As a busy mom, wife, and business owner, I have little time for stuff that doesn’t matter. When it comes to SEO, the same applies! There’s a lot on your plate as a business owner or content creator already, so here are the five things you can ignore when it comes to SEO.
Prepping for SEO talk
You need to know some background information to understand what we are talking about, so you don’t go out and change things willy-nilly.
Firstly, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is how people do things to make their content easy to find and rank higher on Google or other search engines. Simply put, SEO impacts how and where you appear in Google’s results.
The search engine’s job is to connect people to what they need or want online. Search intent is important to Google! It can tell what people are looking for, even when they misspell something or don’t know the name.
Trying to trick it or circumnavigate its process will eventually get you penalized by Google. Many algorithm changes Google has made over the last 25 years have been to punish people who have tried to trick the search engine.
Secondly, the things we discuss today will not impact search ranking, or at least the impact has decreased over the years to the point it’s nearly inconsequential. If you like doing it or do things for reasons other than SEO, that’s great! Keep going! We want everyone to feel empowered to have an awesome website and make informed choices about how they can improve.
Now, let’s get into five factors that won’t impact your ranking.
Domain name keywords
Back in the day, having keywords like your city or industry in your domain made a big difference. Now, not so much. Pick a domain name that is as close to your business name as possible, and that is short.
You may get spam where people try to get you to buy a domain name that includes your city or area and industry, but it won’t help you much. Don’t purchase it!
Your meta description may impact how you show up but not where you show up. Sometimes, Google will use your meta description, and sometimes they won’t. It shows up on SERPs or Search Engine Results Pages when they do. But they only sometimes show it, and it doesn’t impact rankings.
Back in the wild-west days of the internet, people would do keyword stuffing and all sorts of crazy things to try and rank higher. Eventually, Google caught on and penalized them. Many CMS SEO tools now include a place to enter keywords, but just entering them in doesn’t impact your ranking. Search intent and human readability are way more important than keywords.
Who would have thought being helpful to people would help you do better online? Score!
Also, in the olden days of the internet, people would make a landing page for every city or state they did business in, hoping they would pop up when someone searched for that location in Google. Sometimes, they were referred to as geo pages, city landing pages, or even service area pages.
If you actually have different locations, you can absolutely make pages for them (because that info is helpful to humans!) If you just make pages for every city around your business, hoping to get better rankings, Google is not thrilled.
Some people think that a lot of visitors visiting your website is a good thing, so they should pay people to do it! While you do want website visitors, click farming is a no-go. Google, in all its wisdom, can tell what’s real and what is fake.
So, to sum it up, don’t try and pull one over on Google because they’ll find you!
Our team is here if you need help or have questions about this topic. We help business owners, small marketing departments, franchisees, nonprofits, museums, associations, and more have the kind of online presence they can be proud of. If you need help looking as good online as you do in real life, let’s talk!