Real Estate SEO Essentials You NEED to Know (Tips, Examples and Checklist)

By | August 11, 2019

– Hey guys, what’s going on? Seth here, from, and in this video, I’m gonna cover a lot of the sort of
fundamental principles of SEO. And when I say SEO, I’m talking about search
engine optimization. So if you have no idea what the search engine optimization is, essentially, this is the
process of trying to affect the visibility of a website in the natural, organic,
unpaid search results on a website like Google. So this vid is gonna be
kind of like SEO 101. I wouldn’t say you’re gonna be an expert on how to get your
website to rank number one for everything, all the time, but what you’re gonna walk away with is pretty good basic understanding of how to actually start
getting traction today because this has actually
changed a lot over the years as the internet has matured, as Google and other search engines have changed up how they process things and how their algorithms work. So what I want to tell you
is really like the basics of what’s working right now. So if you’re not already familiar with me, I’m Seth Williams, I’m the
founder of It’s a real estate investing blog that’s been going on since 2012. We get a couple hundred
thousand visitors a month and about 85% of that traffic is organic. People just find the website through various Google search terms, so I kind of know what
I’m talking about here, I wouldn’t say I’m like
the foremost expert, but I’ve done arguably at
least a few things right. I don’t say any of this
to like toot my own horn or brag or anything like that, but I just want to let
you know that you can put at least some stock in
what I’m saying here. I’m not just regurgitating old information or anything like that. So to start with, if we do here to Google, and let’s just type in
something like, I don’t know, sell my house fast or
something to that effect. So you’re probably familiar
with how Google works where there’s a handful
of ads up here at the top, and then you scroll down here and see the organic search results. And these are the
websites that Google has, in its infinite wisdom, decided is somehow answering the question
better than anybody else in terms of when people
are searching for this, this is probably the place
they want to go first, and then this is the next place, and then this is the next place, but how exactly does
Google decide this stuff? And if you wanted your
website to show up number one and knock these guys out of that ranking, what would you have to do to do that? Well first of all, I would say that this particular search term is what we would call
insanely competitive. It’s very, very, very, very
hard to show up in this spot. You don’t do that unless you’re
doing a lot of things right for a long time, and just
the people who are paying for these ads here, I don’t
know what the price is per click but it’s probably costing
them a lot to be seen with this kind of visibility because there’s a lot of people who are searching for the
stuff on an ongoing basis. And as you can see here, there’s about 619 million
web pages out there that are ranking, but
only a handful of them are actually showing up
here on this first page. If you’ve ever searched on Google, I’m willing to bet it’s pretty rare that you would scroll
all the way down here, and then click on the second
page, and the third page, and the fourth page until
you find what you want. Most people are just gonna
stick to this first page, and probably, just these
first few search results. Statistically, these top three will get the lion’s share of clicks, and then these will get some, and then these will get some
too but not quite as many, and then we just scroll
all the way down here, obviously, the further you go, the less clicks you’re gonna get. So the higher up you can
show in these rankings, obviously, the better off you’re gonna be, and it’s obviously pretty cool when you can shove right near the top, and get a tidal wave of traffic without paying any money for it like these people have to
because these are paid ads. So that’s why it’s kind of a big deal if you can actually get
your website to rank. And something else I’ll tell you, it’s actually a lot more
effective and a lot more feasible if you can rank not just for this like crazy competitive search term, but if you can get more specific about what exactly you are offering, say if there’s a geographic
area you’re serving or certain type of
property, in this example, that you are able to buy. So for example, it would be
pretty hard to rank for this but it would be a lot easier, say, if I was trying to buy land and if I was only trying
to buy it in the state of, I don’t know, Washington
or something like that, if that was the case, then instead, I’d probably be targeting keywords like you know, sell my land fast in Washington, something like that. As you’ll notice, there’s
not even any ads showing up for that particular search term, and it’s probably not nearly
as hard to rank for this if you really knew what you were doing, and you knew how to build out your website in a way that it would get picked up by a search engines like a Google. So without further ado, that’s what we’re going to get into in the next few minutes here. So back in the early days of the internet, really the most important
thing that mattered in terms of getting a ranked
in Google search results was to have a lot of other websites out on the internet linking
