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My favorite of SEO questions – Are you competing with yourself?


If you were standing along the race course – a 54 mile route from Durban to Pietermaritzburg – you might have done a quick double take.

After all, the same girl ran by you twice.

Of course, if you were standing there for over 6 hours waiting to see who won the race, I’d have to ask you about your time management skills.

Because seriously, who waits for 6 and a half hours to see who would win the 54 mile South African race?

But in this case, last summer, it wasn’t a mirage or that much of a strange site. It was twins, Elena and Olesya, racing to win the number one and two spot respectively in the women’s race.

Of all the SEO questions out there, here’s one I had never considered

I hear a lot of people talk about SEO.

Pretty quickly I can tell who is regurgitating last year’s news, who is sharing wive’s tales, and who legitimately knows their stuff.

Today, at WordCamp Grand Rapids, my friend Rebecca Gill from Web Savvy Marketing, just briefly touched on SEO.

But she’s one of the folks I trust when she speaks about it. And she covered an SEO concept I’d never thought of.

Are you competing with yourself?

As she asked the question, “Are you competing with yourself?” I had to admit – I stopped thinking about SEO.

Immediately I remembered the race that the twins won. It was the strongest image in my mind because I remember thinking – if I had been standing on those sidelines as they ran by I would never have guessed twins.

Even looking at the image, I remember that moment of thinking – sometimes I feel like the only one I’m racing is myself.

But when Rebecca asked the question, she wasn’t talking about racing. She was talking about SEO.

Can I be honest with you about my SEO skills?

I suck at SEO.

There. I said it. I know some basics.

I know to use Yoast’s SEO plugin (I also have his Video add-on).

But other than using that, I don’t know much.

For me, I follow four simple rules:

  1. Write regularly.

  2. Write using my own voice (conversational).

  3. Try and add value with every post I write.

  4. Stick to a few core concepts.

The result is that Google has a pretty simple time finding my content and indexing it. And lots of folks visit because they’ve gotten the suggestion from Google.

In essence, me and Google are friends.

But I suck at anything beyond that. I have no strategy but to keep writing.

Rebecca Gill knows her SEO stuff

My ears perked up as Rebecca spoke about this competition because of all the SEO questions I’d ever heard, this was new to me.

She mentioned having a map. She mentioned having a strategy.

Still I had no idea what she was talking about (and she was moving a bit fast) when she asked if I was competing with myself.

Then she said, “How many of you have tags that are also categories, and or pages focused on the same keyword?”

It was like she was calling me out. I didn’t want to raise my hand.

I have tags, categories and posts all vying for the same phrases.

I had no strategy, no map, and I was indeed competing with myself – without even knowing it.

“When google looks at your site – does it know (for any keyword) where to take people?”

uh – probably not.

Here’s what this means for you

Rebecca is a friend of mine. We’re both here in Grand Rapids. I’ll be giving the keynote tomorrow morning (“There’s a battle for hearts and minds and WordPress should win.”)

So I pulled her aside after lunch and told her I needed to hire her.

Then I told her you’d likely want to hire her.

But she isn’t free. (Aside: she’s not free because I’ve been working with her on her business for 7 months!)

So I asked for a discount and she said yes. Not just for me. For you!

So if you visit her website, you’ll see her rate is $250/hour. But if you give her this code (FOLSEO), you’ll get $50 off her hourly rate – 20% off.

Get help and stop racing against yourself (or your twin)!

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