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SEO - Why You Have to Manage it

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Ryan West on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln - 1995

When I was in the U.S. Navy, we used a lot of unique language to communicate what was going on. I was stationed on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and worked as a Flight Deck Director. As you can imagine, communication was paramount to the safety and mission of the ship and its crew. In order for senior leaders (both officers and enlisted), to get their point across quickly, shortening up the message was essential.

When you arrive to the ship fresh out of boot camp or a special school before your duty station, the learning curve on a Navy vessel can be huge. It takes time to understand the special language that goes on within a ship and that language will multiple when the ship is underway (out to sea).

There are certain phrases and concepts that you need to understand right away however, the most important being how to put out a ship’s fire. That is kind of a big deal when you are out in the middle of the Ocean with no land to jump to. If you are wondering what this has to do with SEO, here it goes. Let’s say your website is your ship. You, being new to the digital world, most likely don’t know how everything should work within your website.


Sure, you can have pretty pictures, awesome blogs, good content and a great domain associated with your website, but if you don’t have all of that organized the right way, your website will catch on fire. I’m taking about the bad fire that can sink what you are doing or at least stall your rise to fame and fortunes.

On a Navy ship, how you run the ship is just as important as how it was built and looks. Would you prefer a beautiful ship that doesn’t get operated the right way or an old raft that looks terrible but floats its ass off and links up with other destinations because the captain (you) runs it right?

If you asked me that questions 18 months ago, I probably would have answered with the first option. The reality? The second option is far better in my opinion, especially when you are starting out.

Why? Because it is connecting your website and its content to the right people, places, things and whatever else you deem as relevant to your business. The problem? Almost all new entrepreneurs who opt for the digital way to make money, don’t have a firm grip (in fact no grip) on how important those connections are.

I will use myself as an example of what not to do and what you can do from day one moving forward to keep your website full steam ahead.

First, pick the right website builder that gives you a good SEO foundation. In my case I used WiX and it was one of the smartest moves I made. What WIX does is give you the basis for getting your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) off the ground. Your job from there is to keep it off the ground and link it up to as many other outlets (or ports in the Navy world) as you can.

One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting out was not focusing on SEO. In fact, I didn’t even have my keywords added to WIX for almost 4 months. The reason? I just didn’t know what I was doing and it took a lot of time and reading to finally get my head above water.

I wish I could tell you that I just couldn’t find the right information to help get started but that certainly isn’t the case. In fact, that is kind of the problem, there is more information on SEO than you can shake a stick at which can and does make it overwhelming. I’m not telling you this to freak you out and talk you out of starting, rather to make it a priority to understand the basics of SEO right off the bat.

Remember, in the beginning you have to have some help or you end up wearing every hat in your business and that can become extremely exhausting. Oh, and it takes away from you creating your content — which you absolutely cannot jeopardize.