6 Aspects of SEO The Busy Entrepreneur Can Finally Stop Worrying About

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6 Aspects of SEO The Busy Entrepreneur Can Finally Stop Worrying About

Here’s the deal. You’re a busy entrepreneur. You’ve got a lot on your plate. You’ve got deals in the pipeline. You’ve got things to do.

And then you’ve got SEO. And, since you don’t have much of a budget yet, you probably have to do it yourself.

It can be stressful. Why? Because all around you in the digital marketing world are people screaming “This is important!!” “Oh, and this is important, too!” “You’ve got to do this!” “Make sure you understand the algorithm changes!” “Watch this video!” “Read this article!”

6 SEO Things You can Finally Stop Worrying About | SEJ

Who has time for that? Not you. Your goal is to get your website up, get it ranking for the right keywords, and work to build your business, right? If that’s your jam, then there are a few things you can finally stop worrying about.

1. Stop Worrying About Number One Ranking

You want to rank number one, right? Of course you do. Everyone does.

SEOs have aggressively pushed the ranking issue for a long time. As it turns out, the issue is more complicated than just ranking.

First, you need to figure out what keywords you want to rank for. You’re not going to rank for head terms like “phone” or “computer.” Instead, you’re going to rank for longtail keywords.

Out of all the different keywords that people search for online, longtail keywords constitute the greatest percentage.

You want to be targeting keywords that are within that 70%. Why? Because when you do, you’re going to get the most targeted traffic — i.e., the users who are most interested in your product or service. You don’t have to have number one ranking to have a successful business. There are more sources of traffic and conversions than just visitors who access your site because it’s number one on Google.

Besides, ranking isn’t something that you can directly manipulate. Anyone who tells you that they can get you the number one result on Google is misleading you.

There are better things to focus on.

2. Stop Worrying About Link Building

Many SEOs finally recognize that link building is not the future of SEO. In the past, link building would directly benefit your site. Today, most “link building” practices are risky.

Building links is still possible, but doing so is inextricably connected with content marketing.

The practice of link building — safely and legitimately — takes enormous amounts of time and effort.

Link earning, however, takes no time and effort. Instead, it is a side effect of your other marketing activities — social media, blogging, producing great content, etc.

Most content marketers know that content produces links — relevant, high-quality links. That’s why they use the number of high-quality links as a KPI of their content marketing efforts.

But please understand: Link building is a result of content marketing. You don’t need to worry about link building. You should worry about content marketing.

3. Stop Worrying About a Cute TLD Name

The Internet has become awash in new Top Level Domains (TLDs.) like these:

  • .technology
  • .construction
  • .clothing
  • .camera
  • .guru
  • .recipes
  • .voyage

There are hundreds of TLDs, and a huge percentage of them have been released just recently in 2015.

It’s tempting to spring for a unique URL with a cute TLD. However, doing so may not be the smartest move. Some have mistakenly thought that the new TLDs will somehow rank higher in Google.

According to Google’s John Mueller, Google’s algorithm treats all TLDs the same. You won’t get a ranking uptick in Google just because you’re using a TLD with .brand, or because the TLD somehow includes a portion of your brand name.

Most websites still use the traditional .com TLD, and that’s good enough.

4. Stop Worrying About Algorithm Updates

It used to be the only way to stay on top of SEO was to stay aware of all the algorithm changes.

If you were an SEO-savvy entrepreneur in 2012, you probably spent a lot of time chasing algorithm updates.

Recently, however, the algorithm changes have not had the same level of game-changing impact.

For example, the most recent update was Panda 4.2. The Panda update was a “data refresh” not a massive change. Besides, the data refresh takes months to roll out. The impact is not huge, and may hardly even be measurable based on the uncertainty of the roll out timeline.

There’s something more significant than search algorithm updates, and that is the updates to user experience. Google’s emphasis on user experience is what drives every recent algorithmic update.

Panda itself is a symptom of this emphasis on user experience since Panda is designed to reward sites with lots of high-quality content. The biggest recent algo shake-up — “Mobilegeddon” — was Google’s push for mobile-friendly search results.

Once Google released their mobile friendly update, the SERPs didn’t fluctuate wildly. Instead, there was a slight percentage increase in the SERPs for sites with mobile-friendly results.

If you stayed blissfully unaware of all of Google’s algo updates, you’d be just fine. Obviously, there’s no virtue in trying to be ignorant. But trying to stay current on every single algo change is probably a waste of your already limited time.

5. Stop Worrying About Keyword Targeting

SEOs love to talk about the virtues of keyword targeting, as if it were the holy grail of SEO.

That used to be the case.

Today’s algorithm is weighted towards features other than exact match keyword relevance. Take a look at the most recent Search Engine Ranking factors survey from Moz.

Is keyword targeting a ranking factor? Yes, more or less.

But here’s the thing about keywords. Keyword relevance happens naturally. It doesn’t need to be forced.