back to your website. I mean that was pretty much the most important thing that mattered. However, I mean that matters much, much, much less today. It still matters some, but it’s far less important
than it used to be, and it can actually even hurt your website if a lot of the websites linking to yours are garbage websites
like link directories, or spam websites or low quality websites. That kind of stuff can actually do damage. There’s a lot we need to pay attention to, than just other websites that happened to be linking to yours, or people sharing your
stuff on social media. It matters to some extent, but
it’s not the end-all be-all. And I’m actually gonna
show you something here from website called Backlinko, and the reason I want to show you this is because Google is actually using over 200 different ranking factors to decide which websites
will show up where for various search terms. So it’s not at all just
about the other websites that is linking back to you. And when you look through all this stuff, I mean it can be pretty overwhelming and kind of confusing, but ultimately, when you
really take time to understand why these different things are being used as measurements and metrics to determine which websites show up where, it all kind of makes pretty good sense. I mean Google has been in
this business for a long time and they’re pretty good at figuring out which websites are actually
delivering the answers to the questions that
people are asking out there. So okay, great, you can
like nerd out on this, and spend hours and hours and hours just trying to understand it, let alone trying to
implement it on your website. But if we really wanted to boil is down, and do some of the 80/20 thing, and figure out which of these metrics really, really, really matter
more than anything else. And that’s what I want to show you here because there are a handful
that I think will matter a lot more than others over the long term, and you can nail these things, you’ll end up in a pretty good place. It’s not a necessarily gonna guarantee that you’ll rank for everything you want, but I think before you start really trying to rank for keywords and things like that, these are sort of like
the foundational things you have to have in place before you should expect to get anywhere. So first of all, what really matters more than anything else
at the end of the day is the user experience when
they land on your website. And as you’ll see as we continue
to go through this list, really all of this stuff ultimately points to the user experience. So when you land on a website, and if you see pop-ups all over the place or a bunch of ads or if
the text is hard to read, or if you’re viewing it on your phone and it’s not mobile responsive, any of that stuff, all of those things negatively affect the user experience, and with that in mind, I
think it’s always a god idea to just visit your own website and take note of like what
is this experience like? I know that might be hard since it’s like your website, and you’ve probably spent more time on that thing than anybody, but I mean to the extent possible, just always keep an eye out for things that could be
improved, tweaked or refined to make that user experience better. So one example I’ll point
you to is the REtipster blog. This is something I’ve
tried to really, really hard to be very cognizant of. It’s easy to navigate through the site, it’s easy to find where things are, it’s easy to read, there’s
video, there’s images, it’s just generally a
pretty fun experience to be on and there’s actually a lot of
effort we put into doing this, and it works pretty well. So maybe you’re watching this right now, and thinking okay Seth,
that’s great for you, but I don’t have a blog, my site hasn’t been around for years, I don’t have a ton of money
to throw into the website and make it super interactive like that, I just have like a website, maybe it’s one page or just a few pages, and it just exists to list
my properties for sale or build a buyers list or find people who want to
sell their properties for me. How can I enhance the user experience on a much smaller site like that? Well, that’s what I want to show you ’cause it’s actually not that hard. It’s essentially a lot of the
things that you might think. If you’re able to do
things like adding images to the page that you write. And when you do write stuff, like don’t make this all
one huge block of text that’s hard to read, like break it up a little bit, so it’s easier to read, use bold text, use italicized text to enhance
certain words if you want, you could even use all caps, although I would do that sparingly ’cause it kind of sounds like
you’re yelling at people. But if you just scroll
through a website like this, you’ll see that I put in plenty of images, and bullet points, and even videos that really help to explain
a lot better how things work. Screenshots from the software that I’m trying to
teach people how to use. There’s a lot of things you can do to make your website lot more
interactive and user-friendly, and just easy to get
through the information as opposed to just reading
a bunch of boring content that’s difficult to get to through. And for that matter, I don’t even necessarily think you need to ton of
content on your website. For example, if the purpose of your sight is to get people to submit
their property information so that you can make an
offer to buy their property, I’ll just show you a theme here that I think does a
really good job of that. If we head over to REIconversion, let’s go check out this theme, and this theme exists just to get people to submit their property
