Goldilocks and the Three BearsYou remember the story, right? Too hot, too cold, just right. Too hard, too soft, just right. The moral of the story is “the way forward lies in finding an exact middle path between opposites”. How does this apply to establishing an online reputation and getting found? Let’s explore…

There are two thought leaders who represent the opposites in this case. Jayson DeMer says “While there are some architectural strategies and coding tactics that you should employ as part of your strategy, for the most part, modern SEO can be implemented without any prior experience, and without any technical knowledge of how websites — or Google’s algorithm — work.” See:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsIn his Whiteboard Friday, Rand Fishkin “pushes back against the idea that effective modern SEO doesn’t require any technical expertise, outlining a fantastic list of technical elements that today’s SEOs need to know about in order to be truly effective.” You can view Rand’s ‘rant’ here:

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I think both make excellent points and if your goal is to establish an online reputation and get found in search, I encourage you to consider both perspectives and formulate your own opinion. Here, however, is my take: an individual thought leader or small business looking to get found should focus on the thoughts, tools, tactics and timing that deliver for them. Jayson downplays the amount of work that needs to be done but Rand may also be making it more complicated than it needs to be for the average person in this space [individual thought leader or small business looking to get found]. So, what then is the middle way between these two paths?

Here’s what I think the ‘average person’ should do:

  1. Begin with the end in mind and review Google’s EAT principles
  2. Create a self-hosted WordPress website and optimize each page and post with the Yoast SEO Plugin
  3. Enter your site into Google’s Search Console [formerly Google Webmaster Tools]. Submit your XML sitemap and be sure that Google clearly understands the content of your site
  4. Create a Google+ Page and established publishership; connect with other thought leaders in your space
  5. Create a Twitter account and connect with other thought leaders in your space; Buzzsumo is a good tool for telling you who they are

These five things represent a ‘good start’ and as the old saw says ‘well begun is half done’; just covering the basics is better than what most people do. I’m stunned, for example, at the number of people who take a ‘Field of Dreams’ approach — you know, just build it and they will come — and have never heard of Google’s Search Console. Note that I, too, may have oversimplified in my list. For example, #3 may require quite a lot of work on your part to learn how to use Google’s Search Console, but it is a skill worth having if you want to get found and mastery is not only attainable but valuable so I’m telling you that out of all the places where you could spend your time, this is one of the most important ones.

Tweet: Just covering the basics is better than what most people do when it comes to SEO!

If you master these things and are looking for more to do try these on for size:

  1. Read David Amerland’s book SEO Help — it’s the single best ‘practical, tactical’ guide to SEO I have found
  2. Master a tool called Inoreader — the content reader for power users — it will help you track the sites, searches, sources and someday/maybe info you need to fuel your content marketing. I write about it often here.
  3. Keep following this blog! 😀

If you have questions or feedback, please comment below or connect with me using the contact form or the social media icon. I’d be happy to talk with you about how this applies to your quest to establish an online reputation and ‘get found’.

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