Besides, there’s more to a keyword than just that exact term. There are related terms. Here’s how Moz’s 2015 ranking report stated the issue:

We continue to see lower correlations between on-page keyword use and rankings. This could likely be because Google is smarter about what pages mean (through related keyword, synonyms, close variants and entities) without relying on exact keyword phrases. We believe matching user intent is of utmost importance.

You don’t have to give up on keyword research or anything. But you should be aware that keyword targeting and correlation is less important than it used to be.

6. Stop Worrying About Keyword Repetition

On the subject of keyword usage, the issue of stuffing should also be addressed.

Keyword stuffing was a big tactic back in 2012. You’d think we were done discussing it. However, very recently (August 2015), the issue has come to the foreground once again.

Now, the topic isn’t keyword stuffing, but keyword repetition. The question is “How much keyword use and repetition is optimal?”

A recent Whiteboard Friday video produced a helpful rule of thumb to answer this question:

95% of pages should have the following levels of keyword repetition:

  • Once in title
  • Once in headline
  • Two/three times in content
  • Once in meta description

The good thing is, keywords tend to take care of themselves. If you’re creating long form, relevant, high-quality content, it just happens.


Even though there are plenty of things you shouldn’t worry about, you’ve still got to keep your game high. SEO demands action, and unless you’re doing the right things, your efforts will yield few results.

Stressing out in the weeds of SEO can be a complete waste of time. Focus on making the best website you can, producing killer content, and engaging with your audience in the most appropriate ways.

What time-wasting SEO activities should a busy entrepreneur avoid?


Image Credits

Featured Image: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock.com
In-post Photo: ideyweb/Shutterstock.com

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at... Read Full Bio
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  • R.Rogerson

    1. Stop Worrying About Number One Ranking
    Yes/No (the aim of the game remains the same).
    You should still aim to get as high as you can. This is a mix of popularity (links), authority (links), trust (not being spammy), and relevance (keywords/phrases/target-terms).
    The competition volume/level for most “words” is far too high for most. Even targeting multi-word/phrases can be problematic for some.
    But the focus shouldn’t be “ranking position” – it should be Click Throughs. If you target the right term, and use the right phrasing (title and description) and take advantage of structured data (rich snippets), you can get a higher click through rate for your position, sometimes getting traffic that would normally have gone to someone in a position above you.

    2. Stop Worrying About Link Building
    Yes/No (again :D).
    Links are still the most influential signal (and carries multiple signals/ranking factors). It’s not something that should be ignored. That said, it’s not something that should be chased overly much either. The focus definitely should be on creation and promotion of content that people will want to share or link to … but by no means should anyone think that it’s “easy” or “quick”.
    It takes time to build relationships with quality link-sources. It takes time and effort to identify/locate audiences, and then more to reach the point where you will get them looking at your stuff. Only then (if you’ve got the right audience, the right relationship and the right content) are you likely to see any real gain in secondary promotions or links.

    3. Stop Worrying About a Cute TLD Name
    100% yes (and a little “no” too :D)
    You need a name that will “work” for you. That means it has to be something that your target audience/market will identify with, comprehend and remember.
    It doesn’t have to be “short” (not like SEJs is small – 19 chars?), but it does have to be memorable (there are psychological aspects there, such as syllable count, sequence of commonly occurring words etc.).
    The TLDs can be problematic. There is still a fair % of net users that will default to .com. This is partly due to numerous articles saying .coms are what most people will default to, and other articles saying (incorrectly) that .coms get a ranking boost.
    That doesn’t mean you should opt for a different TLD – just make sure it will suit your audience. Targeting millenials or netizens – go for something flashy and new and you should be fine. Targeting the elder generation and pensioners … you may want a .com or geo.
    Mentioning geo-TLDs – make sure you understand that some TLDs are Geographically associated (such as .de and .fr), and that Google may not be flexible with some of them (some (such as .me) it will allow you to treat as global).

    4. Stop Worrying About Algorithm Updates
    100% yes … 3% no?
    Unless you’ve been breaching the guidelines, getting spammy with it, or generally following the advice of dodgy articles – ‘most’ of the algo’s shouldn’t be a concern.
    The tiny “no” comes in on things like the Local Listings changes (from 7 to 3 displayed), and Mobile/Speed algo changes. These can/do make a difference – and you should read up on them, understand them and then check your site against them.