information preferably land, so that you can make an offer to buy that. So if we open up this demo, you can just kind of see how simple this. So this whole thing is just one page, but it’s all very
thoughtfully put together in a way that makes sense and answers that users questions, and gets them to actually do what the website is asking them to do. You can see how all this text
is broken up really nicely, it’s friendly, it’s easy to use, they’ve got this video
here that people can watch that explains the whole process, it’s not a super long video, it gets to the point in about a minute. There’s a lot more
explanation on how it works, you can see a testimonial here, here’s that submission form again. There’s a space where it answers a lot of a user’s questions, there’s a little about
section here at the bottom, and what I really like about this form is that this isn’t actually the full form with all questions that we
want the user to fill out. They’re just going to give us some very, very basic information so that we kind of get
some buy-in from them, and then once they click this,
they go on to another page where they actually answer
much longer list of questions. But they have to do this
before they get there. If they land on this page
and we just blew them away with a huge list of like 50 questions, most people probably are not gonna do that without a little bit of coaxing along to get them to fill out the
information, and completely. And this kind of two-step
process helps get them there. So, I just thought this
was a really solid example of a website that is
not set up like a blog. There’s not like gobs and
gobs of information here, there’s only the information that the user most likely wants to see, and it’s pretty good
at increasing the user to actually follow
through with these steps, and get started with the process. So just goes to show you like
you don’t need a huge blog, I think it’s totally possible with a much smaller website like this, if you’re making the user
experience really good, and thoughtfully putting this
kind of information together. So next on the list is content length. So there was a point in time
at which people were trying to make their pages and
articles and blog posts really, really long, like
2,000 words or longer because they thought that’s
what Google wanted to see, but these days, it’s not just
about how long an article or piece of content is, it has a lot more to do
with how helpful it is, and how quickly you’re answering
of the user’s question. So for example, if we go over here, and search for the term perc test. So perc test is something
that a lot of land investors and home builders have to worry about if they’re buying rural land and it doesn’t have
access to a sewer system because the soil has to perc in order for them to put
a septic tank in there in order for them to build the house. So it’s very, very important. However, that’s a term
that a lot of people aren’t really familiar with unless they actually have
to deal with this issue. So when you type in perc test, you’ll see that’s actually my video that shows up right there. Looks like Wikipedia
is there at number one, and there you go, here’s REtipster showing up at number four currently. So if we click on, this I just
want to show you an example. If somebody is looking for the answer to what is a perc test, what they don’t want to do is read through paragraphs
and paragraphs and paragraphs before they can finally get the answer buried somewhere in here. What they want to do is
get that answer right away, and if they want to continue
reading and learning more, they can, but at least
they have that answer that they were looking for. And you’ll see right
here, I don’t waste time, I get right to the point in explaining what a protest is, and I do it right here, and
I’ve got this really nice video that I spent tons of
time putting together, and if people want to continue reading, they can see more images and
diagrams and other videos that explain more about how it works. Pretty much every question
a person would ever have about perc tests is nailed
here in this article. And even then, like I’m still not ranking number one for this, but I spent lots of time
trying to answer this question as well as I possibly could, and overall, it’s performed pretty well over the long hall. So whenever you’re putting
any kind of page out there on the internet for people to see, you should always just be asking yourself why does this page exist? Like what question is this answering? What problem is the solving? And then you should really get into it, and answer that question
better than anybody, and most importantly, get to the point as soon as possible so that you’re legitimately being helpful because if you don’t, people
are just gonna get frustrated and leave your website. They’re not gonna stick around and keep trying to find that answer ’cause if you’re not delivering it, they’re gonna get frustrated and leave, and by the way, that also
affects the time on your page, on your website, which
search engines like Google can always track very easily, and see hey, how long are
users spending on this website before they leave? The longer they spend on your website, that tells Google, hey, this website must be delivering up some valuable information. What you don’t want is for somebody to land on your page, stay for
two seconds and then leave. And I think inevitably,
