Talking to a new client yesterday, I realized I am a total SEO geek.

I was talking in terms of meta descriptions, title tags, page structure load times, SERPS, Domain Authority, Trust Flow, Citation Flow, GMB ratings, geo modifiers, geo grids, directory citations and backlinks when answering questions. Then I would have to go back and try to explain what those concepts mean.

It wasn’t until I walked out that I thought of an analogy to simplify how to explain SEO

SEO is the Final Grade For a Composition Paper

Though you didn’t know it was. You walked into class and met Miss Honey. She told you she wanted a paper about you and what you do. She told you to just do your best and all the good boys and girls who complete their assignment will get cake.

You did the paper and brought it to class all ready for all that sweet, sweet cake that awaits you.

But instead Miss Honey didn’t give you any cake. A few of the kids got some, but not you. But why didn’t I get any cake you ask? The teacher just ignores you. She won’t explain why you and the vast majority of the kids didn’t get any cake.

Your website is that paper the teacher wanted you to write. The leads are the cake. Just so we’re clear.

Meet Professor Google

seo-tucson-professor-googleWhat you didn’t know is that the paper was everything. It was your future, but no one prepared you for how to write it. When you turned that paper in, it was graded on a college level/ government grant request with some tax documents thrown in for good measure.  By the way, the grade is a tightly held secret and no one knows exactly how to score the highest on the test.

How Google is a Very Harsh Professor

“Was your name and matric number on your paper? Are you registered as a vendor with our other vendors? We will cross check it. And if it doesn’t match, there will be much less chance of cake.”

Does your name, address and phone number appear on your website consistently? Is it listed all across the internet consistently among directories on the internet?

Was your paper written in a college outline style?

Was there a clear title on the page as well as a main idea and subheading? What was the word count on your paper? You put bullet points about yourself to tell about yourself in two word descriptions? No wonder you didn’t get any cake!”

Your site needs to have a clear title on it. It needs to follow an outline format. That is what those htags do. They help your reader and Google to scan the pertinent information on the page.

Word count is also important. Google finds you to be light on content, if the word count is under 300 words. Really, that number should be higher than 300. I would go no less than 800 words per page. Professor Google also knows if someone plagiarizes, so don’t even try it. Plagiarism generally ends with the kid you stole the content from getting cake and you getting none.

The more services you try to jam on one page, the harder time you’re going to have to rank it. Instead focus on the main idea of what you do. You’re a construction company or you’re a general contractor. You can use secondary pages to try to get those other terms to rank later.

Did you use any pictures?

Were they good quality? But not too good of quality. Don’t try to give me an 8×10 glossy photo of what you do. I wanted a 3×5. Did you label the pictures in both English and Braille for their descriptions? There’s text on these pictures. If I feel like shrinking your paper down into a paperback size, I will never be able to see those titles.

Yeah, Professor Google is pretty exact. It wants pictures. It wants good pictures. But it also wants them to load quickly. So you need to build your website for the pictures to load quickly. You also need to give them all what are called alt-tags. That way Google can find them again for it’s Google Images as well as for the seeing impaired. The browser can read the description to the sight impaired.

Also I would avoid putting any text over your pictures as a graphic. Once it shrinks to mobile, it’s going to be too small to read. Google will notice that and it will nicely warn you to fix it, through the Search Console.

What about your Margins?

You used different margins between the part where your name is and the content of your paper. That is points off.

No seriously, that’s a thing now. Google wants your page to be perfectly straight down the page. No jumps or shifts in layouts. Your header and footers should be the same size as the content on the page.

Also some animations cause Google to see them as shifts in layout. I would lay off the animations. It’s not that cool for other people to wait for your name to come zooming it from the left.

Did you put a cover letter on the paper? Did you encrypt your page via transmission?

Most sites have security certificates these days. They are becoming a must have.

How popular is your paper with other students?

Did they talk about you and vouch for it? Did the other students who vouched for it also get cake or are they bad kids too?

Yeah, that’s a big one. Almost 33% of the grade that no one tells you about. Your site needs to be popular. It needs other people to talk about it. And it can’t be sites Google considers to be spammy or of low quality. You need reputable and relevant sites to vouch for you.

And those are just a few of the factors Professor Google is grading you on.

Don’t Deal With Professor Google Directly

You can either deal with Professor Google or you can hire someone to take the test for you. Tucson SEO Pros has spent the past 8 years learning how to take the test. We know SEO in Tucson.