Meredith's Husband

SEO vs. SEiQ: The 5 Rules

March 04, 2024 A professional photographer and her SEO husband Episode 104
SEO vs. SEiQ: The 5 Rules
Meredith's Husband
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Meredith's Husband
SEO vs. SEiQ: The 5 Rules
Mar 04, 2024 Episode 104
A professional photographer and her SEO husband

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Summary (provided by AI)
Back when SEO felt like just another buzzword in 2012, I found myself grappling with the harsh realities of Google's ever-shifting algorithm. My tale of redemption—transforming from a short-term tactician to a long-term strategist—kicks off our exploration into crafting SEO strategies that stand the test of time. We delve into the digital trenches, recounting a pivotal moment with a major client and how facing the music with integrity not only salvaged a valuable partnership but also reshaped my SEO philosophy.

This episode is a treasure trove of insights, as we traverse the Five Pillars of Effective SEO, from the critical need for a lightning-fast website to the art of conjuring unique, audience-centric content. As we peel away the layers of what it means to truly excel in the digital realm, you'll learn why impressions can be a more telling gauge of growth than rankings, and how laying a solid SEO foundation is akin to nurturing a fine wine—requiring patience and persistence. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a curious newcomer, this conversation is an essential guide to not just surviving but thriving in the dynamic world of SEO.

Timestamps
[4:49] Why I Started Doing SEO Differently
[7:22] Rule 1: It needs to Work
[8:58] Rule 2: It needs to be Unique
[10:30] Rule 3: Create Content for Users (not for Google)
[11:22] Rule 4: It needs to be Helpful
[12:49] Rule 5: It needs to do what YOU need it to do
[16:34] Avoid Frustrations with SEO

CONTACT
https://www.meredithshusband.com/contact

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Did you like this episode? Send us a text!

Summary (provided by AI)
Back when SEO felt like just another buzzword in 2012, I found myself grappling with the harsh realities of Google's ever-shifting algorithm. My tale of redemption—transforming from a short-term tactician to a long-term strategist—kicks off our exploration into crafting SEO strategies that stand the test of time. We delve into the digital trenches, recounting a pivotal moment with a major client and how facing the music with integrity not only salvaged a valuable partnership but also reshaped my SEO philosophy.

This episode is a treasure trove of insights, as we traverse the Five Pillars of Effective SEO, from the critical need for a lightning-fast website to the art of conjuring unique, audience-centric content. As we peel away the layers of what it means to truly excel in the digital realm, you'll learn why impressions can be a more telling gauge of growth than rankings, and how laying a solid SEO foundation is akin to nurturing a fine wine—requiring patience and persistence. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a curious newcomer, this conversation is an essential guide to not just surviving but thriving in the dynamic world of SEO.

Timestamps
[4:49] Why I Started Doing SEO Differently
[7:22] Rule 1: It needs to Work
[8:58] Rule 2: It needs to be Unique
[10:30] Rule 3: Create Content for Users (not for Google)
[11:22] Rule 4: It needs to be Helpful
[12:49] Rule 5: It needs to do what YOU need it to do
[16:34] Avoid Frustrations with SEO

CONTACT
https://www.meredithshusband.com/contact

Speaker 1:

Do you remember, a few nights ago, you asked me something about SEO. We were in bed talking about SEO.

Speaker 2:

As we always do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, why else would we talk about anything else?

Speaker 2:

Is there anything else to talk about?

Speaker 1:

And I told you it was something about like how I started doing the SEO, the way I do it. And I told you this little story and, to my own significant surprise, you were quite interested.

Speaker 2:

I was interested in it.

Speaker 1:

You thought it was, yeah, an entertaining story.

Speaker 2:

I did have you shared it.

Speaker 1:

I have shared it in my pro membership coaching. Okay, but for those who, aren't For those who are not in my students.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, let's not do one of those, those like and if you?

Speaker 1:

wanna hear it.

Speaker 2:

You need to join now.

Speaker 1:

No, I'm gonna tell you, I'm gonna share with you the story.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I never. I can't believe it. We've been together for 18 years.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I never knew this, or did I know this and chose to forget?

Speaker 1:

Probably not. I've never really kind of told the story of it.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

I didn't think it was a very interesting story.

Speaker 1:

It is interesting share it. So, like 2000, I'm pretty sure it was 2012. Do you remember when business or no, not business when Reuters Business TV did a story about me? Yeah, and they contact me and they said, well, we're gonna frame it as like from your client's perspective. So let us know one of your you know great clients that we're gonna do a story about them, but it's really gonna be about you. So I was like cool, that was awesome. I was really. That was like a feather in my cap. The one thing that kind of I was taken aback by a little bit is it was 2012. I had been doing SEO for over six years. I'd been incorporated over six years. I'd been doing SEO close to almost 10 years and they were framing it as like SEO is this brand new thing and nobody's ever heard. I mean, maybe nobody had ever heard of it.