that’s always going to happen with every website, but
the more it happens, the more it tells Google,
well, this website must not be doing it’s job very well, but if people stick around and better yet, if they stick around and continue to click onto
other pages of your site while they’re there, that
continues to tell Google hey, this website is doing a good job, let’s send them higher
up in the search ranking, so that’s just a quick primer
on how that part works. The next thing I want to talk about is quality backlinks. So as I mentioned earlier, way back in the early
days of the internet, this was pretty much all that mattered. These days, it’s just one
of many things that matters, and what’s even important
is that it’s not just links but quality links. So links from websites
that Google recognizes as very high domain authority websites that have been around for a long time, and has established a reputation for being a quality website. So in the real estate
investing space online, some solid examples of this
would be Bigger Pockets or a website like a Landlordology, or, you know. These websites and communities
have done a lot of good for a lot of people and Google knows that. However if you just let go ahead
and create a website today, put it up on the internet, put a link on there
pointing to another website, that doesn’t mean a whole
lot in Google’s eyes. And especially at that
website is like total garbage and it has a lot of other
stupid stuff on there, it could even hurt your website. So you don’t just want to go getting links anywhere and everywhere, you want to get them from quality sources. And as you can imagine, getting a link from one of these websites, isn’t exactly easy. Like you can’t just go ask for it, or you can’t just go post a
comment or a form response and put your link in there,
’cause a lot of times, those things will get deleted because they look like
spam because they are, and a website like Bigger Pockets or Landlordology or REtipster is not just gonna like link to somebody because you ask them to, you need to actually be delivering value, and then maybe, if you’re lucky, one of these websites
would link out to you. So it’s kind of hard to get these links, and honestly, like,
that’s kind of the point because Google doesn’t want
you to game their system and show up on these search rankings just because you jumped
through a few loopholes and figured out these
tricks to fool their system, you have to actually be doing it right. So that’s part of the idea
behind how this algorithm works. As we sort of touched down already, site reputation and authority. So when a website has been
out there for a long time, if it has a lot of high-quality pages, when it gets a lot of organic traffic, when people stick around in
that website for a long time, when there’s lots of other
quality websites linking to it, all these things contribute
to a website’s reputation and domain authority. And the higher authority you have, the easier it’s gonna be
for you to rank for stuff. For example, Wikipedia has been around since like the dark ages of the internet, they’ve got probably millions of articles, pretty much everybody
out there refers to them for all kinds of different things. Obviously, they’ve got
great domain authority, and pretty much any article
they post out there on anything, as long as it’s moderately helpful, it’s probably gonna rank
really, really well, if not number one because
their domain authority has a lot of power and
a lot to do with that. So just keep that in mind. If you’re creating website today, and it hasn’t been around long, it doesn’t have much content, you’re gonna have pretty
much no domain authority, but the longer you stick around and continue contributing value
to people on the internet, the higher your domain authority
is eventually gonna go. Another one here is URL length. So I wouldn’t say this is like critical, but it’s one of those
things just to keep in mind whenever you’re creating
a new page or blog post or property listing on your website. If you can keep that URL
short and to the point, that’s usually better than making it really, really, really long, like over a hundred characters long. And it’s not because of
Google can’t figure out what to do with these URLs, the real reason behind this, again, kind of goes back to the user experience. It’s a lot easier to
remember a URL that’s shorter and it’s also a lot easier
share that on social media and other places, if a
person decides to do that. For example, on my website,
I’ve got this blog post where I just shared 20 of the best books that kind of changed my life. And by default, when I first
created that blog post, this was like the automatic URL that WordPress generated for me, but I didn’t keep that URL because it was just ridiculously
and unnecessarily long. Instead, what I did was I went
ahead and manually edited it so that it was just our And honestly, if I could redo this, I probably would’ve just
gotten rid of that hyphen, and made it just best books, all one word, ’cause that’s super easy to
remember, super easy to share, so again, I’m not gonna
tell you this is like a make it or break it thing, but to the extent possible,
just keep that in mind anytime you’re creating a new
page or URL on your website. The next thing on the
list is internal links to the better pages on your website. And the reason is important is, there’s actually a few reasons, and I’ll start by showing
you an example here on my own website. So this was a blog post I
