I realize it’s been a while since our last rant on anything. Lucky for us, I happen to have one all ready to go. It’s been stewing for quite awhile (since last Thursday), running around in my head and gathering more fuel for the fire. To be honest, I’m glad I’ve planned the post for today – it gave me the weekend to reread, look it over, (make some changes) and clean up the cuss words. 😛
As the title says, today’s rant, brought to you special from Level343, is about SEO, inbound marketing in general, and critical thinking.
I Was Enjoying a Quiet Thursday Morning When…
This post came across one of my social networks: Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers. Go ahead; read it. I’ll wait.
“Let the ooh’s and ahh’s begin,” I thought. Everyone is going to flock to the G Plus Ripples to do like the man says and “connect with influencers” (eye roll). How completely fab that the world is finally catching up with our way of doing things – including Google, it seems.
HEY! Did Your Fancy New Tool Just Crap On My Industry?
I know what people are going to think. A lot of people will look at G+ Ripples and think, “Great! I won’t need an inbound marketer anymore. This fancy new tool Google just put out is the answer to all my problems!” How do I know this? It’s the public answer every time. Just for fun here is a ripple in action. Actually, it’s really a funny video, so take the time to share with your readers on G+. While you’re at it add Level343 Google + page if you want. See once again, I digress…
Most people are looking for the fast way to make a quick buck, or, in Internet terms, a fast way to get results. Every new tool that comes out is jumped on like a male dancer at a bachelorette party.
Come on, people! So you want to do things yourself. So you don’t want to strain your budget hiring someone. Okay – fine, fine. But use some common sense! These programs and products can’t provide the one thing you desperately need for any business endeavor; they can’t provide the human element!
A program can’t do your critical thinking for you. If you’re letting programs make business decisions for you rather than taking the time to make those decisions yourself, you’re… well, I can’t think of a nice way to say it.
A little later, I came across another article that helped calm me down (just a little bit): mostly because it went along the lines of the human element. A PubCon write up by David Angotti talks about the presentation Greg Boser (SVP of Search, BlueGlass Interactive) gave. David writes:
“There is an increasing amount of data that shows a shift from “traditional” SEO to social (human engagement) signals. Google recently acquired PostRank, a metric similar to PageRank for social, which indicates how important human engagement is to the Google algorithm. Part of the reason that Google is trying to do a better job of analyzing human engagement is due to people sharing links through social networks instead of blogs or sites.”
No way! Really?? SEO is shifting to human engagement signals? – And did you notice that Google is trying to do a better job? Why are they trying? Because they haven’t managed it yet! In fact, that’s why their Ripples project “is still experimental”. Yeah, I’m going to base a lot of business decisions off of an experimental tool.
I apologize for fuming. Prepare for more to come.
Pepper Is a Seasoning, Not a Method of Action
I don’t care what you’ve been told; keywords don’t make the conversions. You think you can pepper your site with some keywords, the pearly gates will open while the angels sing the hallelujah chorus and buyers will just flock in? Sure, your numbers may reflect stronger traffic, but your conversion won’t – because your language still sucks. You didn’t think about the readers, and you have to. At the end of the day, they’re the ones who are going to buy, not the search engines.
A site peppered with keywords doesn’t look like anything other than what it is: a site peppered with keywords.
-And blogs. You think you can pepper your blog with any old content and build a readership? You can’t! I came across a blog post (from someone I’m now currently ashamed to say I follow) and the post was full of errors. I don’t mean a little spelling error or a few grammatical errors. I mean big, glaring errors where the apostrophes converted to the diamond question mark!
You know what that shows? It shows you don’t care. It shows you don’t give a crap about your business, your reputation or your readers. The people on the other side of your monitor are going to say the same thing I did. “Wow, they didn’t even take the time to edit the content before hitting the publish button!”
You know the saying that became popular after Forest Gump said it? “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” This seems to be the philosophy growing online. It’s a load of crap.
