I am so grateful to my first two web mentors, Jim Lemon and Ted Hattemer of The Ohio State University. They drilled “Content is King” in to me back in 1995. And twenty years later it still is. I became a huge user advocate on my own through the years, battling bureaucracy and bad programming to keep things usable, possibly even enjoyable.
Combine those two things and you have a site that is, by its very nature, search engine optimized! Yes, that is a bit of simplification, but it is not an overstatement. If your site is easy to use, easy to navigate and full of good content, real people (users!) will like it – and search engines will as well.
My point being, getting Google to direct users to your site organically (that means you are not paying Google for it!) is not magic, not voodoo and not impossible. It can be time consuming and a lot of work, especially if you are fixing a poorly built site. But it is doable.
I teach a 5 hour SEO workshop for university website managers that is very hands-on. Users work on their own sites. At the end of the course, my students were excited about their new-found ability to evaluate and improve their website’s SEO on they own. Some of my favorite post-class comments were:
“Easily one of the most helpful trainings I have been to.”
“I love the day long workshops. Seems like it is a long time, but it flew by. We need more of this length.”
“I solved problems very quickly yesterday that would have taken me hours to figure out on my own.”
“James takes time to answer questions and have us look at our own sites practically, not a “fake” site creation technique. We have vested interested in our own projects and he has us think about that.”
“This workshop was a great experience!”
Send me an email if you have a university SEO question email@example.com