created a couple years ago called The Land Flipping Lifecycle. As you stroll through this blog post, you’re gonna see a lot of embedded links that point to other blog
posts on my website. This blog post doesn’t just explain how the entire land
flipping business works, it actually links out to other blog posts that explain it even further. Say if I get down to like step six, okay, the closing process. That’s great that this is
explaining the basics to me, but there’s only so much I
can explain in one blog post, but when I actually send people
to other pages on my site, like this other blog post
that explain in great detail how to actually close a
cash land transaction, I mean, this is like way more helpful than just saying conduct
an in-house cash closing. I’m actually explaining
how to do everything in this other blog posts that I linked to. So this not only builds more links to other pages within my website, yes, that’s right, these links do count even when they’re coming
from your own site, but also it makes other
content a lot more discoverable so it kind of helps squeeze as much life out of
your content is possible by helping people discover things they wouldn’t otherwise see, and it also builds more links to your site from your own site. So again, going back
to the user experience, you don’t want to like include a bunch of pointless links
throughout your website that like don’t really serve
a purpose or don’t make sense, but when it does make sense, absolutely, include links
pointing people to other stuff on your site that is going
to continue to help them. Now along those same lines,
it’s also pretty helpful if you can include links to other high-quality
resources on the internet. So you don’t just want
to be self-interested and just point people to
things on your own site, but when it’s actually helpful, point people to other websites out there that also contribute value. So for example, in this blog
post here, I’ve got this link that goes to another
website, which is an awesome website. This website gets millions
of visitors each month, and for good reason. They’ve been around for a long time and they put out a lot of great content about personal finance,
investing, small business, a lot of money related stuff but I thought this article
was a great resource and it was something that was relevant at this point the article when I was explaining an interesting way that you can use local real
estate agents to your benefit. So that was just a good
spot to link out to them. All right, so the next
thing on the list here is author reputation. So when you start building
the name for yourself on the internet or your company, it’s important to let the
world know that you’re legit, you’re somebody that they really ought to pay attention to and listen to. For example, if you’re talking about like how to value real estate, and you happen to be
a certified appraiser, then heck, let people know that
you’re a certified appraiser and you actually know
what you’re talking about. Like don’t just hide that fact or you’re talking about some legal issue, and you are a attorney, let
them know you’re an attorney or if you have a lot of
experience real estate, and you’re talking about some issue where that experience is
particularly relevant, talk about that, and all
this stuff can eventually add to your author reputation. And this doesn’t necessarily have to do with like just including links
to stuff all over the place, this is just letting people
know that you’re the real deal. You can also do this by
adding all your certifications or experience to all your
social media profiles. Say if you write a guest post
for some other blog out there, make sure in your author bio, you explain all the reasons
why you’re worth listening to, or if you get interviewed
on somebody’s podcast, and they link back to you, make sure you give all the details as to why you know what
you’re talking about, and all this stuff sort of
cumulatively builds up over time to giving you a better author reputation or blogger reputation or
podcaster reputation or YouTuber, or fill in the blank with whatever it is you’re doing online. So just give people
plenty of valid reasons as to why they should pay
attention to what you’re doing, and that will help out over the long run. Okay, so we’ve covered
a lot of ground so far. If you’re still with me, give
yourself a pat on the back. I know this is a lot to digest. If you’re somebody who’s
been running websites on the internet for a while, a lot of this stuff might
just be review for you, but I know for a lot
of beginners out there, especially if you’ve just put
together your first website, some of this stuff, while
you know, somewhat intuitive, like you probably didn’t
necessarily know all this, so I hope you’re getting
something out of this as we go through it. So now that we’ve kind of
gone through a lot of biggies, I want to hit some more of
the like technical issues that can hurt your website if you’re not doing things quite right. The first one of those things
is the speed of your website, like how quickly it loads. So for example, when you
go and land on any website, if it takes like 20 seconds
for the page to load, and for you to actually see everything. A lot of people are not gonna sit around just waiting and waiting and waiting for your website to load, unless it’s something they
like absolutely have to have or have to see or do, you
know, if they’re just like kind of cruising around the internet and just checking out what’s out there, they’re not gonna be patient
