Additional Search Engine Optimization

by Dave Curtis on September 25, 2015


Ranking Your Site For The Long Haul

Getting to Number One In The Search Engines Over Time.

dave-curtis-seo-2Have you noticed so far that this SEO site is different from many that just load up the pages with quick bullet points and no explanations anywhere because they do not want you to know what they’re supposed to be doing? Operating under the theory that the less you know the better, what they don’t do that you don’t know about can’t hurt them. The best SEO sites are the ones that freely share information and inform both clients and SEOs. Cryptic and dubious claims of “Guaranteed first spot in Google” SEO sites are all over the internet, but it’s unethical to claim such things (particularly in an open statement without knowing the products or services that a client has built his or her site around) because to guarantee a first page ranking implies a special relationship with Google, and there are no such relationships.

The reason I take the time to explain what search engine optimization is about is because I read the books, follow the SEO news blogs, and use the same tools SEO industry experts use. I also study marketing, sales theory, psychology as it relates to web design and conversion/transaction, web analytics and a lot more on a daily basis (while simultaneously keeping up with client SEO work). There are constant Google Search Engine Algorithm rule changes, so my naming even one here now will make this post outdated by next year. Here are the names of a few recent huge SEO furor – some serious, some tempest in a teapot:

  • Google Hummingbird = nothing to worry about
  • Google Mobile Friendly Update = Mobile sites rewarded in mobile search with higher placement in the search results. If your site is about equal to five others that are mobile friendly, in mobile searches your site will be number 5 or 6.
  • Google Panda Update = Poor content quality sites, so “content, content” content” don’t just write to write, write to inform. 1000 pages of junk won’t do you anything but get you dropped.
  • Google Penguin Update = Spammy content, and purchased backlinks penalty.
  • Google (Carrier) Pigeon Update = algorithm to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results.
  • Google Payday Update(s) = various meanings and uses from:

    • Spammy sites (often injected malware sites with payday loans, viagra etc in them)
    • Spammy queries (typing into Google “Payday…” you won’t see “payday loans” as suggestions as much any more.
    • Used to penalize web sites that use spamdexing and Black Hat SEO techniques to improve rankings for terms considered to be “spammy” in nature.
  • Google Pirate Update =  penalizes sites deemed to be violating copyright laws, in other words stop copying and pasting content from other sites unless you’re an affiliate/authorized dealer and modify your copy.
  • Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update = buying a domain name that matches your product or what you do won’t matter if the content on the site still sucks.
  • Google Top Heavy Update = deals with too many ads at the top of a page.
  • Google Farmer Update = Copying manufacturers product descriptions – similar to Google Pirate Update in as much as that it is also a penalty for “scraped” (duplicate) content

While it isn’t possible for one SEO to update all content to comply strictly with each Google Update on every website he or she controls all of the time, it’s important to know which updates make it critical to update every site to avoid major negative ranking or Google index removal issues. The rest of the rules will apply to any and all new content written, as these are the ones that Google will crawl and find compatible or not.

Continual content optimization efforts require the use of a technique known as siloing. Social media sharing isn’t the only area that’s important, and creating content on Facebook is a mistake – it has got to be created on the business’ website, published, and then the link to that content has to be shared on the business’ Facebook page (not in the business owner’s personal timeline), and THEN shared from the business’ Facebook page TO the business owner’s Facebook timeline (a lesson I find almost impossible to teach to business owners, even after demonstrating the technique multiple times – which is why hiring an SEO is important).

Ongoing search optimization means long term. One to six months worth of content won’t get you much in the way of long term gains due to the way your own business’ greatest competition has way outstripped you by building thousands of pages of content over the past dozen years. Stealing content will likely get your site shut down by your own ISP starting in July 12th of 2012, and “Over SEOing” of your site will get you penalized by Google due to an algorithm. Be prepared for your sites to disappear if all you do is tell an SEO “Optimize my site” but don’t give him any content or listen to the SEOs professional advice about adding content, changing content, and paying for more work to help get (still) critical back links from other sites.

Press release sites, at one time if used correctly with the right content would give you a chance to place your business on the news pages of Yahoo News, Google News, MSN News and others, but the volume of self promoting spam grew to such proportions as more and more junior level “wanna be” SEOs abused the strategy of press releases, that now it’s virtually useless unless you have some real groundbreaking news to report, thus using press releases for back links no longer works as well as they once did, and you need to take a close look at that strategy. Some of the better known press release sites are,, (none of which are free).

Ranking alone won’t convert visitors to purchasers as much as using consistency and good copy writing aimed at a targeted market. Search Engine copy writing (henceforth to be referred to as “copywriting” in this post) delivers advantages to your specific client of choice

You may think you want “everybody” to be your client, but trying to be everything to everyone doesn’t work. SEO, Copywriting and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) work together by taking copy writing (sales pitches) and optimizing them for the search engines, as well as possibly for Pay Per Click (if that proves to work for your product or service) and other forms of web advertising. Writing SEO copy is copy writing with the intent of the user of search engines in mind. It’s not being done for Google. Done artfully and with an understanding of marketing, a good SEO can turn great copy writing into SEO Marketing Copy (MARCO) for site conversions and transactions that will make you money. Watch and enjoy the two videos below from a few very well known professionals in the field of Search Engine Copywriting.

