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SEO for Muggles


SEO isn't magic — although it looks like it.  


Despite how many so-called search engine optimization practitioners may portray SEO as a secret magical thing to make things instantly rank at the top of Google, it's not at all magic, it's not tricks. The truth is there are four concepts or principles that you can use to drive your company website to the top of Google, and they aren't hard to understand.

Before we dive too deep, the first thing is to ask yourself, self, do I really want my business to be at the top of Google? I mean, do rabbits, do they come outta hats? The real answer is you might not because in many cases a well executed SEO strategy can dramatically change your business, but you have to have the sales infrastructure to support it. And the ability to deliver on it.

Second question to ask yourself if in one year from today my current lead flow was 10 times bigger than it is now, could I scale my sales department, customer service department, and could I service those leads? Could I deliver on those leads? If the answer is no, I'd start thinking about how to get there before you commit to a robust SEO strategy. Search engine optimization, when well done can drive triple digit growth, especially if you're in a big ticket B2B industry.

So say that you can answer yes to both questions. Then the next step is to understand four important concepts.

The goal of a search engine is to understand what the user is looking for. And give them exactly that.

Those handsome fellows are Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google co-founders, and that's more or less what they said in their big, heavy Stanford dissertation which marked the beginning of Google. So that's the first concept, Google and other search engines are simply trying to understand what the user wants and give them exactly that, that's it. It's as easy as bending a spoon with only your mind. To accomplish the goal, Google has to understand two things what the user is searching for and what every webpage on the internet means. That's all.

Okay that's not entirely true. Google doesn't crawl and index every website on the internet, but it does crawl trillions of webpages some of them on a daily basis. But the key is we need to make it as easy as possible for Google to fully understand what our site and our webpages are about.

That brings us to concept number two make it easy for Google to access and understand your site. What questions your website answers, what topics it touches on, how the content on your website can help people that are looking for something specific. But here's the challenge. The odds are a person from Google is never going to visit your website. This process of understanding what your site is about is done by computer programs ever evolving algorithms machine learning, artificial intelligence.

So how do we make sure that the algorithms fully understand our site? Well, first things first, we need to make it easy for Google servers to load our website quickly. In order to know what our website is about, Google has to access our website, or we say crawl it. And the faster, the website often the deeper and more frequent the crawl.

Okay, I'm gonna stop right here to point out that many people in the search engine optimization community are going to vehemently disagree with me on this. They're gonna say things like site load speed is overrated. Content is the most important thing. And they're right, that is true, but it's not the whole story, and we'll get to that in just a few minutes. If you're one of these critics, I understand I feel you please feel free to flame away in the comments section.

The truth is if your website loads abysmally slow, Google isn't gonna wait around for it to load. I mean, it's got a trillion pages to crawl after your website. And as I mentioned, Google is less likely to crawl it as often and or as thoroughly, if it loads slowly in some extreme cases, and I've seen this, Google won't crawl it at all because it's so slow. Plus more importantly, your prospects don't want to have to wait for your website to load on their computers and their phones. In fact, the longer it takes to load, the more likely the user is to bounce away without even viewing the page. So try to shoot for a page load speed on a mobile device of less than three seconds. That's a good rule of thumb. If you can't quite get there, but you can get close, that's usually okay, but every circumstance can be different. And all other things being equal, the faster website wins.

Google even provides an excellent tool to measure your site's load speed. It's called Google Page Speed Insights, link in the description. So if your site is loading quickly and Google is regularly crawling it and putting it in its index, the next step is to make sure that we're talking in the language that the search algorithms understand..

And that language is the magical snake language, Parseltongue.

Data, the language of search algorithms is data. Anyway, the most important data on your website is the actual content. You wanna make sure that your website content is well written and it fully covers the topic for which you'd like to rank at the top. Google is getting better at understanding the meaning of complex written content. And it's also getting good at filtering out low value content. I would avoid using low cost content mills or AI generated written content. I mean, if it costs five bucks, it's probably worth 5 cents.

Also make sure that the content is easy to read on the page. If users are constantly clicking on your website from a results page and then backing out of it because the blog post looks like a great wall of words Google will know that and you won't rank at the top. I mean, the great wall of words stands between you and that sweet number one ranking.

