I recently had someone offer me an article on search engine optimization, and I have to tell you, I suddenly understood why there are still people who think it’s crap. I now get how it could be thought of as less than useless. Without further ado, let me clear up any confusion. This is not SEO:
“SEO not only attracts San Francisco traffic to your digital assets, but it attracts the right traffic. SEO eliminates paying for clicks because a consumer liked your ad and was curious to see what you offer; with SEO the consumers. SEO is a crucial component of any San Francisco business’s digital marketing agenda. SEO produces targeted traffic and thrives on building deep-seated connections with your consumers.”
What’s wrong with this paragraph? Ummmm. Let’s see.
- I’ve already taken out three more sentences, so it was worse.
- It reads like the online print version of that annoying headache commercial.
- There’s no way this will pass as natural writing to a search engine crawler.
- If a search engine crawler won’t pass it, how do you think a human will?
- The content is so full of “SEO” that you can’t get past it to the good stuff.
- IS there good stuff? I can’t tell.
- Will readers come back after seeing such drivel?
- Will people share this and become brand ambassadors based on this type of content?
- That’s a lot of text in single paragraph…
I won’t out the author, but this is not, emphatically NOT, search engine optimization. This isn’t optimization of any kind. It’s keyword stuffing. Don’t ever, ever, ever do this and then claim we taught you.
The Real Thing – A Few Quick Pointers Here’s a few pointers before we go through the “why” of optimization. These are really important; write them down, put them on a sticky post on the side of your monitor, in your blogging notebook… don’t lose them.
- Make it readable for people: Search engines don’t buy services or products, people do.
- If you can’t read through the piece yourself and enjoy it, you’ve done it wrong: It has to be enjoyable, informing, entertaining – it has to have something to draw the reader in.
- Don’t force your keywords: If you have to force your keywords, you’re either using the wrong keywords or you’re writing on the wrong topic. Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s go on.
10 Reasons Why You Need SEO
Optimization really does serve a purpose. It’s a very important online advertising tool, and is even used in print, television and radio ads. Done properly, it produces a form of credibility that is second only to a word-of-mouth referral. If your business is not proactively practicing SEO strategy, here are ten reasons for you to consider incorporating it into your marketing plan.
1. Big Returns for Your Business
Of all forms of online marketing, SEO offers your business the highest return-on-investment. This practice can funnel viewers to your digital assets through natural search engine results (i.e. coveted organic search engine results). Additionally, SEO is not limited to the amount of cash you invest in a campaign; it’s limited by the quality of the campaign.
Case in point: A well-optimized evergreen article can bring much higher results than a well-optimized one-off blog post.
2. Proven to Produce Results
SEO is a time proven strategy that drives traffic to websites. Equally important, it drives relevant traffic.
You don’t just need traffic; you need the type of traffic that will convert. A large visitor count is an simply an ego boosting number compared to actual sales produced from a marketing campaign.
3. Is an Industry Standard
It’s been a long time coming, but optimization in all its myriad forms has finally become an industry standard. When I count the years that it was considered only a little better than snake oil, and I was seen as the snake oil salesperson, I can only be relieved that things have changed.
There are many valid, new techniques to drive web traffic; however, SEO is still as relevant, and functional, as it was when the concept evolved. As search engine algorithms penalize webmasters who use questionable tactics to deliver traffic, it remains search engine algorithm friendly.
4. Your Competitors Are Using It
Top search result rankings are a coveted designation for all businesses who own digital assets. The businesses that hold these positions incorporated a continuing SEO marketing strategy. By not optimizing your content, you are putting your organization at a severe disadvantage.
5. Help Mobile Device Users Find Your Business
Smart device users are quickly outnumbering desktop users. This holds particularly true for consumers looking for business information while out and about. Having your business content optimized for local search engine results greatly increases the probability that your digital assets will produce offline sales by local consumers.
As well, making sure your site is optimized for mobile is a large bonus. This is especially true since Mobilegeddon, as Google’s Mobile Friendly update is often called. In short, Google has stated that sites that don’t appear well in mobile devices will not perform well in mobile searches. So, if your site isn’t responsive or specifically built for mobile, and you’ve seen your traffic plummet, this could be why.
6. Consumers Use the Internet to Research Your Business
On smart devices and desktop PCs, consumers are using the Internet to find valuable information about your business. The easier it is for consumers to find this information, the more likely they are to patronize your business. The Internet is a place where every fraction of a second counts.
7. Increase Conversions
SEO increases sales exponentially over time, unlike SEO’s distant cousin pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which offers fast but short-lasting results that end when the campaign budget runs out. Furthermore, SEO is now a stronger force than brand recognition alone. Savvy Internet users will quickly bypass a well-known brand if there is a better deal at a competent appearing competitor.
8. Relevant Advertising for Your Business
Title tags and meta descriptions may seem like minor attributes that you can bypass if you have well-developed content; however, this belief is misguided. They’re the first contact consumers have with your online presence. If a competitor is doing a better job at using these tools, the sign on their digital storefront looks better than yours and will attract more buyers.
9. Helps Build Consumer Rapport for Your Brand
It is an undeniable fact that the higher your brand ranks in relevant search results, the more consumers see your brand as a trusted authority. Ranking at the top of search engine results is akin to having the biggest billboard in town or the inside front page of the now obsolete printed telephone book; higher organic rankings equal more sales.
10. Attracts Qualified Buyers at the Right Time
SEO not only attracts traffic to your digital assets, but it attracts the right traffic — consumers who are looking for information about your business and are considering buying now or in the near future. It eliminates paying for clicks because a consumer liked your ad and was curious to see what you offer; with SEO the consumers come to your business presence rather than you drawing them in. It produces targeted traffic and thrives on building deep-seated connections with your consumers.
For these reasons, and many more, adding optimization to your business strategy is a crucial component of any business’s digital marketing agenda. With a properly executed SEO strategy, your business will see results that are cost-effective and long-lasting. Don’t let your marketing efforts go to waste. Find out how a customized SEO strategy can help your business to succeed