AskPat 293 Episode Transcript
Pat: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 293 of AskPat. Thank you for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
All right, lets get to today's question from Melissa.
Melissa: Hi Pat, my name is Melissa. I am toying with niche sites and ebooks and anything technical I just simply loathe. So I have a two-point question. Do you ever recommend outsourcing web design even if it's in WordPress and even SEO stuff for someone whose eyes glaze over anytime she attempts it. Secondly, five minute tasks probably take me 30 minutes technically wise. Do you have any bite-sized tips of things I could be doing on a daily or maybe somewhat regularly basis to increase SEO or anything in that realm that won't be completely overwhelming and just want me to throw up my hands?
Thanks so much. I am so blessed by your website here.
Pat: Hey, Melissa. Thanks so much for the question today. I really appreciate it. You know I've outsourced all of these things before: website design, SEO. With website design, if you are just starting out with niche sites and you are looking to get a good platform up there, a WordPress site where you can then provide content and become an authority, the ultimate resource for people who are looking for solutions in that particular space, than you don't necessarily need to outsource web design right from the beginning. Actually I would recommend against doing it completely. I've heard horror stories of people simply hiring a company, for example, to build their websites. Sometimes on WordPress, sometimes not on WordPress and then that person just stops working for them, or they have a falling out or that person moves on and gets hired by somebody else and isn't to do that work anymore. Then all of the sudden you are left with a website that is there, but then you don't know how to update it, it just won't function because you don't know how to do it because that other person did it.
Yes, I know the technical aspect of it is very hard, especially at first, but you might be trying to make things too hard for yourself because especially now with WordPress and just uploading specific themes to change the skin and the look of the website. That's really as technical as you need to get at least at first when you are just starting out. There's plugins and things available as well, but even then, when you start getting into things like coding and things like that, that stuff becomes a headache and is completely unnecessary at this point. Especially when you are first starting out, like I said.
Even though I did it right eventually, when I eventually hired somebody to help with a custom design website, which I did two years after this site was initially used on a very basic WordPress blog platform theme. The person who I hired was like, “Who did this code for you?” I was like, “Oh, I did it.” He's like, “Well, it's very poor.”
I figured it out but again, I could have just found somebody to do that particular thing for me. I think if you find that there is a small thing that you want to do, you might want to go and check it out. There's also a lot of great services out there that will help you that aren't necessarily somebody you hand everything off to, but they can help you with these small technical things.
The first one that I want to recommend to everybody is WP Curve. So this is WPcurve.com. They are a great company. Alex and Dan over there are just, for a small monthly fee, you can have people go in there and fix things for you if you need fixing on a lot of small things. That's a good one to check out.
Then of course you can get themes that look good where you might not need assistance on places like ThemeForest.net and places like that. That you can just put on top of your existing WordPress blog. I would recommend going through that far of it yourself. Just so that you can control what's going on and even if you were to hire somebody else, as long as you understand a little bit about the WordPress back end and how to publish content and how to put images and things like that, which if you don't know how to do, just quickly look onto YouTube on how to do that. That's all you would need to get started and then you can focus, like I said, on the writing aspect.
Speaking of writing, I want to talk about SEO. That's another thing that you asked about outsourcing as well. I'd be very careful with outsourcing SEO. Especially when you are first starting out, you might be attracted to companies that can say they can get you rankings or back links or these certain things for just a small amount of money, which is what would probably all start out with when building niche sites. The thing is you don't necessarily know exactly what they are doing, and now with the environment that we are in, in terms of Google and rankings and keywords and search engines and anchor texts. It's a very sticky situation where if anything seems forced and Google catches you. If anything seems like you are just trying to gain the system, there is a risk that you are taking there. You don't know what these companies are doing in terms of SEO for you. It's very scary sometimes because all that hard work you put in could, with a mistake they make, just kill everything or you would be penalized for a little bit. So you don't want that stuff to happen.
I think to make it easier for you, all you have to really understand, Melissa, is the fact that you just want great content; unique content for your target audience in a very natural way on your website. So in the title of your post, make sure to talk about what it is that you are going to talk about and make it not only compelling in terms of if people find it on social media, but something that when people type it into Google, it is going to be found as well. Very easy, just include the most important key words, or the most important key phrase in the title, then just talk about it in the post naturally.
I think everybody overthinks SEO way to much. And there is, yes, a lot of little technical things you could do with back linking and anchor text and all that stuff. Just make it easy on yourself and write good stuff, and in the title, have it make sense to what it is that the topic is about. Then talk about it in your first paragraph using those keywords, what it is that you are talking about, which you would naturally do anyway. Then link out to other sites that are useful that are going to support your content and then also link to other articles that you've already written that relate to and support that content as well.
Then that's essentially it. That's all you really need to do. There are keyword fields that you can add in, when you write an article about something, there's metadata and things like that, which are important, but less important then we all think. I think the most important thing is to make sure to have the keywords in the title and throughout the article in a natural way.
I think the most technical thing that you would want to happen would be a plugin that essentially makes sure that your site has all the necessary metadata related to the site itself and all the articles so that Google can find those things. It's really easy, there is a great plugin app by a guy named Yoast. Just look up WordPress SEO by Yoast and there is some great walk-through videos on setting that up and yes, it is going to take a little bit of time upfront, but once you are done with that, it's done. You don't really have to do much more then, when you write a blog post, then you just essentially put in the title of what you want to be found in Google. Put in the description of what you see under the title in Google. Make sure that also, the URL, the web address to that particular post includes those keywords as well.
That's essentially it. I don't focus too much on figuring out SEO for Smart Passive Income. Even my other sites, I just make sure to have those basic things there, and if you write good content, just like Neil Patel says, “If you write good stuff, Google will eventually find it.” That's all I would focus on right now. The relationships you build with other bloggers and the connections you make with the people in your audience, that is going to be more important than anything. That's going to also, as a byproduct, help you better rank in Google too.
So, hopefully that makes you feel better Melissa. You don't have to worry so much about SEO. Make sure you just have a platform, a content platform like a blog where you are able to provide content and value to people. Just making sure you are following those basic rules. And over time, you are going to see some rankings, and the more you write, the more you are going to be found. Not just for those particular keywords, but for long-tailed keywords (i.e. phrases that you end up writing anyway in your content that you weren't even targeting), people are going to find you for because they are looking up similar things on Google as well.
I'll tell you that on SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, I would say 25 to 35 percent of my traffic comes from the top ten key words that are keywords that I am trying to rank for, like “security guard training,” “armed security guard training,” “security guard classes,” that sort of thing. The rest of my traffic is coming directly from those long-tailed phrases like, “how to become a security guard in Florida,” or “at what age can I become a security guard out of high school.” All of those long keyword phrases that maybe two people in the world would type in, but there's a lot of those and they add up for sure.
So, yes. There's like 10 keywords that are providing me 25 to 35 percent of my traffic, but there are over 3,000 to 4,000 other keywords that people are finding me for that make up the rest of the traffic.
So, continue to write, continue to post and don't get too stressed out about the technical stuff. Again, just get those things out of the way at first. Use the WordPress SEO by Yoast and get all the metadata in there and focus on the title and the description and you are good.
Melissa, thank you so much, I appreciate your question and wish you all the best. An AskPat t-shirt will be headed your way for having your question featured here on the show.
For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
Sweet. Thanks so much. I appreciate it, and as always I love to end with a quote. Today's quote for you is from Bernard Meltzer and he says, “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.”
Cheers. Take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.