    5. Stop Worrying About Keyword Targeting
    Yes, Yes and Ye…No 😀
    It’s not exactly “new” – G have been broadening their comprehension of searcher desire, and comprehension of alternative/related/associated/complimentary terms for many years. They’ve just gotten very good at it (in most cases).
    They know that “where to get a football” and “why to buy a football” are about the same. They know that a search for “seo agency in Lapland” is equal to “Lapland seo company”.
    But – there is still more value in exact match than close match (variant/synonym) or distance match (red floral printed cotton curtains vs floral curtains – a search for floral curtains will rank the latter higher by default).
    That said – don’t just use the “exact” version in your copy. Use the exact version (floral curtains) distanced version, the alternative structure version (curtains with a floral pattern), use the synonymous version (flowers instead of floral), and don’t forget to use associated/complimentary terms as well (hang, drop, print, pattern, design etc.).
    It’s natural to include such variation – G knows when it’s Bot-Fodder content not only because of a higher keyword density, but due to the lack of alternatives in the copy as well 😀

    6. Stop Worrying About Keyword Repetition
    100% Yes (and no no :D)
    The only time you need to worry about repetition/over-usage/density/frequency is when you have been attempting to write Bot-Fodder content for ranking relevance.
    If you’ve written the content with rankings as a second-thought (instead of the main thought), then it shouldn’t be a problem in the slightest.
    (Think about this … how often do you use references (anaphora/cataphora – he/she/it/them/they/him/her etc.)? So why on earth would you replace all of those naturally occurring references and inject the noun?

    What should be avoided?

    1) Looking for magic bullets.
    Far to often people are looking for the quick hit, the magic method, that simple little trick that will rocket them to position 1 in the SERPs.
    The reality is that it’s often complicated and takes time. Anything that will get you from position 10 to 1 that easily is likely against the guidelines (seriously so).

    2) Looking for the definitive number.
    How many outbound links per page? How often to post content? How many times to use word X? How many words per page?
    All of that sort of thing should be stopped – instantly. There aren’t really any dead-set figures. For starters, most things are relative/ratio/% based. Sometimes there simply is no figure. Other times there may be an “optimal”, but it’s going to change in 6 weeks, so why bother?

    3) Chasing the wrong metrics.
    The big one – the wrong KPIs, the wrong goals, the wrong numbers.
    Take Ranking as an example. There are thousands of sites with top rankings – and virtually no traffic because those terms aren’t searched for. There are others that have the rankings and get the traffic, but don’t get any conversions (wrong audience, wrong traffic, poor page etc.).
    Focus on the figures that are important. Work it backwards. The most important figure for most is the Bottom Line – how much money came in from doing X. Then walk through the path, looking at things like Profit, Cost, Conversion Rate, Traffic from source AB vs ZY etc.
    This applies to Social too. It’s great that you posted 10 times a day. It’s fantastic that you had 500 Likes, and brilliant that you got shared 250 times. The 600 comments was awesome. How many bought from you? None? Not so great then really.

    4) Pot watching.
    Well, that’s what my mother always called such activities (clock watching too).
    Don’t spend your time constantly checking your rankings, checking for social interaction, looking at your share figures.
    It’s good to monitor – but be constructive and efficient with it.
    Set a time, set a process – stick to it. You’ll find you have more time to do more important things that checking your rankings twice a day every day for 200 words/terms 😀

    • Abed

      Listineng to what R. Rogerson saying here, Neil. Maybe can copy and paste into main article because him telling the real SEO. Reading it carefully because is long response but important.

  • Byron

    From someone that runs an SEO agency in Australia typically I find that the biggest sticking points with clients is ranking and content.

    Clients want to engage in SEO to increase their conversions yet for some reason before they’ve even started they assume that the conversion comes from ranking on a single highly competitive keyword. While I’m not saying that conversions doesn’t exist in those places it typically requires a much larger marketing budget and for a greater period of time to reach them.

    As industry we need to get better at educating and maturing so that the focus is around conversions and using content as the bankbone to rank for as many relevant keywords, terms and phrases.

    The problem with content is that clients don’t want to create it.
    – I don’t have time
    – My industry is boring
    – Nobody cares about what I have to say

    Are often some of the excuses that I hear. There are two paths with contenet a) content mentoring and b) content marketing. The first option is typically the hardest sell because it means the client needs to develop the content when they see little to no value in it apart from exhausting their already busy time schedule. Of clients attempt to copy their content or don’t see the big picture of creating highly valuable content.

    Secondly is content marketing where an agency like myself does it on your behalf. The problem with this is that it’s usually restricted via a word count, lack of industry experience and overall the inability to create value because you’re operating on behalf in an industry that is not your speciality. Content and link building go hand in hand and I term it as creating linkable assets. If you can’t create valuable content that turn into linkable assets then you’ll have a much harder slog to get results.

    I always advice clients to work with what they have as well. If you’re receiving 100 visitors a day but you’re converting at 1% then why not try to find a way to convert at 5% and instantly gain ROI.

  • Hanif Sipai

    Great Content. This article is also one of the article as you mention in first paragraph. Still confusing for SEO’s what to do and what not?

  • Robert Urban

    Nailed it. Great article. My company, PaperBoat Media, is an Internet marketing agency in Orlando focusing on PPC and SEO services. I always tell clients – stop spending time chasing rankings and trying to beat the algorithm. Let’s focus on what converts and providing great content. Everything else will take care of itself.