steps removed from your actual goal, when you could instead directly measure what you want to achieve? Finding metrics that are directly related to your business goals allows you to spend your time furthering those goals.
This is exactly what Dangerous Tactics is about, folks! It’s about nailing down a strategy which produces a direct result for you. Your website can and absolutely SHOULD be a meaningful part of your marketing strategy. And as such, it should have a measurable and predictable impact on your bottom line.
But to make this happen, we need to stop focusing on numbers that don’t mean anything. We need to stop worrying about making Google happy and start focusing on making our customers happy. They’re the ones who pay the bills, not Google.
What DOES matter?
So if trying to improve your PageRank and working endlessly to improve your SEO isn’t the thing, what is? Conversion. Conversion is the key to getting the results you want from your website. I often ask new clients “If your website isn’t making any money, what effect will doubling or tripling your traffic have? Zero times two is zero. Zero times three…still zero.”
Bottom line, first and foremost you need a website that converts. And this is what we do here. You can:
- Install Google Analytics – It’s free and easy to use. It shows you exactly where you’re traffic is coming from, what content on your site is performing the best, and it’s a great place to get ideas on how to improve. For example, the fact that my confirmation page is one of the top ten most visited pages on my website tells me that a high percentage of visitors are signing up to talk with me via email, which is exactly the focus of this website. Is YOUR website meeting it’s goals? This is the basis of conversion. Set a goal and track your progress. Google Analytics is a great entry level tool for doing this.
- Use Aweber – I’ve recommended Aweber in the past, and it remains a tool I use to this day. There are a million ways to send email, so why use Aweber? Because they let you track things, follow up with clients, customers and prospects in a very personal and highly effective manner. They tell you exactly how well your email forms are converting, how well your emails are converting, and they make changing and optimizing things a piece of cake.
K, ready? The internet simply is NOT the same place it was 5 years ago. It’s just not. It’s not even the same place it was 2 years ago. This is a good thing. Gaming the search engines, getting massive loads of traffic and making sales to .05% of your subscriber base was how it worked. Not anymore.
Today it’s about conversion. Most web pages are doing well to get 1-2% conversions, while I focus on creating pages that get 20-40% conversions, minimum. As a small business owner you do not need a lot of traffic. You DO need a high conversion website. This is exactly how to make a great living from even a small amount of traffic.
Importantly, focusing on conversion isn’t “the next big thing”. It’s old school. I would argue conversion is a business fundamental, and it always has been. It’s just that when the internet was a little younger, you could fall out of bed and get a thousand visitors a day. Now you have to fight for that. You have to earn people’s attention, and that’s the way it should be.
As a small business owner, you don’t need to worry about PageRank at all. You can learn everything you need to know about SEO in a short amount of time. A single one-on-one consult with me will get you squared away in that department in fact. The point is SEO can be very simple if you let it be. Or you can slide down the rabbit hole, never to be seen or heard from again. If you have a business to run, I recommend the former. Focus on making sure your website is converting a high percentage of your visitors into leads and sales. This is a foundation you can count on.