It’s interesting how some things seem to come all at once. Lately we have received a number of comments and emails from people who appear to be focusing on the same thing. It just prompted me to write this post because I think it is something that a lot of people are getting caught up in and I really feel that it can be detrimental to anyone trying to make money online.
What I am talking about is the tendency to over-think things in relation to your online business. For instance, one of the more common questions we see is from people wanting to know our traffic numbers in relation to CTR’s, but you know what?…we really have no idea what that is. Another question we get is what is the percentage of keywords that you have in the number 1 spot in Google….again we have no idea. We know that we have some in the number 1 spot but we don’t sit here analyzing every keyword we are ranking for to see where it’s placed.
Then there are those who spend hours on keyword research looking for just the right keyword. Then they spend even more time trying to get the perfect domain name from their list of keyword possibilities and focus on the perfect meta tags and meta descriptions and trying to get the keyword density on their pages just right
Whew, that’s tough work, but I know where these people are coming from, because we used to do the exact same thing. Just to illustrate this with an example, I had a spreadsheet where I would enter every keyword we wanted to rank for in Google and would check just about every day to see if our ranking had changed. (Comment from Wanda: LOL, lets be honest here, she would check it hourly).
I would also spend a lot of time in Google Analytics analyzing this and that and checking keywords and rankings. I’d create spreadsheets with hundreds of keywords and how many searches they got and what the competition was like. What a waste!
Now don’t get me wrong, Google Analytics is an amazing tool and we use it to this day but we don’t sit here spending hours analyzing and pouring over stats and data. And we spend even less time on keyword research. And we really don’t even bother too much with meta tags and meta descriptions – we let WordPress do that for us.
Now you might be thinking that we can afford to forget all of this stuff since we are making a healthy income online and don’t need to worry about it. But I can tell you now that we gave up on all of this stuff long before we started making the big dollars. It didn’t just hit us in the face either – we didn’t just come to the conclusion one day that we needed to stop focusing on the detail. It was more of a progressive thing.
I think it was more of a conscious decision that we needed to provide value more than anything else. And once we had made that decision, it no longer seemed relevant to spend all our time concentrating on all of the analytical detail – so over time we no longer focused heavily on keyword research or meta tags or keyword density or anything like that. Our focus changed to the point where we were only thinking about what value we could provide to our readers rather than how we could tweak a page so that Google would rank us highly for it.
When we were over-thinking, things didn’t work as well as when we stopped doing that and focused on the content and the value we could provide. A good example of this is this blog. I am astounded sometimes at the popularity of it – why is it that it does so well because we don’t do any keyword research for this blog, we don’t go out and actively get backlinks for it (we started to but quickly gave up to work on other things), we don’t promote it, we don’t analyze metatags or do any SEO and yet the traffic increases. We have even installed the SEOPressor plugin on this blog (which is pretty cool by the way) but I think we’ve only used it once on a page and haven’t bothered since then only because we just don’t feel the need to get the keyword density just right. This blog is simply for our enjoyment and through it we are able to share the strategies that we have learned for making money online.
It’s interesting how this works – we haven’t done any of the things that SEO experts say we should, and yet this blog does very well. We don’t do any keyword research and yet we rank for all sorts of things.We don’t have the perfect keyword in our domain name and we don’t spend hours analyzing CTR’s or other data to see how we can improve.
So what is it about this blog that makes all the difference? I’d like to think it’s because we provide value. What’s your opinion?
I’ve seen two other examples of this. The first was by a gentleman on a forum who wrote about his wife. She had a few websites that were doing really well in terms of traffic. One day he decided to add some Google Adsense to one site without telling her. That day she made something like $300 (can’t remember the exact amount). He was astounded as it was more than he ever made with his websites. She knew nothing about SEO and just developed her websites for the enjoyment of it. She was completely against adding any ads and he reluctantly had to remove them.
The second example came just recently from an email we received from a lady who had a friend who knew nothing about SEO or keywords or anything like that but was so successful with her website that she was now working at home full-time. The lady who emailed us wasn’t having as much success but she was smart enough to realize the difference between her and her friend and the need to change her focus.
I think what we are getting at here is to stop trying so hard. Stop over thinking things to the point where you are only interested in ranking in the number 1 spot in Google and nothing else. Start enjoying what you do instead of seeing it as all hard work and simply a race to get to number 1 for your chosen keywords so you can make some money.
Keyword research, SEO, analytics and so on all have their place but they shouldn’t be your main focus. Try changing your focus to providing value first and see what changes it brings to you.