Level343 was built on strong copywriting and marketing skills. As the Internet grew, we expanded our service offerings to include search engine optimization – among other things. Now, after actively doing SEO for more than 10 years and working online for 23 years, it’s time to wave the white flag of surrender. It’s time to admit that you can’t depend on SEO. Here are a few reasons:
1. Search engine optimization (SEO) is often performed as a standalone procedure.
SEO is the task of optimizing your website to prepare it for a strong performance in the search engines. I firmly believe that a live website requires an in depth audit, keyword effectiveness review and optimized copy – all parts of optimization. However, if that’s all you do (which we’ve seen time and again), you can’t depend on it to get you the results you need.
If you think of your website as a brick and mortar business, think of optimization as the glue, nails and mortar that keep it together. Once it’s together and you open your doors for business, there’s still much more you need to do to market and grow the business. If you just rely on the glue, nails and mortar, you’ll be disappointed.
2. Optimization is often done as a singular procedure.
Many online business owners make the mistake of thinking optimization is a one-time thing. So you go into the website, make those optimized changes, and then don’t touch the site again for five years. This isn’t how optimization works. This isn’t how life works.
Optimization is built on the idea of relevance, and relevance is fluid. Not only is it based on target audience (what’s relevant to you may not be to your neighbor), but also on language (laymen’s terms, industry terms), idioms and slang. “Cold,” a term that once just meant “lower than your body temperature,” can now also mean “unemotional,” for example.
Website owners can’t depend on a single use of SEO to make all the difference. It might affect your website for a while, but you must always go back to verify the language.
3. SEO is often performed as a satellite service, rather than an integrated one.
While relevance is crucial for optimization, integration is crucial for a successful marketing campaign. Few business owners would argue with that statement. And yet, many forget it.
This lack can often be found in marketing campaigns that include optimization. The SEO part is either the first consideration with more tactics half-hazard tacked on, or other tactics with a slight nod toward SEO. In these cases, SEO can’t be relied on.
A successful marketing campaign must be unified. For example, once the key terms are found as part of an optimization-based process, they should also be used on social channels, in ads or in print collateral.
“Woah,” I hear you say. “Why are we worried about key terms for print?”
A few reasons:
- In today’s world of technology, print is often turned back into an online versions
(PDF or magazine flipper, for example). If you have the terms in print collateral, it’s already optimized should the article be turned into online text.
- Key terms aren’t new to marketing. They were around long before online marketing. This method of advertising helps set an idea in the minds of the target market. (the Repetition Principle)
Another example is one we recently talked about, NAP (or Name, Address, Place). Used for local optimization, it’s important that NAP is always the same.
As you build your marketing campaigns, you should always keep optimization in mind. It should permeate a campaign like glue does cracks. If you find yourself going over the marketing campaign and seeing where you can optimize, you need to work on your integration skills.
If you think that you can optimize your website once and do nothing else, SEO is very undependable as a marketing tactic. You might draw good results occasionally, as a fluke, but it’s nothing more than that. On the other hand, if you treat optimization as a step in an integrated marketing campaign, it’s well worth the effort.
Let’s face it. Websites get off track from their original purpose. It happens all the time. Sometimes that’s good; most times, not so much. Optimization helps ensure that your site is headed where it’s supposed to be and talking to the right people. It can be depended on to do that, as long as it’s done right.