He argues that most people with something to promote online need to know search engine optimization (SEO) both for short-term sales and for building a platform to support their business in the long term.
"If you’re trying to run a business on the Internet, you shouldn’t avoid SEO unless you’re confident you can drive traffic to your site without Google’s help. SEO isn’t difficult, and has the side effect of making your content more relevant to readers."
He uses his personal experience and self-study in the topic of SEO to make the topic easy to approach, and puts it in terms anyone can understand, whether they're business people with decades of experience in offline marketing who are looking to take their business online, or new authors promoting self-published books outside the well-tread ground of the traditional publishing industry for the first time. It's a practical and useful introduction for beginners to Internet marketing and a valuable refresher for people with more experience.
"Some day you’ll have enough readers to not care about what Google thinks, and you’ll know the audience you’ve built well enough to know what they’re looking for. But until then, you might want to practice a little SEO."
He shares a very unfortunate and time-wasting experience with one of the more notorious SEO research tools from Google:
"Most beginners use Google’s keyword research tool incorrectly, and sit there for months wondering why no one’s finding what they write. I experienced this first hand, and wasted time on terms I thought thousands of people were looking for."
The counterintuitive way the tool works led him down many dead ends:
"But nope. Turns out it was tens of people. Tens! I learned that broad match is for people who’ve already built up a strong authority site. Broad match is your enemy for now. Untick it and go to exact match any time you’re looking for a keyword."
Michael Robinson's essay helps beginners avoid common search engine optimization pitfalls, and may even teach old pros some new tricks. He uses real-world examples to explain each type of keyword match, the exact meaning of "long tail" and what it has to do with SEO, an explanation of the difference between ordinary SEO and local SEO, and the importance of understanding search intent.
"A beginner’s guide to search engine optimization"
The essay is freely available on Digital Scofflaw: http://mkronline.com/