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Let Them Eat (SEO) Cake

SEO requires your ongoing active support -- with a dash of reality.

The saying “let them eat cake,” many times attributed to Marie Antoinette, who, when told that the peasants had no money left over for food, claimed, “What do I care? Let them each cake.” This from a pampered elite out of touch with how the poor struggled to survive.

The same analogy could be said about SEO. Small businesses have a tough time surviving in a world of big corporations with deep pockets and endless technology staff. Google tells you what you need to consider. But can one person or small biz really cover all those bases?

SEO Then and Now

Sadly, it wasn't always this way. It used to be easier to get ranked. Primarily because there wasn't as much competition. The concept of SEO hasn't changed all that much. Have the best site you can.

But will what you can do be enough? Now, we little guys have to work harder, longer, and be more creative.

Technology is what it is — we can't change it — we can only go with the flow. Nor can we think that by disregarding certain things or ignoring others, we can expect the same level of success as the rabidly aggressive non-relenting Netrepreneurs that thrive online.

I write about SEO based on what I see my clients struggle with and share what I know works, so you know what is necessary to reach any realistic goals. But, it's a complex topic to broach because it isn't easy. And in many cases almost impossible to achieve the results the site owner desires.

SEO is that 300-pound gorilla in the room that many talk about, think they know about, even think they are doing what they need to be doing. But, in fact, and let's be honest here, they are not embracing what needs to be done.

Just bits and pieces here and there. SEO is nothing if not about testing, tuning, trying new things, and modifying according to the data. Wash, rinse, repeat.

You Cannot Control Google

WordPress SEO Cake

When Google updates, you'll hear about good sites suffering in the rankings. And site owners that declare they have no idea why. I follow several websites where it seems almost daily there are claims of sites fluctuating. Was there an update? Can it be confirmed?

You can find an unending supply of articles about how to recover and what you need to do. Many that regurgitate the same-o, same-o. That's because no single person on the planet knows what Google's algorithm contains and what weight each variable carries for individual websites at any given time. That is without data — lots and lots of it too.

There are those rare birds that dig into the data and compare a collection of websites and markets impacted to get a good idea of what may be going on. Those folks are few and far between. Because of their expertise and diligence, they deservedly cost a pretty penny to help with SEO.

Search Engines ≠ Business Plan

I know from experience that great, visually appealing, high social signal sites that did not use black hat nefarious techniques that Google openly discourages have experienced negative impacts. Lost rankings to low quality and outdated sites that do not follow Google's quality “suggestions.” The punishment didn't seem to fit any algo determined crime. How can that be?

Over the years, I have seen and experienced dramatic drops that I can't explain. Of course, I have my personal opinions, but I'm not a professional SEO'er. So that's why I read and research and do as much as I can to keep up.

I learned a long time ago not to hitch my success to search rankings alone. Instead, I do my best and everything I can to gain exposure.

So what do you do?

You do your best to do your best. You don't hang on to every fluctuation or think you need to react dramatically to each change. Sometimes it is better to let things marinate a while to see if the changes correct themselves. I've noticed that happens as well.

True Netrepreneurs don't sit around whining about what they don't like — well, we do, but just for a bit. We then move on to discovering and improving our knowledge base — and we persevere until we find what works. That's it.

The recipe for SEO Cake gives you the basics that need to include in your plan, your mindset, your modus operandi. Consistently, constantly and for as long as you have a website.

That is if you want your cake (business) to rise and be enjoyed by those you serve it to.

The Simple SEO Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 C. Solid Business Idea
  • 2 C. Astute Market Research
  • 1 C. SE-Friendly Responsive Design
  • 3 C. Your Best Copy Writing
  • 2 C. Perserverance
  • 2 C. Sticktoitiveness
  • 5 C. Unique Ingredients Not Found In Competitor’s Cakes

Ingredients can vary based on your goals. Want a bigger cake? Increase the ingredients accordingly.

After the Cake is Baked

Once your cake comes out of the oven, just like with search engine rankings, don't assume there will be a crowd standing around waiting to eat it. Or that additional cakes will automatically bake themselves.

After serving your cake, you don't clean up, put the dishes away, and turn the lights off. Of course, you don't assume your cake's leftovers will remain fresh on the counter indefinitely either.

Maybe some didn't like the frosting — then tweak that recipe. Others may have wanted your cake but will have suggestions to make your cake even better. Listen — then take action.

This is truly what SEO is about. Ongoing and ever-changing, testing then reviewing, asking, then modifying so that you end up baking cakes that bring in the doughnuts! For you.

The reality is that although some think SEO is a piece of cake or something that they have the super-secret special recipe for (no such thing), there is nothing further from the truth. Remember, one cake alone is not enough to open a bakery.

At your service,
Judith: WordPress Consultant and Coach