Just because it’s been abused, doesn’t mean it’s bullshit
I recently hired a women name Nicole Germaine away from a small branding agency. Shortly after starting with us she told a story about her days at her former employer that sums up the attitude of a lot of creative agencies. She was working as a brand consultant, and while on a call with a client she was asked if they could help with their SEO needs. As the story goes, Nicole went into the office of their senior web developer to see if she could get some direction.
Nicole: “Hey, I just had a client ask if we help out with SEO. What should I tell them?”
Web Guy: “Tell them that SEO is a bullshit practice.”
Nicole: “So, that’s a no...?”
That’s a pretty short-sighted view of SEO strategy, although understandable if derived from previous experiences. However, SEO has to be an extremely important part of your plan to dominate the digital universe because it’s a primary avenue for traffic growth.
What is SEO exactly, and why do you need it?
SEO is the process of helping your website rise in rank on Google and other search engines for a targeted set of keywords valuable to your business. When executed properly, your site appears at the top of results pages, extending the exposure of your business to your ideal audience.
I don’t believe SEO was ever intended to be a stand-alone solution to your digital marketing needs. If you’re going to lead the investment into SEO strategy and execution you have to understand its role and be prepared to invest for the long term. There are simply no short cuts to search engine success.
A lot of companies have a bad taste in their mouth from a past experience working with a ‘Search Analyst’ of some sort who had promised to get them to the top of Google in three months. They spent $1,500 per month for over a year and had absolutely nothing to show for it. The reporting was inconsistent and confusing and none of the truly important keywords ever reached the first page. Even worse, when challenged on the big drops, the consultant would always blame a recent Google update. There was simply nothing they could do but keep building.
If you want to compete for searches, you have to play where the searches happen
Google rules the world because they have the largest audience of people looking for help. If you want to acquire new customers in the digital universe you have to get to the top of their mountain.
There are 5.9 million searches on Google every day -Rick Bates via Main Broadcast Coalition
Search engines are the primary way people find what they’re looking for so if you want to compete for their attention you have to play the game. Organic search traffic should represent a healthy portion of your monthly traffic growth if you’re going to maximize your return on investment.
Solid SEO strategy practices are the key to maximizing the impact of your other digital marketing efforts, improving their likelihood of being found. If you want to increase your reach across the entire digital landscape search engine optimization cannot be ignored.
Why optimizing for search is a continual process
Moz reports that Google makes over 500 tweaks to its algorithm every year--that's more than one per day. Keeping up with the changes and modifying your SEO strategy is critically important and an endless challenge to everyone attempting to compete online faces.
Search engines want to see how credible your website is to people searching for relevant keywords and content on search engines. When you perform well in both authority and relevance your overall rank on search engine results will increase. Optimization refers to optimizing your website pages for the ways that Google crawls, or scans, them. When you optimize your website you are “making sure that Google can understand what keywords you’re targeting, which services and products you sell, and where you sell them” - Russell.
Simply optimizing your website for certain keywords doesn’t magically shoot you to the top of your desired search results. Yes, the search engine can find your content when they want to, but you still have to demonstrate that your content is worthwhile, and you do that through demonstrating authority on a topic. Google is trying to make sure that you have the best content for their users.
To improve your website’s authority, your company should put out quality and informative content that readers will be compelled to share and in doing so will link back to your site. According to the article How to Explain SEO to Clients, "The more authority your website has, the higher up in the search results it will be. Having your website appear on others will prove to the search engine that your site is better than all others on the same topic."
“High-quality SEO is like artistic graffiti while poor quality SEO is more like vandalism. Sure there may be some similarities between the actions taken, but the intent and the execution are very different.” – Adrian Doggrell
SEO does not work like a light switch. You cannot simply turn on an SEO campaign and expect to see all the desired results right away. It is a process that takes time and effort to see the full effect. Boog writes that “SEO is a marathon and not a sprint - you have to pace yourself for the long run and commit to slow and steady progress.”
Content is a key to search engine success
If you want to reach the top of search engine result pages (SERP) you need to inject your search strategy into your content strategy. According to Contently’s, 5 Stats That Prove Great Content is the Key to Great SEO, in 2014, an Ascend2 survey reported that only 57 percent of marketers said that content creation was the most effective strategy for SEO. In 2015, the same survey reported that 72 percent of marketers worldwide said that relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic.
To be successful you should aggressively develop new content for your website and blog that educates your prospects and clients while clearly indicating to search engines what’s contained within.
Why you need to stay the course
SEO isn’t a unicorn in a fairytale, it is an immensely valuable tool that when used correctly, can act as a huge catalyst for improving your search engine rankings, drawing increased site traffic, and driving lead generation. Remember that quality is more important than quantity and good things come to those who stay the course.
Once you understand how all the facets of SEO optimization can work together, the concept behind it starts to make sense and it becomes much easier to put the pieces together. Every part of your SEO campaign will work together, from the on-page optimization of content, tags, and photos, to off-page social media and email inbound links. Focus your efforts around your most specific and relevant keywords and you’ll start to see results. The need for quality SEO strategy has never been higher, so take it seriously, and it will provide serious results. If youneed help, this is the shit we do. Schedule a short call with us to explore.