SEO was where I cut my teeth in marketing, primarily because it had obviously tractable engineering solutions. The first year of sales for Bingo Card Creator was entirely due to a single article which I wrote on a topic of niche interest to elementary schoolteachers. My hypothesis for that was that if I filled a hole in the Internet, Google would have no choice but to rank me for the corresponding keywords, and then I could monetize them with in-house ads for my own related software project. (“If you were interested in Dolch sight words, maybe you’d like to play Dolch sight words bingo—here’s how to get started.”) I eventually created a system to execute on that insight horizontally across hundreds of different activities teachers could possibly be interested in, and that continues to account for half of the revenues and three quarters of the profits from Bingo Card Creator.

SEO as Systems and Processes Rather Than A Collection Of Tactics

Probably the biggest single insight about SEO that I can get across to you is that an SEO strategy is about putting in place repeatable systems and processes to get results, rather than simply gyrating about wildly in response to (actual or perceived) changes in Google algorithms. Raw quantity of powerful links has been a huge factor in achieving rankings for each of the last ten years, and it continues to be a huge factor today. If you had spent those ten years acquiring them, ideally by means of systems and processes (for example, a content publishing arm for the business which used software written once and then content identification, creation, and promotion processes which had been optimized over time), you would today be sitting pretty. If, on the other hand, you spent ten years trying to chase the algorithm, you might have at some point found that the algorithm bites back.


Complete 10-second survey to read full article!

SEO was where I cut my teeth in marketing, primarily because it had obviously tractable engineering solutions. The first year of sales for Bingo Card Creator was entirely due to a single article which I wrote on a topic of niche interest to elementary schoolteachers. My hypothesis for that was that if I filled a hole in the Internet, Google would have no choice but to rank me for the corresponding keywords, and then I could monetize them with in-house ads for my own related software project. (“If you were interested in Dolch sight words, maybe you’d like to play Dolch sight words bingo—here’s how to get started.”) I eventually created a system to execute on that insight horizontally across hundreds of different activities teachers could possibly be interested in, and that continues to account for half of the revenues and three quarters of the profits from Bingo Card Creator.

SEO as Systems and Processes Rather Than A Collection Of Tactics

Probably the biggest single insight about SEO that I can get across to you is that an SEO strategy is about putting in place repeatable systems and processes to get results, rather than simply gyrating about wildly in response to (actual or perceived) changes in Google algorithms. Raw quantity of powerful links has been a huge factor in achieving rankings for each of the last ten years, and it continues to be a huge factor today. If you had spent those ten years acquiring them, ideally by means of systems and processes (for example, a content publishing arm for the business which used software written once and then content identification, creation, and promotion processes which had been optimized over time), you would today be sitting pretty. If, on the other hand, you spent ten years trying to chase the algorithm, you might have at some point found that the algorithm bites back.

There’s a risk-reward calculus which you have to run, too. For a fly-by-night spam site, there’s huge rewards to being two steps beyond Google’s spam team, and the downside risk is that a domain gets torched and you move onto your next one. For those of us running real businesses, though, the risk is that a business that we’ve poured years of efforts into gets strangled. This counsels being conservative with regards to SEO and generally staying within what are often called “white hat” approaches. Note that “conservative” is not a synonym for “stupid” or “without a strategy”: you can certainly totally ignore the existence of Google for your business, even with it contributing 40 ~ 60%+ of your traffic, but it is generally more effective to a) recognize Google exists, b) recognize Google has some predictable patterns of behavior (e.g. it values links and, all things being equal, tends to reward having more pages over less, at least over the counts of pages you’re likely thinking about), and therefore c) you should develop a strategy to give Google what it wants and thereby extract from it what you want, which is more qualified visitors coming to your site who you can engage in a deeper commercial relationship.

The Missing Link In The SEO Story

I’m ashamed that I haven’t been writing about this for years, but I only recently cottoned onto it, so I’ll mention it now: most traffic, from SEO and other sources, is wasted on commercial sites—the user is not ready to buy the solution, so they bounce and never come back. Sometimes that is because the user and the solution are poor fits for each other, but often it is just a matter of poor timing.

You should certainly attempt to capture someone’s contact details on their first visit and attempt to keep that relationship alive, for example by offering them a free premium (such as a paper written by your experts about your topic of interest) in return for their email address and permission to get in touch with them on a regular basis. You can then send them emails—as simple as a biweekly newsletter of interesting things you’ve read recently, or as sophisticated as a one-month free course educating them about your topic and how your product solves the problems you’ve identified—with the goal of maintaining their interest in you and eventually convincing them to get into a deeper relationship than just being a passive consumer of emails.

This technique is so powerful that it is often strictly better to execute well on it and have your organic traffic totally flatline than it is to grow your organic traffic by a factor of ten but only convert it as well as you are doing currently. Since setting up email autoresponders has virtually no execution risk, and serious investment in SEO has substantial execution risk, I’d generally prioritize email over SEO at least until you have something ready. (This assumes that you’re getting any traffic at all.)

The following chapters explore the tactics and strategies that I’ve used which were most effective in SEO.

Price: $9.99 Add to Cart
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 100% refund
  • Free updates