SEO is not difficult to learn, hard or even complicated. Like hiking to the top of a mountain, a successful SEO initiative starts with proper planning. You need a backpack that includes a map, a rain jacket, food, water, and sunscreen. Then, it’s one foot in front of the other. It requires sustained effort and is immensely rewarding when you start seeing results.
However, search engine optimization becomes difficult when you are missing a process. It’s like hiking a network or trails with little signage and no map.
We often see business owners and freelancers who take a do-it-yourself approach with some combination of tools and software. They spend all of their time trying to learn SEO and regularly get overwhelmed by data. Even worse, they end up not being able to find the time or confidence they need to actually execute on the SEO tactics that lead to increased traffic from Google, Yahoo and Bing.
At Pathfinder SEO, we’re often asked - “Is SEO difficult to learn?” “Is SEO hard?” “Is SEO complicated?” Learn why we answer no to all those questions and how to make SEO easy with these three tips.
How to Make SEO Easy
1. Choose Your Approach - Before embarking on the journey, stop to select the approach that is right for your business. You can hire an agency. If so, be sure to ask the SEO agency the right questions during sales and discovery. You can go it alone (DIY), but like any DIY project, that can quickly become overwhelming. Or, you can choose a guided approach such as Pathfinder SEO. Be sure to vet the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and select the path that best suits you and your business. For each option - agency, DIY, and guided - make sure you have a clear picture of the map or process that will be applied.
2. Keep It Simple - The search engine algorithms which determine position and visibility in Google, Yahoo and Bing, change over time. They evolve. This creates a sense of concern for marketers that their efforts today will be outdated tomorrow. In our ten years of experience in SEO, we have seen a lot of change. But, the foundation of SEO is the same - the search engines are trying to provide the most relevant results for each search.
Your job as a site owner or freelancer is to make it easy for Google to pick your webpage and place it high in the search results. To make that happen, the search engine crawlers need to be able to access and index your content. Both crawlers and your visitors need to have a great experience when using your site - think fast load times, mobile-friendly design, quality content. And your website needs to have trust and credibility from external sources - links from other websites, Google Maps listing, social media, etc. If you take a holistic approach to SEO, your strategy will be future proof.
3. Take Action - Set an 80/20 goal. 80% of your time and effort should be action-oriented. Think of tasks such as writing content, updating page titles and meta descriptions, and asking customers for reviews on Google Maps. 20% of your time should be focused on strategy, research, and learning.
Why? We see most businesses take a 20/80 approach. 20% of their time is actionable and the other 80% is research, auditing, strategy. At the end of the year, they are frustrated with their organic search results. Traffic and most importantly sales didn’t meet expectations. More often than not they didn’t blog consistently. They didn’t gain any high-quality links. They didn’t focus on site speed and performance. Just like hiking to the top of a mountain, you need to keep moving forward.
Lindsay Halsey is a co-founder of Pathfinder SEO. She has over 10 years of experience working in SEO with small to large businesses. Lindsay focuses on teaching business owners and freelancers how to get found in Google, Yahoo, and Bing via a guided approach to SEO. Stay in touch on Twitter - @linds_halsey.