January 21, 2022

Your Website Sucks

I really didn’t want this to turn into an SEO blog, but it’s fun to talk about, and people seem to like to discuss it.

Today I want to tell you a simple truth that many webmasters and business owners can’t grasp: Your Site Sucks

Well ok it doesn’t suck, but it’s not as good as you think it is. One of the hardest things to do in SEO is to look at your site from the perspective of a searcher. That’s why it’s a great idea to hire a 3rd party company, they’re not attached to your site in any way; they have no feelings to hurt.

I wanted to talk about a company who fired me after I said I couldn’t make their “contact us” page rank for a software related term, but I feel it’d be better if I use a fictional example.

John owns a chimney sweeping company, and he’s really frustrated that he can’t get on the front page of Google for “chimney sweeping”.

John’s done his SEO, he’s traded links, got listed in all the good directories, put out press releases, wrote articles, has a blog and a newsletter, updates his content frequently, and has a good pagerank, and even an affiliate program, but he just can’t crack the top page of Google.

Eventually John gives up and buys adwords, then swears it’s a Google conspiracy to force him into buying adwords. He even makes a post on Matt Cutts blog accusing Google of unfailry not raking his “useful” site.

The problem here is that while John’s site IS useful, it’s NOT useful to somebody searching for “chimney sweeping”.

Let’s look at the top results, and we see this: National association of, how to, training school, job profile, and how to find a chimney sweep.

These are useful sites. Why? the term “chimney sweeping” implies that the searcher is looking for information about the topic, NOT a chimney sweeping company. If they were, they’d have searched for “chimney sweep boston” or “chimney sweeping company” etc etc. These are the terms John should focus on if he wants to show up on page 1.

Since John never did his research, and couldn’t look at his site from the perspective of a searcher, he wasted months optimizing for terms that he really shouldn’t be a top result for.

That’s what SEO is about. It’s not about tricking the search engines or writing code to make your site better than others. It’s about anticipating what somebody is searching for, and then building a site that is relevant to that search – from the searcher’s perspective.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com