Speaker 2:

I think most people had not heard of it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but anyway they were like this brand new thing that's happened. I'm like I've been doing this for a long time.

Speaker 2:

I guess that's to make them feel like.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I don't know, I guess to mainstream. Yeah, it was fairly new, yeah, so the same time that was happening, I had just gotten, earlier that year, I think, my first big client, my first legit client, where there was like a marketing agency, and the marketing agency brought me in and I came into this this big marketing team, several different marketing professionals all working for this one company, my first like real legit client. And so they brought me in.

Speaker 2:

Buster's very excited by this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can tell, and they brought me in, I think right near the beginning of the year, january, february, and by the end of that year, all of their SEO metrics, their impressions, their visitors, their rankings, their conversions, everything had tanked.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 1:

Like everything had gone in the wrong direction, and it was in 2012,. There were a lot of big changes at Google, and so that was kind of the reasoning. But here I am with my first big client I'm super stoked about, and I just got smacked down heavy by Google. And so at the end of that first year I was like, oh, of course they're going to fire me. I've just my first big client and I've just destroyed their SEO. You don't hire an SEO person to push down your rankings, and that was right at the same time that this Rooters Business thing, so I was like ugh.

Speaker 1:

But anyway, I went to that client at the end of that year and I was. I just totally came clean. I'm like look, I'm really sorry. You know, I did explain the changes that had happened at Google and I explained everything. I think I gave them a few free months extra and one of the things they said first was we really appreciate you coming to us like this. This is the same thing that we would do when we were in a situation like this, so that was really endearing, that they understood.

Speaker 1:

They understood their humans, they understood, and also that they're not scumbags. You know that they value that. And then they said you know what, by the time we hired you, we had already been watching your website in rankings for a year. Yeah, and I was. You know, at first I was like, okay, well, that's a little bit overkill, but it is, and that's one reason I say like making a good first impression with your Google Search Console and that sort of thing. Your best clients are going to be the ones who do research beforehand. We do, we've done episodes about that in the past. But the clients who are going to be with you long term and just going to be really valuable clients are the ones who are going to invest some time before they start investing money with you.

Speaker 1:

But anyway at the end of that year, I was like, well, shit, I gotta do something different, because I can't do this every year. We go up and down and then explain to clients why things are in the toilet, blah, blah, blah. So instead of thinking, okay, I'm gonna focus on the short term and building rankings and get really quick growth for clients, which is what SEO had been up until then, I began thinking I need clients who are going to stick with me a long time. I mean, this client stuck with me for a year and the results were terrible and they said no worries, we're gonna stick with you for another year. I'm like I want long term clients, so I need to start thinking.

Speaker 2:

The tortoise and the hare.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes.

Speaker 2:

So I started thinking well, how does Don't you look happy though you're surprised when I say something that's actually accurate. Sharing with friends.

Speaker 1:

So I started thinking well, what does Google want? If I'm constantly trying to kind of not trick Google, but if I'm trying to find the loopholes and Google's algorithm and do this and that Google's gonna continuously smack me down, I'm not gonna get this long term.

Speaker 2:

Well, they're also gonna be continually reinventing themselves, too, yeah.

Speaker 1:

But so I started approaching it as well. What does Google want? What do they want? If I can do that same thing, if I can have the same objectives that they have, I should be able to have clients long term, have long term steady growth, rather than the typical short term spike in rankings, drop in rankings spike in rankings drop in rankings, so that's when I started developing what I now call SEIQ instead of SEO.

Speaker 2:

He's so smart.

Speaker 1:

I actually I don't know about you, but I actually very much dislike the term SEO now Right. Just because it has so many negative connotations.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I think, rightfully so.

Speaker 2:

Like feminism.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, kind of yes, yeah, it's almost like a dirt, like if you, you know, if I went to a cocktail party and like I don't want to say, oh, I do SEO, I'm like, I'm a sleazebag then.

Speaker 2:

But you're not, but I understand. But.

Speaker 1:

SEIQ is like now. I bill myself as an organic consultant that's what I am on these marketing teams that I'm part of but the SEIQ that I've developed is just a set of kind of common sense rules. Yeah, and anything that comes along, any change in SEO and all this SEO advice here. Oh, you got to do this, so you got to do that. You're like next year or this year we got to do this and now it's changing. You got to do that. I always can just refer back to these five rules because they are what Google wants.

Speaker 1:

And if you and if those, if, if whatever comes up, fits into your five rules, then then it's good.

Speaker 2:

I would say what are the five rules? I'm going to cover them. Okay, I didn't know if you had them, or I don't know.

Speaker 1:

I don't know. I was going to ask you what they were.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you forget. I just show up to this, right? I don't know what you're going to talk about.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so number one, the first rule does it work? Does your website work, like it? It has to function right.