to stick around for this. So your website has to load
as quickly as possible. It’s not necessarily imperative that you like the fastest
website on the internet because for a lot of website,
that’s just not feasible. We don’t have an unlimited budget to buy the most expensive
website hosting plan on earth, that’s not really something we can do. However, it is important that you’re not in the slowest 20% of
websites on the internet. So you don’t need to be the best, but you definitely don’t
want to be the worst either. And I think with most
respectable hosting companies, you’re not gonna be that bad as long as you’re not
cluttering up your website which I’ll get to in just a second. But if you’re using a very run of the mill hosting plan with a company
like Bluehost or HostGator or something like that,
you’re probably gonna be fine as long as your website is reasonable and you don’t have a ton
of huge files and images bogging down your website. However, if you use a more
expensive high-end hosting plan through a company like WP Engine which is designed for WordPress sites, it’s actually what I’m
using for at the time of this recording, and I can tell you
they’re pretty darn good, and they load sites pretty fast. And even when they don’t, they can usually identify why they’re not, and they can even help you understand what you need to do to improve that. So you get pretty good customer service with one of those more
expensive hosting plans. However, for a lot of brand new websites, I don’t really think that’s
necessary to be honest. I think as long as you get hooked up with a fairly
respectable hosting company, again, Bluehost, HostGator, those are both pretty widely known and at least somewhat
respected hosting companies, they’re pretty inexpensive too. There’s a website that’s
free call where you can go and just
put in your website URL and analyze it, and it’s
gonna run its little test, and test how fast your website is loading from some random place in the world, in this case, it’s coming
from Vancouver, Canada, and let’s see what it says. Okay, so this is coming in
with a page speed score of 90% or A, and then a YSlow score of C. If that said like D or
if the page speed score C or something like that, then
I would probably start looking at things I could do to fix that. And I can also tell you, like this is something that
I and my website developer spent quite a bit of time on
trying to get this to score as well as it possibly could, and the reason this is
actually sort of a challenge for a website like is because this isn’t just a website with like four or five pages. There are hundreds and hundreds
and hundreds of blog post, and a lot of those blog posts have a lot of images in them and videos which are
hosted on YouTube or Vimeo, so it’s not necessary hosted on my site, but there’s just a lot
of stuff that has to load in some of these blog posts. And once a website get huge like that, this becomes more and more of a challenge to keep this load time happening quickly, especially when you start using a lot of that multimedia
stuff within your site. I think with most basic
real estate websites that are just a few pages, or maybe a few pages and
a handful of listings and a reasonably good hosting plan, this probably is not gonna
be a huge issue for you. But just so you know, it does matter that your site loads reasonably fast. Another thing that’s pretty important is that your website is mobile-friendly, and this is actually something that kind of happens by default these days because just given how the internet works, and where traffic comes from, everybody kind of knows
that a lot of people are on their phones or tablets
and that kind of thing, so most WordPress themes
and other website builders will automatically be
set up so it just works in a mobile responsive way, and what exactly do I mean by that? Well, I just show you this
example from AgentPress Pro. This is a theme that I use for a long time on both of my real estate websites, and as you can see, it
looks visually great just on desktop computer, but in this demo we can also switch it to look like the size of a tablet, and when it gets smaller and
narrower, it still looks great. You have to scroll a little bit longer, and the menu changes a little bit, but it still looks awesome and
it’s not really hard to read. And again, when you make it even smaller, the size of a phone, it still looks great. You can stroke through everything, all the buttons are big enough
to press with your thumb, you can read everything just fine. So that’s what it means
to be mobile responsive, is when the website is
designed to look good no matter what the size
of the browser window is. And again, if you’re working with any kind of a respectable, present
day theme or website builder, I think this is probably
gonna be built in by default, but it’s always worth
double-checking this. Just pull up your website on your phone, and try to navigate through it, and if it seems easier
to do that, you’re good. And if it’s hard to do that,
it’s hard to read stuff, then that could be a problem. Might be worth finding
a different thing theme that works a little bit better. Now another thing you’ll
want to pay attention to is if you have a website
that has lots of links either pointing to
other pages on your site or the other websites on the internet, that’s when this can get even more tricky, is to make sure that none
of those links are broken, meaning when a user clicks on those links, they don’t go to a website