So there's another kind of data that's important, that's the data that is mainly for search engines like Google. In many cases but not all users won't necessarily always see this information on your website. It's called metadata. Nope, metadata on websites predates the company called Meta and Meta's predecessor company, Facebook and Facebook's predecessor, an adult Mark Zuckerberg. This metadata includes things like webpage titles, webpage descriptions and descriptions of images on the screen. These not only help Google understand what your site is about, it also makes it easier for the visually impaired to understand. And it's the right thing to do.

Another kind of helpful data on websites as part of something called which provides data on things like events that you might host like conferences and webinars, products that you sell, places such as your brick and mortar locations and your organization itself. Search engines really like this kind of data because it helps with understanding the content but it also provides more information that Google can put on the results page, which in turn helps the user and it helps us too, the website owners because users are more likely to click through on a search result that displays this kind of information.

So our two concepts so far, number one, the goal of a search engine is to understand what the user is looking for and give them exactly that. Number two, make it easy for Google to understand your site.

Now, here is the third concept. The longer users stay on your website, the more likely it is to rank high. We want our website visitors to stick around and click around. Trademark Jake Fisher, 2022.

So what makes people spend a lot of time on a website besides TikTok videos of course? Well, think about it. What makes you spend a lot of time on a website? It's probably because you're interested in the topic and the website has a lot of information about that topic across multiple blog posts, pages, or articles. And they're easy to read with photos and graphics and maybe even accompanying videos. So you stick around because you're interested in the topic and you click around because there's a lot of related content on the website that's just a click away from what you're reading now.

Once your content starts ranking enough to get a little organic search traffic if users are sticking around and clicking around that content will shoot to the top of Google very quickly, because the amount of time that a user spends on your website as a result of a search click is a powerful ranking factor. And of course, that makes sense. Because they stick around and they click around, it means that the user found what they were looking for. Right, and our first concept is do you remember what our first concept is? What Larry and Sergay said, what did they say?

The goal of a search engine is to understand what the user is looking for and give them exactly that.

So how do you make a website that makes your prospects wanna stick around and click around? Well, making sticky and clicky websites is a huge topic all in itself but I will say make sure that your site has a lot of content that is about topics important to your prospect. In fact, at my company Bridges we use the content cluster model of content development, building out written content in a way that urges the user to click around clusters of interrelated and interlinked content. We anticipate their next questions and make it easy for them to click to the next obvious topic.

Something else to consider is adding videos to your pages. Some people prefer video over the written word. I mean, when given the chance to watch and listen, rather than read, they're more likely to stick around on the site. I mean, you're watching the video right now. How Meta is that?

Another way to keep users sticking around on your site is to write content in a way that makes it enticing for the user, include a summary and if possible a tease in the introductory paragraphs. If you do this really well, you might even end up at position number one and get the featured snippet which is normally a good thing.

One guaranteed way to drive people off of your website. Remember our great wall of words? I mean, I bet astronauts can see that thing from space. Don't do that. Break your content up into easy to digest nuggets, use lots of headers and graphics and lists and other things that make it easy on the eyes to read and understand, users tend to skim a webpage before committing to reading all or part of it, make it easy to skim. Ah, that's so much better.

One last concept. SEO takes time in many cases, long lasting and impactful success and organic search takes months. If you hire an SEO firm and you're disappointed that the return on investment is no good after say two months, then your expectations are probably not realistic. However, if you're patient and hold the course wildly transformational things can happen. Be ready to scale your sales, your customer service, and your delivery.

So we wanna remember number one give the user what they're looking for. Number two, make it easy for Google to understand what our website is about. Number three, make your website sticky and clicky for your users and number four, be patient, but be ready. So there it is.

If you'd like to talk to me and my team about your specific SEO situation or marketing or other revenue operations issues including B2B sales, customer success, data management and or HubSpot software implementation please send me a message at And if you made it this far then you probably should just show us some love. Go ahead, subscribe, hit the like button ring, the bell whatever it is you're supposed to do whenever you like it. Do that. Until next time. Is that gonna work?

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