When you buy a box of chocolates, you’re going to look at the packaging first. Yeah, you know what you’re going to get. Once you open the box, you have that package cover that tells you what each piece is. There are no surprises in that box of chocolates unless you didn’t look at the package.
Your site is the package for your business, brand, products and services, people. If that package has crap content, peppered keywords and shows a lack of care, that’s not a box of chocolates I’m going to bother to buy. You don’t care, I don’t care.
I’m Taking a Deep Breath…
Okay. As you can tell, I’m a bit irked, here. As someone who’s done all this SEO – the research, the audits, the onpage and offpage optimization, the link building, the copywriting and marketing – I know you don’t just pull these ideas out of your nether regions. We research who our client’s readers are. We listen to them talk about their business. We gain information and data before we ever lift a finger in actual implementation. If they don’t have any kind of traffic analytics, we require at least 30 days to get that tracking up and gather data.
The point is we have pride in our work. We pay attention to what we’re doing. We’re careful in the things we recommend. We take the time to think before we act. Sometimes, we miss errors, we’re only human, but we do try.
Now really – is it too much to ask that others do the same?
Ha! Love the pepper analogy.
The whole thing comes down to exactly what you said – PRIDE in your work. Stuffing keywords into content, thin content, content that reads like some sort of foreigner wrote it… content with terrible glaring errors.. what does that tell people? That you really don’t give two hoots about what they read, as long as they arrive on site.
Give your head a shake. Conversions happen when people BUY IN. Give people a compelling reason to buy in with your content; not your keywords.
LOL if you only knew how exact the pepper analogy is to real life. One thing is undeniable, our readers including our clients are smart and won’t stand for that sort of shenanigan. The world at large, well that’s another story. 😉 Thanks for dropping by Phil.
I would personally like to thank you for your post. It really help me a lot.
I agree. With everything going automated these days, people miss out that the most important factor in marketing is the audience themselves.
I guess the best way is to go down to the community level, where one knows everybody. We had enough of the “mass production” concepts, maybe it is time to g back to the personalized marketing concepts. What do you think?
heheh indeed. I always want a box of chocolates with almond truffles, and absolute sin. Thanks bella, will be catching up with you soon!
Actually, if your IQ is only 78 or whatever, every time you get a box of chocolates, it’s a surprise. Also, McDonald’s is a surprise every time as well.
mmm interesting read this – but yea its bound to be on the horizon for big g to be rolling in these social signals, and they have been for a while indexing comments and pages etc, and yes there have always been logic in getting your link on a popular website – is twitter anything more than a popular website?
The next big thing – bothered – right now – links still work, so all in all, stick to what you know – building links – the rest – best practice….
You need two things to rank in search engines – content and links – the rest – is pure talk
nice read though – thanks!
Glad you enjoyed it – thanks for stopping by!
Bravo, m’dear! And here’s what I’ll add to your well-crafted rant: crap in is crap out. If you want to build an exceptional business, you can’t go buying into every “next big thing” that comes along. You have to develop an understanding of and with your audience. All these Ripples and Waves and (dear god, do I really need to go on?)…they’re tools – nothing more. And you can’t eve begin to use them properly if you have your head so far up a Ripple’s backside that you lose touch with how and IF they can benefit your audience. HUZZAH!
Thanks Red 🙂
GREAT post! Now, I could stop at that, but I won’t. For far too long, some business owners have spent valuable time and resources looking for shortcuts in their own business, in making a profit, in marketing and certainly in SEO. It is time to realize that shortcuts do not always, nor rarely work! It takes time to develop relationships, friendships, business, a social media presence and an online presence. It also takes the right tools, or the right partners to help with the right tools. As for Google Ripples, to me it is like Google+ and Google+ Brand Pages; too soon to tell what impact it will all have; but I do know this; you cannot short cut doing it the right way. Preach on friend!