that no longer exists or the page no longer exists. That obviously hinders the
user experience a little bit when you’re telling them to
do something, they do it, and then it doesn’t work. Whenever you become aware of
broken links on your site, make sure you fix those. And there’s actually a
number of tools out there. Some of them are free,
some of them are paid, but you can use them to monitor when and where these broken links come up, so that you can very easily
get in there and fix them. So I’m not gonna get into
that here in this video, but I will link to some of those resources beneath this video in case
you’re interested in that. So another thing they can get in the way of the all-important user experience we keep touching on here is having too many ads on your website, and by the way, when I say ads, I’m not just talking about the big like banner image advertisements. This also means of means affiliate links. That’s right, Google now
looks at affiliate links basically the same way as ads which actually makes sense
when you think about it because usually when somebody’s
throwing an affiliate link anywhere on their site, I
mean it is an advertisement. If you have any kind of a
page or blog post on your site where you’re just like linking
to tons and tons and tons of different affiliate promotions or if you just have flat-out
ads all over the place, when you have too much of that stuff lumped together in one place, Google will start to see that as oh, well, there’s not
quite as much of value here ’cause it’s just somebody
trying to sell a bunch of stuff, so I will say that I do have a lot of various affiliate
links on my website but whenever I use them, I’m like very, very clear about that. I also put them in there pretty sparingly. And I don’t really even
really talk about stuff unless I’ve already
delivered a ton of value that’s directly relevant
to that affiliate link. I might include a huge video or blog post dedicated to what that
thing is and how to use it, then I’ll throw that
affiliate link in there. I’m not just pointlessly linking out to a bunch of affiliate products without explaining
anything else about them. Another example I’ll point you to about how to do this, not perfectly,
but more effectively, if you want to check out
the resources section of you’ll see just a page where I list out all kinds of products and
services that I’ve found helpful. Some of them are free,
some of them are paid. And a lot of these things
are affiliate links, but here’s the key, a lot of them aren’t. And a lot of these I
don’t make money from. I just list them because they’re helpful. So people can come to this
page and know legitimately that all this stuff is actually useful. But some of this stuff will
make money for if they click through and buy something. So this isn’t just like a flat out I’m gonna sell the heck
out of you on this page. This is like no, these are the things that like, I actually use
or have used in the past, and I’ve found them helpful, and if you want to use them too, this is a way you can
help support the site. But it’s not just a sell-fest. And I actually got this idea
from Pat Flynn’s website over at, if we want to go check
out how he’s doing it. Looks a little bit different than mine, but in essence, it’s the same basic idea where he’s got a lot of
just genuinely helpful things in here, some of
them, but not all of them, are affiliate links, and he’s not just trying to
shove this down anybody’s throat he’s just saying hey look, this is what I am willing
to put my name behind because I’ve used it
and I think it’s great. Feel free to check it out if you want to. That’s just another example
of how to do this right. Another thing that matters
is the age of the content. So if you go there and build a website and put it out there today, it’s not really gonna rank for anything, and that should just be expected because not only did you just make it, and the age is basically a zero, but I don’t have a ton
of content out there yet. However, if you put out just an amazing, killer piece of content, it’ll take probably at least a few weeks, if not a few months, for Google
to really latch onto that and start ranking it in search where it thinks it belongs. Usually by the time it’s been out there for about nine months,
that’s when it will have about 90% of its full potential, in terms of where it’s gonna
show up in search rankings. So it does take a little bit of time for things to rank organically, it’s not something you can just do and have it happen tomorrow, unless you like paying for ads. But even that, I don’t think
it’s nearly as effective as inorganic search result. Another thing that is
starting to matter a lot more, in fact, I’d almost say
it’s a must these days is to get what’s called
an SSL certificate, and essentially, an SSL certificate will encrypt you website
so that use your data isn’t visible to other people. And it used to be that
this was only necessary on websites that gathered
a lot of use your data and/or processed financial transactions like credit card payments
and that kind of thing, but these days, pretty much
every website out there really ought to have one. And the reason this is
now a lot more important than they used to be is because if you go to a website that does not have an SSL certificate, and if you’re using the
Chrome browser for instance, I’ll just show you what that looks like. Chances are you’ve seen this yourself, but just in case you’ve
