We've been looking into finding balance throughout our inbound marketing elements and now we're going to cover search engine optimization. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most difficult elements to find balance with in my opinion, there are so many concerns and perspectives to keep in mind.
Element 5: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Many businesses struggle greatly trying to interpret opinions of different vendors and employees, with no real understanding of what's correct. In the article we're going to explore several of the different perspectives out there to help you understand where they're coming from and how their limited motivation and product knowlege can lead you astray.
SEO is as simple as putting together and executing a strategy to improve your rankings on Google, YouTube, Bing, and Yahoo in an attempt to attract more visitors. What better than to magically have your potential clients find what they're looking for on your site before a competitor?
The problem starts here however, things are never that simple. In my opinion one must begin with the end in mind. What are you trying to accomplish with your internet marketing, search engine marketing, or SEO services efforts?
- Are you trying to drive more traffic?
- Are you trying to drive traffic in quantity or quality?
- Are you trying to drive a purchase (B2C) or a contact (B2B)?
- Are you trying to convert new customers and profits?
- Can you see the actual results?
You may be paying thousands of dollars per month to a SEO firm just to drive traffic to your website. The problem as I see it is that traffic isn't your goal. Website visitors are not your goal. New customers is your goal, and your SEO firm just can't provide that directly. Inbound marketing firms like Revenue River combine seo services within content and offers with conversion paths and contact forms. The result is trackable, qualified leads.... not just a ghost visitor.
Now, that all sounds perfect but it gets a little complicated along the way. It's especially complicated if you have multiple vendors and voices in the mix. It's not unlikely that you may have something like the following in place.
- You had a web design firm build your website
- You hired an SEO firm to do your search engine optimization
- You have your office manager or sales person structure web edits and send to web design firm
- Social media is done in-house by an intern or front desk person
- You've hired a content writer to write blog post because no one internal actually wrote any as requested
- Everyone tells you something different, you're considering firing everyone and putting all that money in your pocket
So now it's time to uncover everyone's paradigm, why they want what they want, what's right with that and what's wrong with that.... only I probably can't accomplish quite in that order.
Web Designer's Perspective
You web designer is probably and artist. She takes great pride in her work and wants your site to look beautiful. Lots of color, bells, whistles, and dynamic movement. "Let's use flash to really set your site apart!" We'll need a lot of pictures too, we need to set mood and paint the picture we want for visitors to have a positive first impression. You can't make a first impression twice!
Take it easy Sister, we're not selling art, we're selling financial services. Think big picture.
SEO Services Guy's Perspective
Your new SEO expert is more analytical than your web designer, he speaks code and all he cares about is Google algorythms and inbound links. He wants to get his hands on your content immediately, it all needs to be rewritten to integrate your keywords. Sentences that read great now will "only need to be changed a little to shoot you up to the top of Google". He'll also want more pages, more content, more content, more content.
Slow down Hotrod, who wants to read that? What good is traffic if everyone bounces?
Sales Person's Perspective
We need a value prop in the header. We need a strong call to action that drives people to pick up the phone and call. We need discounts, specials, and loss leaders. "Can the designer make the picture of our product bigger?" Features and benefits need to fall out of the home page at every click. "Maybe we can do a 3D rotator for our JBL2000!?"
Maybe you should just pick up the phone and set appointments Big Guy.
Social Media Perspective
"We need a big contest to really grow fans, can we put a header on the website to advertise it? Can we have a custom page for entry and a database for tracking and selection?" Giving the fans some place to go, some place to interact and be a community would be great. Myavbe we can blog about what we all did last weekend to really help people relate to our employees.
Go back to your Facebook page before that last comment goes unliked any longer.
If they're going to blog for your organization I need to know what my topics are. They'll need some research time, access to marketing materials, maybe a couple product training sessions. They are more creative in spirit generally and really want to write about things that interest them. They are good at following direction but the direction they get is important. Are you positive you know what kind of writing you need from them in order to support all of the other perspectives and needs? Are they blogging for SEO, for social interaction, for sales features, or all of the above? Is that even possible?
Well Big Fella, maybe that creative writing degree wasn't as applicable as we thought.
Finding balance in it all, your NEW perspective
Now that you're thouroughly confused and don't really want to deal with search engine optimization ever again we're going to give you some help. As an up and coming Denver Marketing Firm we've been learning every day how to better balance all of these perspectives. We see clients and prospects struggling to find the balance between all of these objectives all the time. We too struggle with these challenges ourselves, trying to create a simple blog post that helps SEO but doesn't ruin readability.
You just can't have a site that's 100% optimized with content and is still readable to visitors trying to figure out what you have to offer. You can't have a site full of pretty picutres and moving objects that also ranks well on search engines. If your site was all content and ranked number one for all your best keywords would it really make the phone ring? Do you want to read for 30 minutes when you visit a website? Nope.
This is harder than it seems, that's why sayings like "you get what you pay for" exist. Every one of the perspectives above are correct to a degree. Every one of them probably has your best interest in mind but not the whole picture. Everything has to work together seamlessly if you're going to effectively manage a budget you'd rather not let get out of control.
This is where your inbound marketing savior comes to play. Inbound marketing is really just a combination of all of these elements and perspectives, perfectly balanced with one end in mind. The same end in mind you have coincidently, creating traceable, actual leads your sales people can close! If you're ready to take a closer look at what you could be doing instead of what you are doing, we'd love to help you understand your options.