Speaker 2:

Right. You mean like, can people come go through it and contact you?

Speaker 1:

I mean, are there? Are there broken links? If you click on a link, does it say 404? Sorry, you can't find that page.

Speaker 2:

You just keep pressing on the name and the word and it doesn't go anywhere.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, or our images broken, our things broken, like literally our things broken, and a lot, of, a lot of like. What tools like Semrush do now is they can scan your site in just you know a few seconds and they can tell you where things are broken. Do you know how many links are in a typical website? Like thousands, tens of thousands.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, a whole bunch. It would be really, really, really, really hard to go through and test them all. But that's where you need tools is they can go through and they scan all the links and tell you which ones are broken. Now this goes a little bit deeper than just things that are broken, because it needs to work and it would help if it works well. Yeah, you know so. Like, maybe all your links work, but your pages take 10 seconds to load. That's not great either. So it needs to work. It needs to work reasonably fast, and Google has recently come out and said oh, speed is a ranking factor. Like, if your site is slow, it's not going to rank as highly. It needs to be at least reasonably fast. It doesn't need to be the fastest website on the internet, but it needs to work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and people's also.

Speaker 1:

People's patience is less and less yes and less and less Right.

Speaker 2:

Didn't used to be like you have eight seconds, and then it was three, and now it's like you have 0.2 milliseconds.

Speaker 1:

Yes, the second rule is it unique? You can't just go and copy somebody else's website and expect to do well in Google.

Speaker 2:

I know, trust me, we've tried, but a small interjection my friend Carmen said oh, can you look at my website? And I said I only can when I've finished redesigning my website, otherwise I'm just going to copy yours. So I haven't seen hers, but I am almost done with mine. I think it is ready. Sorry, a little bit about me.

Speaker 1:

No, thank you, You're welcome, Thank you. And by copying other websites, I don't necessarily mean like the design, the layout, the colors, the images, but the actual text. You can't just take somebody else's text. It used to be. People did that, like SEOs, for a number of years, tried doing that. Right around actually, 2012, Google started cracking down and saying you can't just take other people's information, and since then this is why SEOs have a bad name they said, oh well, because coming up with content is hard, it's not easy. So SEOs said, oh well, we'll have a client, we'll write one article and then we'll use article spinners and we'll make 20 articles out of it. So that's so. You can't copy your own content either. You've heard about duplicate content. This is like it's all part of number two. You can't. It has to be unique. You can't copy other people's content. You can't copy your own content, and this is kind of where that kind of where the AI conversation fits in now, but that's, that's another podcast.

Speaker 2:

It's a whole other podcast.

Speaker 1:

Rule number three, and this comes out of the golden rule of SEO and the golden rule of SEO.

Speaker 2:

There's a golden rule.

Speaker 1:

There is the golden rule of SEO is that content is king. Now, I don't think that alone is really that helpful. Or queen or queen. How Google has rephrased this recently is that you need to do things for your users. Your content needs to be created for your users and not for Google. We've talked about Danny Sullivan and how he came out and said if you're doing good stuff, you don't need to worry.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

You're going to be taking. We're going to try to reward sites that are doing good stuff. If you're doing stuff on your website for Google, then you're in trouble, right? So who are you building your? Who is your content for? Who is your website for? It's got to be it's got to be for your users. Don't do stuff thinking that it's what Google wants, because your heart is not going to be in.

Speaker 2:

That's rule number three.

Speaker 1:

Rule number four. Four Is it resourceful, right? Is it useful? It can be. It can be all these things. It can work. It cannot be. It can be unique, it can be written for users, but if it's not useful, that's not going to help either. How?

Speaker 2:

would you define useful?

Speaker 1:

So remember we've had, we've talked about the, the helpful content.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Update from Google. If it's helpful content to somebody. They keep this kind of vague on purpose, because there's many different ways you can provide helpful content to people. It can be funny, Maybe somebody, maybe you have an entertainment side and you're just giving somebody a laugh. I mean that's helpful if people laugh.

Speaker 2:

Yes, we can all use that PS. I recommend the TV show In the Shadows what we do in the Shadows, as well as Pen 15.

Speaker 1:

It could also be like a how to do XYZ blog Super helpful. There are many different ways and I'm sure people will continue to come up with more ways that content can be helpful. Remember, we've talked about making your blog a resource along the same lines. And so this has always, this has been fairly constant with Google. They want you to create helpful information. They want Google wants to send their own users to websites that are helpful, and they've only just recently kind of come out and actually labeled it with those exact words.

Speaker 1:

But, number four it's gotta be useful, it's gotta help somebody do something.

Speaker 2:

Help, I need somebody.