When your prospective new clients (who do not know your company name) search they first need to find your site. After they find it for your products and services that match what they are looking for these products and services must be presented in such a way that makes your site stand out distinctly. Your marketing copy (MARCO) must immediately point out the benefits of buying from you – and your offer must compelling enough to make them want to buy now. There are millions of people who search daily for the lowest price available and who target words like “cheap” and “free”. You don’t want to attract these people unless you’re a major high volume sales industry where high volume sales on short life span or viral “fad” goods make up for your low markup prices. Also keep in mind that high volume sales of ship-able goods has a cost in increased man hours, so unless you’ve got a drop shipping deal with a warehouse, you’re not going to get back what you expected. What you need to do is target your perfect client. Write for that person who walks calmly in the door and is interested in your product, wants to know why its good, and has enough money not to have to shop at the lowest price supermarket just because things are cheaper there. With properly marketed offers you can brand bundle benefits and advantages to increase transactions.

Write Like a Professional

Volumes have been written about what it takes to be a professional writer. There are, however, a few professional writing concepts that can — at least at some level — be described here, the common concepts of “audience,” “voice,” and “structure.” You can learn more about how to write product descriptions that sell and boost SEO efforts from Practical E-Commerce’s web site.

Call me, Dave Curtis at Brooksville Computer where I do SEO first and foremost, and web design second. I’m at (352) 232-1678. Call me now to discuss cutting a deal for your web site’s search engine optimization. Simply saying “SEO my web site” and overdoing on-site SEO keywording can be cheap or expensive, but not knowing about what your webmaster or SEO is actually doing – or whether or not they have the technical ability and knowledge to know what they’re doing may cost you the online end of your business entirely.


Real SEO vs Promise You The Moon for a Song and a Dance

In real SEO when dealing with clients who are technological neophytes, the Truth will kill a sale faster than a herd of rampaging rhinos squashing a gnat. They want to hear all kinds of mythological easy, instant, one click, make me a millionaire fixes. They love being fed “just imagine” slick, generic, internet usabilty buzz words montage Stock Video Footage videos.

Where do these videos come from? From places like this, and this, and this, and this, and lots, lots more. Choose your video, pay for it, download it to your computer and upload it to your YouTube channel as your own. Anyone can do it and look like a super nifty expert SEO whiz-bang pro without doing or knowing a thing. There’s even a plugin for WordPress sites called SEO by Yoast with a set of traffic light signals Green, Yellow & Red that’s out of date that non SEOs use as a bible to guide them. But that’s neither here nor there. What’s important to remember is that real SEOs know thousands of detailed things about technical SEO rankings – what helps them, what hurts them, what’s superfluous in today’s world of SEO and what most recent changes have been made that effect all of the previously Ok things on your business site that, if you don’t change them now, will hurt your rankings and returns now or very soon. The false SEOs rely on a lot of technobabble to BS management and it’s been that way for a very, very long time (in computer lingo that means for at least the past 25 years). If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit is the old mantra. And the fact is that so many people even today are technologically illiterate (meaning not fluent in advanced technology) that BSing them works better than trying to dazzle them… and here’s how.

Here’s how Technobabble works to confuse laymen.

Choose any word from Column 1, any word from Column 2, and any word from Column 3 and then make something up about them. Here’s a non SEO related list to give you a feel for one of the oldest tricks in the technology field:

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
quantum flux inhibitor
positronic reaction equalizer
gauss field dampener
osmotic particle chamber
neutrino gradient catalyst
molecular induction coil
resonating conversion unit
thermal polarizing translator
photon displacement grid
ionic feed regulator
multiphase imaging sustainer

The truth is simple: SEO is complex.

This is the story of the life of many an SEO (legitimate and otherwise) getting calls from people who want their websites to rank first in Google… But gaining information from them isn’t usually easy. Sometimes the callers themselves haven’t a clue as to what they really want their own businesses to target in the search engines. Sometimes they ask for the impossible on small to non existent budgets. The real SEO’s promises ARE true in a perfect world where the business owner knows what he or she actually is looking for, has a realistic budget, and is ready to expand, but for the ones who believe in the mythological easy, instant, one click, make me a millionaire fixes, sadly, expectations are more like this…

Explaining to a business owner that they’ll actually need to dedicate some company time participating in the SEO process absolutely requires that the lead person (or persons) in charge pay attention and take the SEO process seriously right from the very start. To many prospective clients telling this to them is an absolute deal breaker. They want a one button and its fixed for good deal. A real SEO should know everything already, just like an accountant, as if an accountant would never need to gather facts, look at your books, and get right down into the nitty gritty of every financial detail about your company. Why should an SEO need to know less about every other aspect of your business? Will it take a day to deliver or a week? Are products refundable or not? I had a client change the return policy month by month. During months when no returns were requested there was a money back guarantee. As soon as someone wanted to make a return, the page came down.

