I’ve got a hill to die on: SEO is not just for the tech savvy!
I am so passionate about this because when I talk to female business owners in particular and they tell me: “Oh, SEO. Yeah, that’s pretty frustrating. That’s confusing.” It actually makes me sad because this is not a skill that only the geeks should have. This is a skill that everyone should have and you’re holding yourself back from so much possibility of being able to be found in search results just because you believe that you have to be tech savvy to do that. It’s normal that you might feel like an outsider or like you just don’t get it or that it’s an inside thing that other people can do but not you.
I really honestly believe that it’s not true and I want to share just a little bit of a story with you because even though I’ve been doing SEO for 20 years, just last year was the first time I ever went to an actual search engine optimization conference full of a thousand or two amazing SEO experts and most of them were very friendly, but I actually had a really hard time at this conference.
I went not really knowing what to expect other than what the topics were. The first day I was really shy. I felt embarrassed to talk to anyone. I kept to myself. I sat in the back. I let myself get into that place of feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Looking back, that was a really crummy place to be. It did not feel very good. There is actually a couple of interactions as well, that didn’t go super well.
I went and talked to someone in the vendor hall about a product and I was describing how I helped businesses that serve in a radius that served their people locally, but they don’t actually have a physical location and he’s like, “Oh yeah, you mean SABs.” I just carried on with the conversation. I actually had to go Google what SABs meant because I had never heard that acronym before.
I just felt how could I have possibly not known what that was. SAB stands for service area businesses. Even though I was kicking myself and I felt embarrassed, I actually had to stop and be like, wait a second. I do know what that means. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know the tech lingo about it. It does not matter because I’ve been doing SEO for SABs or whatever you want to call them for years. It’s been my specialty. Regardless of the fact that I don’t know the term. I understand the strategy and that’s actually the only thing that matters.
There was another thing. I went to a round table where they were talking about Google My Business, which is kind of like the big hot thing right now for search engine people. I’ve been using it for a long time for my self and for my clients. I’ve been keeping up with all of the different features and I really understand the strategy, especially for small super small businesses.
Everyone was going around and talking about how they were getting results for their clients. I plucked up the courage to share something. I kind of got shot down like people are like, Oh yeah, that doesn’t sound like a good idea. I was giving them the biggest gold that I had actually been using that was crushing it with my clients. It was like they didn’t believe me, like they didn’t agree or they didn’t think that it would actually work. It made me feel so small. I felt again embarrassed about the whole thing. I went home that night and I had a pity party about it and then I had to buck myself up and be like, you know what? I don’t care what the big huge corporate strategy people say.
I know what works for small business owners. The fact that these big agencies who manage multiple, multiple locations of these huge businesses don’t think that that’s the right strategy. It’s probably not because they don’t know how to have this work for small micro businesses that I work with. For me, I’m here for the little business owner. I’m here for the tiny giant. That’s why I named my company what I did because I believe that small is big and I know for a fact that I can get small business owners results and nine times out of 10 that I can even help them out rank and outperform the big guys. So the biggest lie that people believe is that you have to be techie to be good at search engine optimization.
This podcast is about SEO for the rest of us. I’m not out to confuse you or frustrate you or make you feel inferior.
I am here to empower you because I don’t ever want you to feel the way that I have felt sometimes in the past. If you have a business and you’re good at it, you can do search engine optimization. All SEO is: is creating good content. Good SEO is about knowing your customers, getting inside their mind, anticipating their needs and their questions and their problems and even more importantly, you have to understand their dreams and their aspirations and all the emotions that are wrapped around that because so much of that drives user behavior when it comes to Google.
All the tech stuff, we have so many tech shortcuts now to write the code, the metatags, the schema markup, the stuff that makes our sites mobile friendly, the things that we need to speed up our site, everything that it used to take a skilled programmer to do, we have tools and shortcuts that can do that with a click of a button. Anything that you’re worried about on the tech side, you are just going to have to forget about it because I can give you the exact tool you need to get that done and not have to worry about it. So start focusing on the strategy part because the tech part is not that big of a deal anymore. It really, honestly is not.
The most important skill for SEO is knowing the core needs, fears and dreams of your ideal client.
You have to be able to connect the dots and see the complexities of human nature behind your ideal client. What I’m going to do is I’m going to teach you the right way to think about SEO. I’m going to teach you the right strategy and then I’m going to give you all the tech shortcuts you need to be successful, and I’m not going to throw it all at you all at the same time. That’s for sure, because that’s how people get overwhelmed. They go down the rabbit hole and they hit a tech roadblock and they’re like, Oh, well, yeah, I just can’t do it. Can’t do SEO. We’re not going to do it that way. We’re going to make sure we have the strategy straight and then when you get to the little tech hiccups, we can overcome those too.
Let’s do a little implementation and homework. What I want you to do is get super crystal clear about who you are serving. That’s one thing I think that the technical SEO people, they don’t do right. They don’t even think about it. They don’t try and get inside the mind of who they’re serving it’s all about what’s the right input I need to give Google to get the result I want. If you start from the place of crawling inside the mind of your ideal client and knowing them inside and out, you will crush SEO.
I promise you. You can’t just say, “Oh, I serve anyone”. That does not work. In order to be good at SEO, you have to have an ideal client and you need to understand their needs, wants, problems and desires, and it has to be crystal clear. It doesn’t matter what the demographics are. I don’t care how old your clients are or where they live or what their income is. That’s not the part that matters.
The part that matters is that you understand their problems and the second thing that I want you to do is to literally write down all the problems you can solve every little detail down to the nano microparticle of the problems that you can solve because that’s the sort of thing that drives content. If you create content that focuses on solving those problems, that is the entire point of a search engine.
People go to a search engine when they have a problem or a question, they just don’t go wander onto Google and be like, “Oh, what is there to find today?” That’s not how people behave on Google. If you’re creating content that anticipates those questions and needs and answers them really thoroughly, then you’ll be able to rank.
Getting clear on who you’re serving and writing down the problems you solve is the most important first step to being good at search engine optimization and I know for a fact you can do that. That’s why I know that you are already good at SEO. If you’re a business owner and you love your clients and you serve them well, you are already good at SEO. You just needing to start thinking about it and framing it the right way and you’re going to do fantastic.