Speaker 1:

And then number five and this is kind of a bonus it's gotta do what you want it to do, like you can do all these other things. If it doesn't do what you want it to do, it's not gonna help you. So this is not necessarily so much about building impressions and rankings and getting traffic from Google, but it's about getting organic conversions and getting business from Google. So and this we've talked about several times People have calls to actions on their website and they have seven different calls to action because you the impulses to give the potential clients choices.

Speaker 1:

Whatever you want, you make it easy, give them choices. But options require decisions and people-.

Speaker 2:

And decisions can be frustrating and overwhelming. The more choices you have, the less apt you are to make a decision. That was episode peep.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that was episode peep.

Speaker 2:

Somebody was oddly paying attention. At least part of their brain was.

Speaker 1:

So those are the. I call them the five pillars.

Speaker 2:

Those are great pillars.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I like five because I have five fingers. Helps me remember.

Speaker 2:

Okay, that's one way to look at things.

Speaker 1:

But anytime somebody asks me should I do this, should I do this for SEO or should I do that for SEO? And clients ask me these sorts of things, I'm just talking right over you. That's fine, I'm gonna keep going.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to my world. I'm kidding, I'm going to doxel.

Speaker 1:

When clients ask me things like this, or anybody asks me things like this, I basically refer back to these five rules. Does it? Is it going with these five rules or is it going against them? And then I can tell you oh, is that something you should do for SEO or something you shouldn't do for SEO?

Speaker 2:

That's very smart.

Speaker 1:

That's kind of my way of doing SEO and, to be honest, I don't have to remember all the-. Because you have five fingers, my NUSHA, yeah, yeah, I don't have to memorize all the my. Nusha of SEO information that changes every year. Right, I know how to evaluate it. When there is new information, I know how to evaluate. Is it good advice? Is it bad advice?

Speaker 2:

Can I ask do you feel that the majority of people well, I know the answer is yes, but do you think people get frustrated when they don't see instant changes? Yeah, and you're like just wait. I mean, it's kind of like being a trainer, or if you're like I'm going to lose this amount of weight and you just monitor a scale like I don't know, whatever you would monitor.

Speaker 1:

You do a pushup and then flex in the mirror, and that's not working.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that is a, I would say, probably the major frustration.

Speaker 2:

Because I would probably be that person yeah.

Speaker 1:

And this is another reason why I don't like the SEO industry is because they kind of promise like you're all, you're gonna shoot up in rankings and you're gonna get this, it's all gonna happen so quick. No, it doesn't. It doesn't work. It is very much like exercising Right, like your first day of exercise. You're not gonna go need to buy new clothes after your first day.

Speaker 2:

Yes, you will. I mean sorry, Don't you need like all your outfits and everything prepared before you start exercise. Oh well, yes, but I mean, I mean you're you need to go buy a skin clothes, of course you need to rearrange my entire schedule to figure out what classes I'm in, before I even try one or get a gym membership.

Speaker 1:

But at some point your rankings might shoot up. They might go up for you. You might have keywords that go from page five to page one pretty much overnight. But that doesn't happen unless you've put in that foundational work before, right.

Speaker 2:

It's just like again you work out, you eat healthy and all that stuff and you try and get better and you get frustrated and you hit plateaus and then all of a sudden you're like, damn these pants look good. They've never looked that good, but that's not because of anything other than months and months of hard work.

Speaker 1:

That is one of might even be the biggest challenge with SEO Right, but a way to get it I talk about this also in my membership the way to get around that is to focus on impressions and not your rankings.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

Because rankings fluctuate all the time. They go up and down. Your impressions will give you a much better idea of yes, I am growing. Google is showing my site more and more often. Okay, that's what you're going for.

Speaker 2:

And for somebody who just happened upon this podcast and this is the first time you don't know what impressions are Impressions.

Speaker 1:

I think it's been a whole episode since we've talked about impressions.

Speaker 2:

Okay, that's why I don't remember An impression is anytime.

Speaker 1:

Google displays your website and search results In the first 100 listings. Remember I mentioned, when you do a search on Google, they create a list of a hundred different websites and then they show them to you one page at a time. Okay, so when you see that your number of impressions is growing, it means that, oh, you're getting more impressions, maybe on page 789. Okay, but you can see very visibly that, oh yes, google is starting to favor my site. They're showing my site more and more often. It's a relatively easy way to track your progress in terms of SEO.

Speaker 2:

I love how this is new to me and I'm literally part of this podcast. Yeah, you've probably said it every single time and first time I'm hearing it.

Speaker 1:

I think we did talk about it last episode.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, probably yeah, in one ear out the other.

Speaker 1:

Why you make a great co-op.

Why I Started Doing SEO Differently
Rule 1: It needs to Work
Rule 2: It needs to be Unique
Rule 3: Create Content for Users (not for Google)
Rule 4: It needs to be Helpful
Rule 5: It needs to do what YOU need it to do
Avoid Frustrations with SEO