The fact is that today’s search engine optimization is focused on the user experience. Giving users what they want means providing them with as much diverse killer content as possible on the site to match all of the combinations of searches.

In more than one instance I’ve been contracted to take a website that started out with five pages and build it into a thousand, only to have to remove several hundred pages later on because the left hand of company management was saying one thing and the right hand spoke up much later saying “we don’t deal with that, that’s not what our company does” when in fact it was a core area of discussion when the contract was being agreed upon, only the principal didn’t take a real look at what was agreed upon until a year later.

I don’t mind removing 400 pages from a site I was paid good money to build. What I do mind is missing the great opportunity to rank the site for what would really have helped it out by focusing those 400 pages worth of work on what the company actually deals with.

The problem’s solutions as I see them in situations such as the one above are either hire an in-house SEO who’s right there 40 hours a week while working on your site (best option in an ideal economy), or take the time to thoughtfully answer email and phone call questions as fully as possible – and be proactive in helping the SEO by providing ideas and topics to work with from industry journals etc. If you have access to online industry subscriptions forward them to your SEO so he or she can gain insights and find areas to write about that might attract prospective clients to your site.

In theory, if your business is run right, you’re tracking daily, weekly, monthly and annual trends. So two or three months before you know sales of products or services X, Y, and/or Z are due to peak it’s time to let your SEO know that those products or services need fresh focus.

In other cases where management has been loose, the results of the SEO have been that the business was getting too many service calls, service calls in wished for extended markets outside of the actual service area (and sometimes for services they no longer provide), or there are product manufacturing orders management and production aren’t capable of keeping up with and fulfilling due to manpower shortages etc. These are another type of problem, and the reason why the big-box service and product distribution brands almost always rank tops in the SERPS (Search Engine Return Pages) is because their management and distribution systems are so much more polished and efficient.

In order to avoid the problems above, part of my advice to any company, especially service companies, is to Google your own type of service and see what comes up. Take a look at the top 3 results. Go to the sites and don’t just look at the front page of each, but look at the keyword rich text links in the paragraphs on the front page. Click those links, one at a time, and drill down to the next page and see that content. Do the same thing with the keyword rich text links embedded within those pages. Soon you’ll see that there’s a definite and well thought out pattern to the internal link building cross referencing dozens and even hundreds of pages within the site. You’ll also see that most if not all of those pages are written to convert if initiate a transaction.

Once you’ve seen the amount of solid precision information work done on each page, and company oversight and input it requires to be crystal clear as to specifics, you’ll be better prepared to give the SEO what he or she needs to beat all but the biggest big-box brand competition. To beat the big-box competition you’ll have to come  up with a regional or national SEO budget and the staffing to cover it as quickly if not more so.

If you’ve got a problem with figuring out what you’re doing wrong, contact a S.C.O.R.E. group of professionals. That may help if you follow their advice to the letter. That said, I know of one rather famous Florida company which went bankrupt after failing to build an online store as I had instructed them to do two years earlier, and even set up their online store and provided instructions on how to upload products, pictures, descriptions and prices. A year or so later they called in S.C.O.R.E. and didn’t follow their advice either, went out of business, had to auction everything off, and got in trouble with the IRS.

So you see, when it comes to SEO telling the truth means letting you know early and in no nonsense terms that if you want to rank it’s not like turning the key in the ignition of a brand new car and it goes VROOM, problem free, simply because you threw some money at the car dealership. Instead it means working with me, the SEO,  in much the same way you would work with an architect or an accountant.

The other SEOs you’ll hire before you hire me won’t tell you that. They’ll give you some line of bull and show you a flashy generic stock video they bought online for a dozen or a hundred bucks, uploaded to Youtube in their account, and then pasted into their own site as though it were their own skilled production. Only it’s not their own. Two years ago they knew nothing of SEO, and are now suddenly slick salesman letting the stock generic bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla video sell you on their vast skill and wisdom with a bunch of vague phrases. “Imagine what your site could do ….” Yeah. So just keep imagining – that’s what’s called a pipe dream – an opium dream. It’s a waste of time and money. Trust me. I know. I get calls from people telling me they’ve spent $8,000 for SEO and gotten absolutely nothing, and that they don’t have any money left in their budget, and what can I do for them for $500 or $600 dollars. Answer: Nothing.

Before You Call an SEO Ask Yourself: Do You Really Want to Rank – Are You Truly Ready For The Consequences?

My advice to those who really want to rank is to stop dreaming and imagining and wake up. Take my advice, do the work required and switch your online business on or turn it around. Making it mediocre isn’t good enough any more. Making it great is the only way to do it. Greatness doesn’t happen passively. And that’s ….

Why the truth doesn’t sell SEO

If you’ve got a business with a top sales team and a marketing director and a top salesman worth their salt, and you want to get to work on some real online ranking and long term ROI call me, Dave Curtis, at Brooksville Computer cell phone 1-352-232-1678 or my office line 1-917-521-4798 so we can work together.