Most of what you read about SEO is overhyped and a complete waste of time. It’s based on people going way over the top, thinking they can follow a magic formula to get into bed with Google and preaching their thoughts to the masses as if they developed Google’s algorithms themselves.
I speak from experience, having built this site from the ground up, into a moderately busy and successful website in about a year. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I want to give you an idea of what I’ve done with SEO on this site.
I never bought into all the SEO stuff that was flying around when I started getting into blogging. Everyone said they had the magic key, and it just seemed over-the-top to me. So I went to the other extreme and essentially ignored most of it.
What I’ve come to realise is that you can go about 90% of the way with about 10% of the effort. You can kill yourself fine-tuning things to get a pristine site in the eyes of search engines, but it’s just not worth the colossal extra effort.
So here’s my own SEO strategy. It’s worked for me handsomely and it doesn’t take much work at all.
- Install WordPress SEO by Yoast.
- Configure it and be sure to enable sitemaps, make category, tag, author and date archives nofollow/noindex and set up title and description templates under SEO > Titles. There is no need to enable meta keywords, based on Yoast’s own advice.
- For every page and post, create a meaningful title and description. Bear in mind that this is your chance to sell your post/page to a potential reader when it appears in their search results. So think about what they’re searching for and what you can write that will seal the deal and get you that click.
- You do need some backlinks, clearly, but I’ve only got a couple of hundred and I’m doing pretty well.
- Be wary of opening up your comments to anyone, especially if your comment author links are dofollow, as those can quickly amount to a whole lot of spammy outbound links from your site which isn’t good.
- Write your content like a human, not a machine. There is no magic formula and you don’t need to worry about keyword density. Just write the content as you would want your readers to read it.
It really couldn’t be simpler. As soon as you stop worrying about the search engines, you’ll actually start writing normally and the clever search engine computers can tell that your content is genuine, decent and useful, and you’ll start doing well in the rankings.
So the bottom line is, don’t sweat it, just be yourself, write from your heart and not a grand vision of trying to be an online millionaire and you’ll do pretty well. Content is, still, king.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Are you also bored with all of the SEO “advice” or have you found it useful?