Since Coronavirus and Lockdown, most businesses have been forced to examine their digital strategy. While offline sales struggle e-commerce is setting records. Consumers are adopting online buying at a faster pace than imagined even at the beginning of the year. Now anyone who has been in the digital space for more than a week will tell you search engine optimization (SEO) is the common thread for all top online sellers.
SEO can be a challenging process to learn and implement. But it is one of the more important skills that you must adopt and master if you plan on making some money in online marketing, e-commerce, or bringing your offline business to the online space.
The goal is to help improve your site’s visibility and ranking in search engines like Google so that more people can discover your content and visit your pages. By displaying the content, features, and benefits that are most important to users and then serving it to them your website can rise in the search engine results pages (SERP). This probably requires doing some research and making some improvements on your pages and some off-page changes may also be required.
In my conversations with clients from startup entrepreneurs to execs at publicly traded companies I’ve learned, there are seven primary things that most people still get wrong about SEO.
This is tragic because unlike many things in digital marketing SEO has remained fairly consistent for the past 20-years. Other than email nothing else comes close in terms of maintaining the basic elements. Think about the volume of changes in social media, video, and online advertising. The pace is so fast that even the experts cannot keep up. Books are outdated faster than they can be downloaded.
When I first started doing SEO in Asia several years ago I met a restaurant owner with a 10,000-page website. Each page was designed to get a backlink to a recipe, special promotion or how-to prepare an item. Link building was identified as a top-ranking factor for the Google algorithm in the original patent application.
Now today there are many more effective ways to get backlinks than designing and hosting a 10,000+ page website but they are still one of the top factors for getting your webpages to rank high in the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
In spite of this consistency, many newbies shy away from SEO. Why bother? It’s not sexy like a new TikTok dance video or Instagram images. You don’t hear much about brands looking for “SEO Influencers”. This is tragic because if you want traffic to your website, views on your videos, or sales for your affiliate products applying SEO fundamentals is the best chance for success.
1) It’s a gimmick, trick or scheme.
Spamming and other techniques to trick traffic to visit your website are not used by reputable SEO providers. These methods can boost traffic for a short period of time but will ultimately lead to your site’s failure.
2) Too complicated and techy.
Here’s a secret, tech people like to make things sound mysterious, complicated, and expensive. This is often about job protection or jacking up rates and fees. SEO strategy can be explained in clear language with measurable goals and objectives. Sure there are technical elements in on-page SEO and editing but these things can be learned or outsourced. You don’t need to become a full-time coder.
3) Keyword rankings are all that matters.
Keyword stuffing is an old technique that is no longer effective. The complete metrics of the Google Algorithm are not known but there are plenty of clues as to what works. You want to examine the performance indicators for your industry, competitors, and currently top ranking sites. I find there are usually dozens of factors at play and keywords are only one element.
4) Google will penalize me and take away my website.
If you’re not using spammy tactics, keyword stuffing and other methods most SEO companies know to stay away from your risk is minimal. Google is not in the business to hand out severe penalties that limit advertisers. Stick to proven practices and you will avoid or resolve quickly most penalties.
5) It takes a long time to get any results.
Depending on the research and competition you can get results quickly. I’ve ranked some keywords and even videos within minutes. Traditionally for your website to make full use of SEO, you must first get it indexed by search engines. This means different indexing programs, such as crawlers or spiders basically follow all links that lead to your site. Your site, pages, and content are analyzed and indexed based on some algorithms and criteria set by the various search engines, thereby giving your site it’s ranking. Top SEO clients today have tools and techniques that shorten this process and give you ongoing results.
6) It’s too expensive.
It is a safe bet that if you optimize your site there will be a significant change in the number of visits from potential customers. If you are able to increase the amount of web traffic from people that are searching for your product or service – what would that be worth to you? How many of them could convert into customers and what is their lifetime value? Keep in mind that making your site easier to find makes a huge difference in your business success. Organic traffic can reduce your overall advertising costs. So going for a minimal budget may not be the best approach.
7) It’s cookie-cutter, one SEO strategy fits them all.
This myth is debunked by looking at the organic search results for your competitors. When you examine their SEO strategy you will find a mix of tactics being used by each of the top-ranking websites. No two are exactly alike and they are changing daily. From their on-page tags to their backlinks, meta-descriptions, and social media platforms each site brings unique elements together to reach their SEO objectives. You will need to do the same thing.
If you still hold some of these bad SEO assumptions as a business person you owe it to yourself and your audience to dig deeper for the truth.
My goal in this article is to provide you with some facts to test your assumptions and re-think your approach. If you’re in a narrow niche you still need to integrate a fresh SEO strategy that positions your brand as an authority. There is always something new and unique in business and this keeps your SEO strategies in a fluid state. When you own the number one position on page one – you still cannot get comfortable. Users constantly want new information, videos, reviews, and other forms of content. Competitors are actively seeking to replace you in that prized spot.
Hopefully, this piece has given you some new ideas and thoughts about SEO. Maybe your interest is heightened and you’d like to get an SEO audit or even a strategy review to see how this fits into your overall business and marketing goals. This is something I would recommend. Be sure to reach out if you want further guidance.