never pick this up before, let’s see here, let me try
to find a website out there that does not have one,
just so I can show you. Okay, so this is the first one I found after doing some searching on Google. So as you’ll see, this
website does not have an SSL certificate, and if your visitors are
using the Chrome browser, it’s gonna say right up there Not Secure which is obviously not a comforting thing to see on any website,
whether you’re giving them any of your personal information or not, that’s just generally not
something you want to see, and it’s not good to have that. So when you do have an SSL certificate, you’re not gonna see that not secure sign, you’re gonna see a little lock there. So it’s one of those things
that’s fairly subtle, but definitely important if you want to have a respectable website that people feel like they can trust. And the good news is if you
don’t have an SSL certificate, in most cases, it’s not
that hard to get one. All you have to do is log
into your hosting account, and most web hosting companies these days will give you a pretty easy,
like one or two click process and it’s free to get your SSL certificate. It’s generally not a hard thing to do, and if you happen to be
using a hosting company that doesn’t make it that
easy for some odd reason, you can also go to a
website like and you can also get
a free one from there. So it’s something that I think
you should have in place. Your website is still gonna
continue to work if you don’t, but you’re gonna have
that little disconcerting not secure message up at the top which I mean, I just don’t see any reason why that’s necessary when it’s so easy to go
ahead and get your own. So if you don’t have an SSL certificate, do yourself a huge favor and get one. It’ll help out a lot. And then last but certainly not least is copyright violations and plagiarism, and obviously, you shouldn’t
ever plagiarize content from another source. Don’t ever copy and paste
something word for word from their site onto your site. The central idea is anything
that’s on your website needs to be original content and if you do quote somebody
else or use their material, make sure you just cite that
in some way, shape or form. Like clearly note said this is a quote and then link to where
you got the quote from, just so people can say oh okay, Seth didn’t write, this
these other people did, and he’s letting us know. It’s as simple as that. And I’ll actually tell you, I’ve actually done this
for a lot of blog posts where I also have a account on Medium, and part of the reason I have
literally copied and pasted a lot of my articles from over to is because it gives me exposure
to a whole other audience that is probably never
going to directly come to, but they are on Medium, and they can discover my stuff on Medium, and then through that,
discover So just for example, if
I go here to my stories, you can see that I have
currently published 42 of them. If I click on any one of these things, and if you cross-check this with the original article, you’ll see that it’s
pretty much a carbon copy, but the key is at the very
bottom of this post on Medium, I say this article was originally
published on and I also waited at least a few days after publishing it on before I came over here
to Medium to do this, so that Google in all its infinite wisdom can know oh okay, the original
one was on, we can tell that because
the original content appeared there, and
then also at the bottom of this Medium article, there’s a link pointing directly back
to that original article. So it’s just very, very
clear what’s going on. I think it’s totally fine to have duplicate content out there if you’re very clear about
what the original source is. That way neither source gets penalized, but if you’re not giving credit like this, I think you’re leaving
yourself pretty vulnerable to get smacked down by Google’s algorithm. And also, one really helpful resource just to keep in your back pocket if you’re ever concerned about this, is a website called Copyscape where you can go ahead and
put in your website URL and see if there’s anybody
else on the internet who is ripping you off. If you ever have any questions
or suspicions on that, it’s a pretty nice stuff free service that can help out with that. But with that, that pretty much wraps up all of the basic,
fundamental SEO principles. And again, there’s a
lot more to the puzzle than just what I’m showing you here, but this I think is
probably the most important and lowest hanging fruit
that you can directly impact. And for the most part, a lot of this stuff is
well within your control. You just have to put in
the work, and the thought and the effort to make sure your website is really serving up
the most helpful content in the easiest, most
digestible way possible, and by the way, I’m not
making any of this stuff up. If you want to check out
Google’s actual guide book, and I’ll also have a link
to that beneath this video. So if you want to, you can go ahead and read through all that stuff. I don’t think you’ll find
it much more interesting or riveting than what I
have written out here. But if you want to see
the full long-form version coming directly from the horse’s mouth, you might find that interesting if you’re really into the stuff. So thanks a lot for watching,
thanks for sticking with me. I hope you found this
helpful and informative, and wish you all the best as you’re working on getting
your website to rank. Talk to you next time.

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